Over the last few years, the accountancy world has witnessed radical changes. Long gone are the days of number crunching, manual processes, and only having interactions with clients at the end of a financial year.
Today, clients want a greater range of services and more varied expertise from their accountants. Accountants need to analyse figures, help clients problem solve, and provide strategic business advice. So much so, 82% of accountants say client expectations now include providing financial and digital transformation advice.
Delivering a higher level of service without increasing fees is challenging without the right systems and technologies in place. To succeed in this new world, accountants need better tools and more in-depth information to add greater value and deliver meaningful insights into business operations and finance.
What are Accounting Advisory Services?
Accounting advisory services typically go beyond the realm of simply balancing the books. Instead, good strategic advisory services give clients access to accountants’ wealth of experience and industry experience. Acting as consultants, accountants then provide advice on finances and more general business operations like improving cost-efficiencies, remaining compliant and even identifying new growth opportunities.
Research shows that 30% of SMBs consider their accountants as their most trusted advisors. But, what exactly does this mean and what should good accounting advisory services include?
As Marithe Solis, experienced analyst at Deloitte, explains accountant advisory services take financial numbers and transform them into a strategy for Decision Making>Action>Business Improvement>Wealth Creation. Or, in other words, identifying ways to adjust business operations and ultimately improve performance.
Accountant advisors play an essential role in this journey. They act as guides to help business owners understand the numbers, plan for future scenarios (both good and bad) and make recommendations on reducing risk, maximising returns and measuring ROI.
Planning for the Future
With accountants taking a more proactive, strategic role in businesses, accounting firms must recognise this change and plan accordingly. Accountancy firms need to look at their people, processes and systems to ensure the company is well-positioned to seize these emerging opportunities and won’t get left behind.
Research from Sage shows that most accountancy firms are prepared for this new world and are actively upskilling their staff to ensure they remain top of their game.
- 79% of accountants are confident or very confident in providing business management and advisory services.
- 75% of accountants are confident or very confident in giving industry-specific advice to clients.
- 63% of accounting firms are currently training or are planning to train their employees on financial business advisory services like cash flow, growth modelling, etc.
- 51% of accounting firms ranked financial business advisory as the most desirable skill for new hires.
Staying on Top of Your Game
Providing accounting and financial advisory services requires you to stay up-to-date on the latest industry trends, develop and maintain an in-depth knowledge of your clients’ finances and actively look for new opportunities.
If you’re still using manual processes and need to spend hours number crunching, it’ll be challenging to provide advisory services as well as complete day-to-day tasks. Especially since 87% of accounting firms report that clients expect greater flexibility and better service (including financial advice) but don’t want to pay more.
Technology offers a golden opportunity by allowing accountancy firms to move with the times and deliver the same great service without increased fees or decreased profits.
Technology for Accountants
Technology allows accountants to automate manual processes, streamline services and provide quicker, more proactive support. So, it’s not surprising that 91% of accountants believe embracing innovative technology benefits their firm.
If you’re planning to invest in the latest technology, here are some of our favourite technology solutions for accountants:
- Payment Dashboards. Payment dashboards make it easy for accountants to get instant visibility into clients’ finances, allowing accountants to promptly deliver strategic insights.
- Automation & RPA. Automation is taking the accounting world by storm by streamlining manual processes. Automating your processes allows you to deliver a faster, far more efficient service backed by real-time insights. With greater efficiency across the board, you’ll then have more time to focus on nurturing and supporting your clients with strategic business advice.
- Efficient Payments. Inefficient payments can have serious impacts on your business. Embracing the latest payment technology and eliminating payment inefficiencies will give you more time to spend with clients, decrease costs and delays, remove cash bottlenecks and allow you to focus on growing your accountancy firm.
Take Your Advisory Service to the Next Level with Modulr Accountancy Pathfinders
Offering advisory services to clients will require you to understand and embrace the latest technology, stay informed on industry trends and remain at the top of your game. Modulr’s Accountancy Pathfinders helps you connect with like-minded individuals and learn about the innovations shaping the industry.
Become an accountancy pathfinder today.