We all know accountants have a certain reputation for being methodical, organized, risk-averse, and some might even say, boring. But for those accountants who’ve answered the call to provide advisory services and being that valued business partner their clients need, the accounting profession can be one exciting ride.
How are today’s forward-looking accountants breaking down stereotypes and building successful careers? Take these steps to get started.
1. Leave the manual grind behind
Wading through loads of paperwork and onerous spreadsheets? Not anymore.
Technology has driven a profound shift in the way accountants work. Gone are the days of manual processes and paper-based forms. With tax automation technology that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning, today’s accountants are seeing increased accuracy and optimized tax workflow. And today’s research technology has allowed practitioners to provide their clients with the fast, accurate, answers they need.
That means there’s more time to focus on higher-value services and long-term strategies. Enter advisory services—defined as work outside of traditional tax compliance that positions accountants as trusted advisors or consultants to individuals and businesses.
By expanding into an advisory services model, accountants can focus less on tax return preparation and more on the value they provide to their clients.
2. Redefine client relationships
The time has come to move beyond that uneasy, once-a-year client meeting. Shifting to advisory services opens the door to more connected and in-depth relationships with clients.
By eliminating billable hours and moving toward value pricing, today’s accountants can position themselves as committed partners and lay out a clear scope of engagement throughout the year—instead of merely getting a call when tax filing deadlines are closing in.
While it’s clear that value-based advisory services can unlock improved margins, higher growth, and better client service, how do you know if this approach is right for you?
Take a moment to ask yourself:
- Are your clients coming to you for more than just tax return preparation?
- Are they asking for counsel on tax-related legislation, business decisions, or strategic planning?
- Do you want to build deeper, year-round relationships with your clients?
If so, your firm is probably a good candidate for advisory. And it’s time to capitalize on these opportunities. By moving to an advisory services model, you can not only meet these needs, but build a brand around them, price your services competitively, and reallocate your resources appropriately.
In short, the move to advisory provides your clients with the guidance and support they are looking for while enabling you to use your knowledge and experience to unlock new revenue streams.
3. Build a foundation for a fulfilling career
For many firms, recent years have made it clear that serving clients is not all about tax compliance. It’s becoming increasingly frequent for tax and accounting professionals to develop personalized tax strategies and mitigate tax consequences.
Meaningful year-round client relationships reinforce that you are not just a transactional expense, but a committed partner who is there to provide support at all times, not just during tax season. That’s how today’s accountants are building successful and sustainable businesses that thrive long-term.
Perhaps what makes advisory services so exciting is that your unique expertise becomes the centerpiece of your value proposition. From helping clients protect their wealth to supporting small businesses to securing a future for families, the shift to advisory services offers a deeper and more fulfilling work experience.
And that’s certainly exciting.
Are you ready to improve your life and expand your business?
Be boring no more! Practice Forward offers proven methodology, guidance, and content solutions that accounting firms need to develop and implement an advisory services approach to engaging clients.