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How to start offering new advisory services in your firm

Thomson Reuters Tax & Accounting  

· 5 minute read

Thomson Reuters Tax & Accounting  

· 5 minute read

As the number of clients looking for insights beyond the tax return grows, many accounting firms are discovering the benefits of transitioning from traditional tax compliance to offering new advisory services.

This profitable shift not only opens up new revenue streams but also allows your firm to build deeper, more meaningful relationships with clients. If you’re wondering where to start, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to start offering advisory services at your firm.

Jump to:

1. Set time aside to make the shift

2. Approach clients with new advisory services

3. Harness the power of AI-enabled software

4. Implement value-based pricing

5. Get started on offering new advisory services with Practice Forward

1. Set time aside to make the shift

To successfully implement advisory services, accountants must set aside dedicated time. This involves strategic planning, training, and possibly restructuring existing workflows to ensure that advisory services are integrated smoothly into the practice.

Amidst a busy schedule, follow this gameplan to facilitate the shift to advisory:

  • Evaluate your current workload. Assess your commitments and identify tasks that can be automated or delegated. Utilize AI-powered tax technology to free up time previously spent on routine compliance work.
  • Schedule regular planning sessions. Allocate specific times each week for advisory planning. Treat these meetings as you would any critical deadline to ensure consistency and focus.
  • Define your value proposition: Clearly articulate the specific benefits and outcomes your firm’s advisory services offering would provide to clients. This includes potential tax savings, revenue growth, or strategic insights that help your clients improve their financial situation.

2. Approach clients with new advisory services

Introducing new advisory services to your clients requires a strategic and thoughtful approach. Consider first engaging with clients who have complex financial needs or have expressed interest in strategic planning. These clients are more likely to see the value in advisory services.

During these conversations, it’s important to clearly explain how advisory services can help them achieve their business goals and improve their financial situation. Be specific and illustrate potential outcomes unique to their situation. It might even be a good idea to offer an introductory advisory session to showcase the benefits of advisory and demonstrate the impact of your expertise.

3. Harness the power of AI-enabled software

As more and more accounting firms make the shift to advisory services, AI-powered software plays a pivotal role in streamlining internal processes and providing data-driven client insights.

The first step is utilizing AI-powered tax software to automate routine compliance tasks, such as data entry, tax preparation, and error checking. This reduces manual workload and increases accuracy. Alongside an AI-powered tax research solution, staff at all levels are empowered to answer even complex client questions confidently and accurately.

Moreover, AI enables data analytics that offer insight into client financials. From identifying trends to proactively detecting anomalies, AI not only saves time and reduces costs but also enhances the level of insight you can provide to clients.

4. Implement value-based pricing

Transitioning to value-based pricing is a critical step in offering brand new advisory services. This approach ensures that pricing reflects the value delivered rather than the time spent. Value pricing is subjective and varies from client to client because it is based on what the client values most and what they are willing to pay for that value.

Ask yourself: Do you want to become a year-round problem-solving partner to your clients? Are you currently giving away tax advice for free? If the answer to these questions is yes, it may be time to move away from a compliance-focused approach and toward an advisory services business model that eliminates billable hours and focuses on the value you provide your clients.

By supporting more than just tax returns, value-based pricing can increase revenue while building deeper, more sustainable client relationships.

5. Get started on offering new advisory services with Practice Forward

With trusted methodology, guidance, and content solutions, Practice Forward can help your firm shift from a compliance-focused model to a new lucrative advisory services approach that engages and sustains clients.

Through your Practice Forward implementation, you have access to over 160 tools, including proposal templates, pricing calculators, and checklists, paired with personalized consulting to help you:

  • Implement and execute a proven sales process
  • Identify and package your firm’s services
  • Develop a pricing strategy
  • Standardize business best practice advisory delivery
  • Transition existing clients to advisory relationships
  • Uncover client advisory opportunities

By following these steps and leveraging the right tools and strategies, your accounting firm can successfully transition from traditional tax compliance to offering valuable advisory services. This shift not only enhances client relationships but also positions your firm for sustained growth and success in the evolving accounting landscape.

For more information, join us for a virtual Advisory Bootcamp and our in-person Partner Summit where you’ll learn the steps you need to take to redefine your business model and distinguish between value-added advisory services and compliance services — and how you can monetize the value of that difference.

Listen to the “Just Start” episode of the Pulse of the Practice podcast on your preferred platform (Google PodcastsAppleSpotify,) or here.

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