By Dave Lechleitner, Product Marketing Principal, Exact US Cloud Solutions
As an accountant, you hear time and time again that you need to offer more than ‘just’ tax and compliance services. You are under increasing pressure to provide value added services and move on from being seen as a traditional accountant.
But being seen as a truly valued and integral resource to business decision-making and planning by clients is often easier said than done. In my mind, there are three key steps that need to be addressed in order to help you provide the services that will take you from being an accountant to being a trusted business advisor.
Ensure you have access to data
The dreaded pile of receipts arriving days before the end of the financial year is becoming less common, although is still not entirely a thing of the past. More and more SMBs will update their bookkeeping on a regular basis throughout the year, that task made simpler and more efficient with more SMBs adopting technology solutions to help them with that. But whether the numbers arrive in a shoe box or the receipts are diligently scanned in on a daily basis using software, it’s in the numbers that accountants can find the rich source of data that allows them to add their value proposition and help clients to grow.
Analyze and interpret that data
Finding that add-on value through business and financial data can be challenging for accountants however, given the often diverse sources of information now available to businesses. They need to analyze the data and interpret it before being able to advise clients. Thankfully, there are plenty of tools available to help but finding the one most suited to a client’s specific needs can be tricky, so practitioners should be open to using different platforms to make that process efficient and effective.
Use that data and know-how to offer trusted advice
Most accountants will have a wealth of experience of the needs and challenges facing businesses operating in variety of sectors. They will have knowledge and insight of what has worked and what has failed for different businesses. This know-how, combined with the skill set to interpret a client’s own data, is what makes accountants best placed to offer accurate and trusted business advice.
And, from an inward looking perspective, the more value you can add to a client’s business, the stronger the growth and reputation of your practice.
Are you ready to move from a “traditional accountant” to a strategic business partner?