From bookkeeper to advisory: take the leap in 2019

Can bookkeepers become advisors?

We think so.

Bookkeepers are often left out of the advisory conversation. It’s a profession rife with concern about automation taking over jobs. As much as we can see where this worry would come from, it’s actually a great opportunity to score more clients and revenue.

Bookkeeping is at a turning point. There will be small businesses needing their traditional services, sure, but for those willing to change, it’s all to play for. But you’re already at an advantage. You’ve got a book of clients who can only benefit from you experimenting with advisory services and skills.

Safeguard your clients’ businesses with real-time data

To start, try advisory out on just a couple of businesses. Explore just how much time you can save with automated processes. Next, discover how having access to real-time data will hugely benefit your clients.

The hospitality industry is a great example, as it has slim margins and a fast pace. If you were to provide monthly reports, they’d be out of date and unusable for most businesses.

When we spoke to our customer Nick Hazel, who runs Cafe Bookkeepers in Sydney Australia, he told us that having current data at his fingertips has revolutionised his client relationships:

In hospitality, a few bad days can take months to make up for. To give our clients the weekly or more frequent reports they needed we had to manually create them. Far too much of our time was spent on these kinds of compliance tasks and not on proactive tasks that could help a client plan and improve.

Until they found the perfect app stack for their firm, that is. Harnessing Xero and Futrli has allowed the team to add value to the businesses they work with, saving time, energy and a load of stress for both parties. Cafe Bookkeepers are adding value to their clients and have become essential to the running of their clients’ businesses.

Automation opens you up to more

Traditionally manual tasks are being completed much faster thanks to automation. This is backed up by owner of UK firm Fresh Financials, Emma Fox. She’s had experience in transforming a bookkeeping practice into an advisory enabled firm. She tells us:

Think about it completely differently: think about the things you can offer, this type of analysis of figures and cashflow, helping them make decisions, that’s a far more lucrative area of the business than the data entry side of things.

She continues,

Many of the bookkeepers we work with are starting to pick up on the fact that there’s a lot to be earnt in the way of revenue and customer satisfaction. It’s a shift in focus but also in where you put your attention. Use your experience in business to suggest alternative paths which might help your clients move to bigger and better things.

Emma goes on to say, “You’ve got to completely change your mindset of what people think bookkeepers do and realise that it’s so valuable to businesses to know where they’re at and make decisions based on how much money they’ve got.”

Bump up your revenue

Advisory services allow you to completely rip up the rule book when it comes to your pricing. You need to come away from billable hours as they simply don’t do advisory justice.

Create either a package deal where clients mix and match their services and price per service. Alternatively, create a monthly subscription model and provide add on services. Whichever way you do it, you’ll be boosting your revenue considerably.

We work with a firm in Darwin Australia which has nailed this transition. The small team has proven bookkeepers can become advisors. Headed up by owner Katherine Haines, the team has utilised the online curriculum in our CPD-accredited Futrli Advisory Certification course. She’s seeing great results internally and externally, as you can see in the full case study here. One stand out comment shows using bookkeeping as a stepping stone to advisory is not only achievable but well worth it:

Futrli has allowed me to add another revenue stream into my business and stay ahead of my competition. Futrli is transforming my P&L and cashflow, and the return on my time is exponential. I’m so committed to making this work because I can see the benefits for myself and my clients – it’s perfect for the Darwin market. I’m well ahead of the game and it’s really changed my whole business structure.