As we shoot towards 2019, it’s important to understand what lies ahead. While we can’t predict the future (but our software can!), there are some trends we know that will dominate the industry. Some have been in the pipeline for some time, while others are new. Here’s our roundup of advisory trends that will surface in the coming year.
MTD makes its debut
What seems to be the most talked about topic over the last year or so, Making Tax Digital is finally coming into play in April 2019. Businesses above the VAT threshold in the UK will be required, by law, to declare their VAT using commercial software for digital tax. This is leading the way for more and more digitalisation across the business and accountancy worlds.
Cloud accounting takes over
With a predicted market value of 1.8 billion by 2026 and an expansion rate of 8.6% year on year from 2018, cloud accounting is a force to be reckoned with. We’ve been in the depths of this market since Futrli was launched and have seen it grow from strength to strength. We’re sure that any practice that fails to adopt this kind of software will find themselves lagging behind competitors in the space soon enough. Xero reported earlier this year that firms adopting advisory services have seen an uplift in revenue of around 60%, so this is certainly the year to get on board.
Machine learning & automation continue to grow
Linked to the above, the tech businesses forging a new path will be looking to new ways of increasing visibility over businesses and making processes more efficient. The possibilities seem unlimited with machine learning. We’ve explored the tip of the iceberg here at Futrli, and encourage you to watch this space…
Forecasting & scenario modelling take centre stage
As ever, getting insights into the future is a key part of advising clients. With Brexit, MTD and other changes bringing uncertainty to the UK economy, trade laws and political climate, there’s never been a better time for putting safeguards in for businesses. Even a simple two-year forecast based on historical data will give a business owner more direction than if they were to go it alone. Similarly, playing with scenario modelling to test the outcomes of decisions will empower clients to learn the best, worst and middle cases that derive from their actions.
Leading with knowledge is paramount
Another huge part of advisory is using cloud accounting to do the heavy lifting while you lead clients with your knowledge of business and industry. For many entrepreneurs, they’ll feel alone when it comes to making decisions because the buck stops with them. Keeping learning at the forefront of your work and your client meetings is paramount to making clients feel at ease.
Marketing new services is a must
Marketing is becoming one of the most important pieces of the puzzle for practices. 2019 is going to see the firms which have adopted advisory start to up their game with their promotional work. Not just great for winning new clients, your marketing effort will encourage client retention. Business owners are finding it easier to shop around for accountants who will serve them best, so let your clients know you’re on the ball and keeping pace with them. The power of marketing is undeniable. We’ve even created a Marketing Starter Kit to help you get going.
Consultancy becomes essential
There are businesses working in new ways across the globe. From remote to satellite working, the call for accountants to become agile too is notable. Visiting the companies you’re advising is a must, as you’ll gain a better understanding of how they work and what their goals are. Plus, if you’re doing site visits, use the commute to do your planning. Being a consultant means you can work in a way that suits you.
A great strategy will drive firms forward
Your strategy is going to drive your success. Internally, think about who could head up your advisory team. This will put you in great stead for rolling out your new way of working to your clients. When you get your team aligned, your external strategy needs to be realistic and achievable. Celebrate the positives and make sure that everyone’s on the same page. If you need a little extra help, speak to our team about our Marketing Starter Kit – it has a full range of tips and tricks to help you get your strategy right.