Can bookkeepers become business advisors?

Two bookkeepers advising a client on what to do next in their business with a report and pen in hand sat opposite their customer.

There’s much talk of CPAs and CIMAs becoming business advisors that bookkeepers can sometimes get overlooked. With the industry shifting so majorly, where do bookkeepers stand?

Automation in platforms such as Xero, QBO and MYOB help accountants and bookkeepers complete tasks in record time. This means you’re freed up to focus on advising clients. Compliance isn’t going anywhere – it’s a necessity – but it’s transformed to need less attention and input than before.

But is there space for bookkeepers in the advisory space?

We think there absolutely is. Our client, Fresh Financials took on a more management accountant type of role for their clients and owner, Emma Fox, Winner of Xero’s 2016 Bookkeeper of the Year Award, told us:

We do training for bookkeepers – they worry automation will lose them revenue! They need to 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.

There’s a lot of value to be added to services and clients alike by embracing advisory. It’s a case of changing perception and thought processes. Thinking outside of the box in ways to improve things for client businesses, and using your analytical skills to create strategies to move businesses forwards, is how you’ll remain competitive.

Becoming an advisor will help your firm to:

Reduce churn. When you’re providing advisory services, your clients will start to trust you more than ever. Their trust becomes loyalty as you’re helping them on their path to success.

Add value to services. Because advisory services aren’t a physical entity, they can be difficult to price out. Look into moving away from hourly billing, as some services are worth more and some less.

Increase fees. You’re providing more information than ever before, and you need to be charging for it. Your knowledge is invaluable to clients, therefore, you need to make that clear by charging correctly. There’s evidence that millennials prefer paying a monthly fee, so take advantage of this MRR – it’ll provide a great backbone for future changes.

Get the ball rolling

Embrace CPD to upskill your team. There’s not much additional effort required on your part, you just need to find a suitable course and allocate your team some time to complete it. We believe in this so much we made our own advisory certification. It takes you to the point of mastering the Futrli platform and through internal rollout and external scaling, so covers every base you can think of.

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