Advisory services are swiftly becoming one of the most lucrative opportunities for accounting firms. However, it may seem difficult to diversify from your day-to-day compliance work to begin to make advisory services a key source of your firm's revenue.
Accountancy firms need to act quickly to ensure that they offer their clients a range of advisory services, move with these new trends, and increase revenue sources.
With rising costs for businesses, it may seem like an odd time to offer additional accountancy services. Increasing costs for SMEs are precisely the reasons clients need advisory. If you want your clients to keep trading, getting into the depths of their financial data is the way forward.
This blog post provides five key areas to address when wanting to improve your advisory service offerings.
As you well know, forecasting is a technique that uses historical data to make informed predictions about the future.
While healthy revenues and profits may help ensure the longevity of a business, short-term cash flow is the day-to-day lifeblood of any SME. Businesses need cash to pay their staff, suppliers, and to keep up with increasing prices in rent and energy.
It’s only getting harder for SMEs to keep on top of cash flow, the average wait time for example for small businesses to be paid rose to 30.5 days as of August 2022. Accurate cash flow predictions will help small businesses mitigate these ebbs in their bank balance and plan for the future. It enables companies that may be struggling with their cash flow to find new ways within their business to make a profit. It may be time to let go of some expensive outgoings and focus on the lines of their business that are most consistently lucrative.
Help with Pricing
Small businesses often STRUGGLE with pricing. From undervaluing their goods and services to not knowing where to start in the first place, getting pricing right is a notoriously difficult task.
This problem has only been further exacerbated by steep rising costs of raw materials, wages, and energy. Business owners are naturally alarmed by how this affects them.
Businesses need a helping hand in pricing their offering. It could be the difference between keeping them trading or shutting down shop.
Running scenarios across your clients’ financial data will help in this process. Using scenario modelling, clients can find out what their business looks like based on predicted changes in sales, increases in prices, and operational changes. You can create these scenarios through intricate Excel spreadsheets or use fast and affordable tech-based solutions to run their financial information through.
Key performance indicators (KPIs) are one of the best performance metrics small businesses can use to track progress toward their goals. They keep objectives at the very front of business owners’ minds and have powerful impacts on motivating staff to achieve.
Working to the right KPIs is important for businesses to stay on target. Working out what those KPIs should be is another matter. Enter The Accountant.
Finding out the best KPIs for a business installs confidence that they are working towards their goals and are heading toward that light at the end of the tunnel. The number of possible KPIs to track could be based on numerous business opportunities. From new inbound leads, lead conversion percentages, to upselling percentages and new qualified opportunities, there are many to choose from. Identifying the most important KPIs for your clients could be an integral part of your advisory offering. Checking in with your clients for a quick KPI health check is a small but powerful way to bring professionalism to their business and keep them ticking over.
Bespoke, user-friendly reports are extremely valuable to clients. This is where you can bring your clients’ numbers to life. The more straightforward and accessible, the better. Make the most of graphics, pie charts, graphs, and diagrams to illustrate where your clients are right now and where they are heading.
Look for reporting solutions that don’t need a data analytics degree to achieve. There are reporting features out there that any person can use. The best tools out there easily integrate with your Sage, Xero, or Quickbooks Online ledger to pull your financial data into an easily manageable document. With innovations in design and formatting, you can get beautiful and accessible reporting without forking out for a data analyst and a graphic designer.
Don't forget...You’re a business too
Just as SMEs are generating creative solutions to the many problems they face in 2023, so should you. As a business yourself, look to ground-breaking technology solutions that ensure you spend less time in spreadsheets and have more time working with clients.
Technology solutions ensure that accountancy firms can offer cash flow forecasting with minimal effort. Futrli’s 3-way forecasting software links to ledgers in Sage, Quickbooks Online, and Xero. Set it up once and prepare to get up close and personal with your client’s financial data.
Let your clients see how much they could take home through different pricing scenarios and models, instead of painstakingly processing this information yourself. It removes the risks of human error as all data entry points are synced to your clients’ financial ledgers.
Producing reports can be time-consuming and lead to some serious cases of end-of-the-month blues. Futrli’s new drag-and-drop reporting makes reports almost effortless. Simply sync with your clients’ financials to have all their data in one place.
Let technology process the mundane and spend more time on the things that matter through automated forecasting and reporting. Watch your advisory opportunities grow.