Bounce Back Series: How one accounting firm delivers more value for clients while increasing revenue and reducing contact time
In another Bounce Back feature, we speak with partner and head of BDODrive, Mark Sykes, on how they adapted to the challenges of lockdown for clients and how it is breaking the time-for-hours equation with better results for the businesses it serves.
Mark Sykes, partner at BDODrive believes it's time to make life simpler for business owners. And it's the job of accountants to make it happen.
"Accountants have always felt it necessary to make things sound really big and complex," Mark explains. "'Hey, I'm an accountant, so I'll explain to you what the implications are of discounted cash flow models and all the rest of it!' That's not what businesses need to know."
Rather than focusing on the way firms have traditionally served clients, the time has come for accountants to step into the role of true business advisor and look beyond compliance to clients' business objectives.
"The job of the accountant has shifted from Excel spreadsheet jockey and using all sorts of fancy formulas to engaging with the problem your customers have," Mark explains. "You have to think about what the customers are trying to achieve, and then look at the information and help them make sense of it."
The days are long gone of charging clients a huge amount for producing comprehensive forecasts. To deliver greater value, BDO Drive has developed the concept of intense two-hour workshops designed to look across the business, people, finances and come out with clear actions.
"The big challenge for me and others this year has been the depth of support," Mark says. "My focus is about getting the service right for the clients."
He points to COVID as an accelerator for the shift firms are now having to make. Those, like BDODrive, who have been grappling with the challenges of automation and technology to deliver better service, are now well-placed to take advantage.
He feels it's also time that accountants shifted away from equating hours with money. There is a real opportunity to move pricing away from being based on prepping data and focusing on the outcome. Accountancy firms can use this as an opportunity to grow - as long as they get their focus right.
"What we should be aiming for is impact," Mark concludes. "We should be going into businesses and saying that I'm only going to have a 10-minute meeting with you. But I'm going to improve what you're doing, and I'm going to give you the piece of insight that's going to save your business."
Mark Sykes spoke to Futrli CEO Hannah Dawson and COO Helen Cockle as part of the Futrli Bounce Back series. Watch the full interview below.
Watch the full webinar to discover:
- How the firm has made the shift away from the traditional view of an accounting firm
- What clients businesses are really looking for in their relationship with their accountant
- Why shifting the conversation is the only way to differentiate your firm to new clients
- How to manage the shift beyond compliance to advisory
- How BDO Drive prices its two-hour workshops to offer maximum impact at an affordable rate