How to Progress from Accountant to Certified Business Advisor
Posted on 20th July 2017 in Advisory
Written by Amy Harris
With the only certainty in business being uncertainty, it is obvious why millions of businesses worldwide need better access to on-demand performance insights. True advisors help their clients make better decisions with less risk. Spreadsheets, standard general ledger report packs and historical desktop software will not give you the armoury you need to deliver on this. Yet, being an advisor is about so much more than software – from pricing to soft skills to selling, your entire team needs the right tools and skills from an associate to partner. In this blog, we explore an industry first, our brand new fully CPD accredited advisory certification programme.
Advisory services are not a new concept in the accounting industry but most firms won’t generate more than 20% of their revenue from this channel (some of our partners started their journey with us with <5%). Pre-cloud computing and data being online in one location, advisory services were vastly different from what can actually be achieved today. There is no doubt that technology is accelerating the speed at which compliance is becoming a commodity and, the next phase, is the promotion of accountant to an advisor. Time, plus data, equates to actionable insights which can be used for informed decision making when it matters most.
The past: education and delivery was disjointed
The industry has never had a robust, end-to-end process for accountants to become advisors – to scale advisory internally and externally. If you wanted to be an advisor you could download a spreadsheet template, order books on Amazon, sit through a host of powerpoint presentations, join webinars, try out some light-touch software or attend a conference. The issue with this learning style is that there was no process, workflow or accountability.
The future: completely integrated approach
Until now, education, enablement and market-leading software have existed independently from each other. If you’ve grasped why you should be an advisor, you didn’t have a manual on ‘how’ to deliver. That is what our team of CPAs, CIMAs, developers, advisors and community are working tirelessly to change. When you take an integrated approach to working you remove friction – this has been our approach from the beginning.
Advisory Certification (CPD Accredited)
After almost 3 years working with accountants, advisors, CFOs, banks, investors and business owners we’ve witnessed a variety of different working practices. When it comes to advising clients and providing genuine value, we know what will work and what will be a waste your time.
“Since our launch back in 2014, we have witnessed (and been part of) a huge change in the accounting landscape. The cloud has brought never seen before automation advancements. Business owners expect and demand higher levels of service than ever before. But, change is hard. How do you learn new software? How do you sell it to your clients? How do you motivate your team? How much are you going to charge for it? How do you advise your clients with confidence?
It is these common challenges that prompted us to bring together everything that we have seen, learned and experienced, from both our partners and business owners, to produce this comprehensive training programme. We’ve worked across time zones with industry experts to ensure this is truly end-to-end – no matter where your client is based, what their turnover is or how well they understand their numbers.”
Hannah Dawson, CEO & Co-Founder
In 6 in-depth, comprehensive online courses, which total 25 separate modules, we’ll take you through the complete advisory journey with rich, dynamic content. Example modules include:
- Building dashboards that affect change
- How to price your services in the real world
- Best practice month-end processes
- Alerts and client monitoring
- Reporting and forecasting for consolidated groups
- Handling common internal objections
This isn’t an old process done differently in new software. Our certification is a hands-on learning experience which gets under the hood of the why and how to be advisors. It’s a new skill you can sell and it will eradicate the sticking points and roadblocks that have prevented true profitability from advisory services in the past.