We're delighted to welcome Clarity to our AGC Members morning on the 18th March 2021 at 11am.
For years accountants have been told to move from compliance to advisory. “Compliance is dead!” is an often-heard rallying cry. We know this isn’t the case. Small businesses will always need assurance over the raft of constantly changing regulations and legislation. Compliance is here to stay. But for most accountants, a pure focus on compliance services doesn’t deliver sustainable profitability. Combining compliance AND advisory is a path that does work for many (including the larger accounting firms). But it’s not just about more money………. it’s also about more impact and more happiness.
Are we going to continue to report on history or are we going to help our clients create history?
An old quote from Andy Gove (Intel) springs to mind, and I paraphrase…. “we are at an inflection point, where nothing less than a fundamental shift in strategy is sufficient”. He was talking about the cloud, hence the relevance to accountants. I think it’s way more important, crucial and basic than that. Given what’s happening in the world and in business at the moment, we are at a defining moment. As accountants, are we content to continue to report on history? Or, are we going to listen to what our clients desperately want and need from us, and help them create history? Just imagine, creating magic for them and creating magic for ourselves, our team and firm in the process.
So what is business advisory and how does a firm implement or scale business advisory services? Advisory certainly has been a tough nut to crack and scale in the past! Success at business and business advisory is much the same as baking a cake.
Quite simply to deliver business advisory:
- you need to understand where your clients are now [what ingredients do you have in the cupboard];
- where could/should they get to [what cake can you make with the existing ingredients or should you make a different cake with other readily available ingredients];
- calculate the gap [what ingredients and utensils do you need to bake];
- create a plan [check out the picture, get a recipe and create an action plan with timings]; and
- measure and monitor actual results against the plan [check the oven and adjust temperature and timings as necessary]
Business advisory really is that easy. In fact, this exact same framework is used by large scale consulting agencies, Big4 firms, small niche advisory accounting firms and pretty much any other business in wealth management, marketing, branding, time
Why has it been so hard to implement and scale business advisory?
Traditionally, business advisory hasn’t properly leveraged the right combination of people, process and technology.
Advisory services are often delivered by more senior team members (partners and managers), to top clients and often with a bespoke service. This works well for our top-tier clients, who can afford and are prepared to pay for that type of service. Senior team members have limited time, so what happens when we try to introduce more junior members to the equation and offer advisory services, using traditional methodologies, to our smaller clients?
The more junior team don’t have the experience and existing systems and processes are still heavily dependent on time-starved senior team assisting, training or delivering. Smaller businesses are not prepared (or able) to pay the fees associated with a bespoke service and the most senior team members. And often, partners assume that smaller businesses, who reluctantly pay for accounts and tax returns, won’t want to pay for advisory services – even though they do pay for coaches, mentors and business organisations.
Clarity understand that the top 20% of clients will always want, and the firm will inherently deliver, a great (often unstructured) advisory service. And also understand (from our years of working in accounting and delivering niche business advisory services to small business owners) what business advisory is, how it’s priced and delivered and how to introduce and scale advisory services using the right combination of people, process and technology.
Clarity offers a platform that is high impact and award-winning strategies, proven framework and processes enable you to introduce and/or scale business advisory services that small business owners want, at a price that they are prepared to pay and in a way that delivers profitable revenue to the firm.