Tax & AccountingMay 18, 2023

3 steps to developing a successful advisory services model for your accounting firm

By: Wolters Kluwer Tax and Accounting

It may seem like circular logic, but one of the best ways to help your business grow is to help your clients grow their businesses.

The aftermath of the pandemic, the looming recession, and ongoing economic uncertainty have created additional uncertainty for both tax and accounting firms and their clients. In fact, according to the Wolters Kluwer Annual Accounting Industry Survey, that uncertainty and keeping up with changing tax legislation are two of the top five challenges firms of all sizes face.

That same survey found that 84% of accounting firms say their clients’ desire for year-round advisory services has increased. Tax planning is the most in-demand service, followed by tax advisory services and business consulting. Building an advisory practice that focuses on the value-add services your clients need is a great strategy to set your firm up for long-term success.

Those are reasons why strengthening advisory services should be a priority, many firms need help with the how. This exact struggle is why several of our experts discussed – in a recent webinar – three steps firms can take to develop an advisory service business model.

These insights, experiences and best practices, relevant to firms of all sizes and technology choices, focus on these three steps:

1. Implementing accounting advisory services

Define a menu of service packages based on the client’s specific needs – including bundling tax advisory services with each engagement, get tips on determining pricing for each package, and creating an automated monthly subscription are all covered during this discussion.
Not sure where to start with pricing? Advisory service fees, on average, can be five times more than tax preparation fees!
Since growing revenue and profit was a high-priority goal for all firms in the survey, adding these services is a move that’s perfectly timed.

2. Communicating new services to new and existing clients

Once an advisory service plan is put in place, it’s time to sell those services. That starts with actionable ideas on how to communicate the new advisory business model to existing clients, and how to advertise online and on social media to attract new clients.

3. Transition existing clients from their current plan

As part of shifting to a new advisory mindset, shifting current clients to advisory relationships will increase your value as a strategic partner in the process. One way to do that is by using technology like CCH Axcess™ iQ, which can enhance your client relationships by using predictive intelligence to proactively identify which clients will be impacted by tax law changes so your staff can offer timely guidance. 
Our experts also share advice on standardizing tax advisory services delivery across the firm, conducting a capacity analysis to evaluate how many staff to dedicate to advisory services, and tips on training them.
Plus, they discuss how to use the Return-on-Investment Calculator for CCH Axcess iQ to help identify how much this software solution could save your firm in productivity and administration compared to your current processes for offering tax advisory services.

Ready to learn more?

Watch the “3 Steps Your Firm Can Take Today to Develop an Advisory Service Business Model” webinar on-demand now by clicking here.

Wolters Kluwer Tax and Accounting

Wolters Kluwer Tax and Accounting is a leading provider of software solutions and expertise that helps tax, accounting and audit professionals research and navigate complex regulations, comply with legislation, manage their businesses and advise clients with speed and accuracy.

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