The traditional accounting professional can perform a number of services for small businesses that will help them see more profit. Unfortunately, most small business owners only associate their accountant as the person who keeps the books and prepares the tax returns.
However, there is a large group of accounting professionals who concentrate on “Advisory Services” – all of the services accounting pros offer their clients beyond traditional compliance. These services take many shape and forms, but the top services that I feel have the most immediate impact to a business’ bottom line include:
- Pricing analysis
- Process and workflow improvement
- Key performance indicator analysis
Before we deep dive into the details on how each of these services can help a business become more profitable, let me clarify the three types of results that will increase the profit, or bottom line, for a business. Those include:
- Increasing volume/sales, while also maintaining the same profit margins and operating expenses.
- Increasing profit margin, while also maintaining the same operating expenses. This ties to increasing prices, while also maintaining the same sales volume (even reducing the volume, but with a higher price per unit).
- Decreasing operating expenses, while also keeping prices, sales and volume the same.
Ideally, going after all three of these will yield the best results. However, it is likely that the advisory services you offer your clients will aim for only one of these at a time. It is also important to mention that at the heart of any of these services, there is an accounting system, such as QuickBooks, that records all business transactions, while also having the capacity to produce reports to provide objective data to back up your assertions about how to implement any of the advice that will be given.
Let’s go into each of these services, in detail, to discuss the effect it can have on your clients.