Accountants

How to Add Consulting Services to Your Accounting Practice

As you are already a professional with experience and knowledge, why not put that knowledge to good use outside of the traditional role of an accountant? Working with clients as an accounting consultant can provide greater opportunities for work and revenue generation.

Should you decide to add consulting to your roster of accounting services, then here is what you need to know about marketing consulting services going forward.

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What Are Consulting Services?

When a business or individual hires a professional consultant, they are acquiring the help of an experienced and knowledgeable person to advise them in a number of ways. Should you choose to add consulting services to your accounting practice, these are various advisory roles you might consider taking on:

  • Accounting
  • Financial reporting
  • Auditing
  • Business planning
  • Strategic planning 
  • Grant writing
  • Career counselling
  • Payroll management
  • Tax planning


Consulting vs. advisory

Consulting services and advisory services are similar. However, advisors tend to work with clients on a long-term basis, offering advice surrounding ongoing business issues. On the other hand, a consultant is hired for particular business problems on a short-term project basis.

Responsibilities for an Accounting Consultant

An accounting consultant is a professional accountant that helps clients manage their finances. They conduct financial forecasting and auditing and analyze financial statements and data to determine how they can help their clients improve the profitability of their businesses. They do not necessarily take on the responsibilities of an accountant, like managing client books, but they offer their professional knowledge in an advisory capacity.

A consulting accountant understands financial, and tax laws, ensuring clients keep compliant with all government regulations. They can also conduct tax research and file financial reports and tax returns for their clients.

Overall, small and large businesses hire professional accounting consultants to help them manage their financial position. Similar titles for this role include accounting advisor, financial manager, and financial advisor.

Benefits of Offering Accounting and Consulting Services Together

Since you operate your own accounting practice, you have total control over assisting clients and using your professional expertise to your greatest advantage. There are numerous benefits to growing your services and adding consulting to your roster of professional accounting services, including:

  • Securing additional revenue streams: A greater number of services means a greater opportunity for income generation.
  • Accessing new technology and developing new skills: You’ll learn more by working in different capacities with various clients, developing new skills and experience.
  • Getting your foot in the door: For example, you might secure a consulting position with a business that has the opportunity to grow your work with them and take on more responsibilities or other roles.
  • Growing your practice: The more services you provide, the more likely you are to secure clients. More clients mean more work, allowing you to grow and expand your business.


6 Steps to Adding Consulting Services to Your Accounting Practice

If you are looking to add consulting to your accounting practice services, your process will be similar to that of selling advisory services. Using the steps below, you can successfully implement your new services into your business.

1. Consider all the possible services

Before updating your business site with your new services, you should list out every type of consulting service you feel comfortable doing. Assess your skill set and knowledge base to determine what consulting roles you would be the most successful in. You should also consider the types of industries you could work within.

Suppose you have a deep understanding of tax laws and tax accounting – then a tax consultant is right up your alley. If you are interested in financial reports and data analysis, consider offering financial planning and consulting. Have an affinity for the latest gadgets? Consider working as a consultant within the tech industry.

On top of deciding what type of consulting services you want to provide, you should also consider how you will offer them. One of the most influential small business trends of 2021 is the shift towards remote services. Providing remote and online consulting can help separate you from the competition while offering convenience to your clients.


2. Research and due diligence

Once you are sure of the list of consulting services you would be comfortable taking on, you’ll need to research the current market. Conducting a competitive analysis can help you determine what your competition is doing within the industry.

Choose the top five or ten accounting practices or professional accountants in your area or industry that you will most likely come up against. Then, research and take note of their available services, marketing strategies, business website, online and social media presences, how they interact with their target audiences.

Making notes on all of these aspects will help you identify where you fall within your industry and how you can improve your chances of drumming up business. Then, use their weaknesses to your advantage, and mimic their strengths to get ahead.

3. Brush up on your knowledge and train employees

Whether you operate your accounting practice alone or have hired employees to help you with your accounts, everyone on your team should have up-to-date knowledge covering all of your accounting and consulting services. If not, consider signing up for some online refresher courses or boot camps for you and your employees.

You might also sign up for any newsletters or monthly reports covering your related industries and subject matters. Getting the latest news to your inbox will help you keep updated on everything you need to know for your accounting and consulting services.


4. Set up a pricing structure

Adding new consulting services to your established practice means creating a pricing structure around this new addition. For example, how much will you charge clients for an hour of your time? Will you offer bundle discounts to new and existing clients, cutting prices if they secure your accounting and consulting services together? If you offer multiple consulting services, will you price them all the same?

You’ll want to implement a pricing strategy that covers all of these questions before offering your services to new and existing clients. Maybe come up with a few different pricing tiers or categories to match your varying professional service

5. Use a CRM system to help understand your client

If you bring together your accounting and consulting services, you’ll need a CRM system to help you manage your client relationships. A customer relationship management system keeps you connected with your clients and enables you to streamline processes to improve profitability. In addition, a CRM system can support you through the client lifecycle, including outreach and marketing and customer service.

CRM systems can offer seamless integration with your accounting software to help you keep all client data in one place. If you’re looking to shorten your sales cycle, manage contacts in one place, and streamline your internal services, then these are all signs you need a CRM.

6. Begin marketing your consulting services

Marketing consulting services can be done in many ways, as both online and offline methods can help you increase your client roster. To begin, you should create a marketing plan that will map out your strategy going forward. This marketing plan should state your outreach goals and the actionable steps you can take to get there.

Consider using multiple methods to reach your target market and increase your consulting sales. For example, local SEO tactics, such as optimizing your website for local searches, can help improve your online visibility and get you noticed in your area.

At the same time, reach out to your current clients who you know are happy with your services. Ask them to refer you to their friends, family, and colleagues. Referral marketing is a great way to leverage your current success and take advantage of your client’s networks as well.

Overall, if you add consulting services to your accounting practice, you’ll need the right tools to manage your new offers. As an accounting consultant, you’ll need to manage new clients and client data. To do so successfully, integrate your services with QuickBooks Online Accountant. QuickBooks software gives you direct access to your client’s financial data while freeing up valuable time so you can focus on advising your clients to succeed. Try it for free today!

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Next: How to Get Consulting Clients Fast>>


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