By expanding the types of services you provide to your clients, your accounting firm can thrive. Offering different services expands your potential customer market, and you can charge higher rates due to your distinguished, integrated services. Your customers receive better information and have a better arsenal of data to make more well-rounded strategic decisions. This added value increases your business opportunities, makes your billable rate increase, lowers your risk of customers dropping your service, and separates your service portfolio from other accounting practices.
After you compile your clients’ financial records, take the results and help make their products better. Start by looking at specific product costs. Advise your clients on how much it costs to produce their goods or deliver their services. Propose alternative ways to operate their business such as opting for different materials, changing the manufacturing process to save time, or using different equipment to increase efficiency. You also have access to customer information. Help your clients generate more sales by asking them who is buying their products, why they have the customers they have, and what are the additional needs of their customer base.
Upon completing the financial records for your client, take a look at what risks your client is facing. This opportunity to communicate future challenges lets your client plan with better information. By telling your clients what risks are approaching, you reduce your risk of losing them due to default or financial difficulties from unforeseen market challenges.
If you want to diversify your accounting practice, shift from only offering short-term services to services with long-term perspectives. A lot of what accounting firms do focuses on historical transactions. Instead, offer unique services such as long-term planning or strategic development. Take the financial numbers you report and work with your clients to build goals for the next three to five years. Make an actionable plan of how these goals will be met. For revenue, research growth rates and identify potential new markets. For expenses, help your client find ways to be more efficient or advise the elimination of unprofitable products. Instead of recording or reporting on the past, advise your clients on what they can do in the future.
A great opportunity to provide consulting services to small businesses is by helping with succession planning. A succession plan is an actionable set of processes that occurs when the owner leaves the business. It’s typically created to pass the business along to somebody else in a seamless, smooth transition process. As you get to know your client’s operations, you have the chance to help build the succession plan from an operations, marketing, legal, and logistical viewpoint.
Lastly, if you’ve worked with your client over a period of time or if your client has historical records, you can look at its performance trends. Using this information in conjunction with your client’s goals, help it achieve business expansion. Analyze and report product and service profitability, and dig into market opportunities. Explore startup costs for new locations and what economies of scale can be leveraged. By managing its finances, you know what the company is capable of and what additions must be made to grow.
Instead of sticking to traditional accounting and bookkeeping, expand your services to provide consulting and advisory services. Become more forward-thinking, and help your clients grow to new markets, plan for the future, and minimize their business risk.