Using Online Advisory Services to Increase Your Revenue

by Oriana Gorrin

In today’s digital world and marketplace, establishing effective online interactions while delivering serviceable consulting solutions digitally presents itself as an ambitious yet heavily missed growth opportunity for accounting firms.

Helping to enhance and optimise clients’ operations by adopting new efficacious financial and interactive cloud-based systems can also contribute to open many doors for your accounting organisation’s success. 

However, for many accounting firms delivering specialised advisory services will require more than an engaging, well-planned implementation strategy. Preparing for this calculated transition needs to be focused not only on awareness of the huge opportunities ahead but also on developing a new set of skills to add to their business plans and continuity – bridging the possible gaps by bringing and implementing larger, beneficial strategies.

On this blog, you will learn more about:

⚡ How to focus on offering sustainable advisory by relying on effective technology and cloud-based systems to fuel productive yet affordable decision making

⚡  How to get existing compliance clients to see the value in new advisory services

⚡  How to implement the three P’s: Prepare mentally. Prepare strategically. Prepare sustainably

⚡  How to enforce the freemium advisory content model and much more

Whether you are partnering with clients focusing on granting technology-enabled solutions or simply catering for their specific needs, we have got you covered. This blog has been strictly made to help and guide you during this transition journey.

Adopting a Market-driven Approach to Enhance Your Advisory Services

Having a great demand during the pandemic, advisory services saw a rise of clients seeking trusted advisors to guide them on how to navigate the crisis regarding their financing, taxations, audits, and other changes, with the Asia-Pacific territory experiencing the greatest growth in this particular field. 

The impact the pandemic had on advisory services has created an opportunity for today’s accountants. And although advisory services have been going on long before the pandemic, the pandemic seemed to accelerate the trend. Potentially advantageous and very profitable, it is still difficult for many.  

The challenges facing accountants looking to develop their advisory services broadly fit into three main areas, depending on where you are on your journey. 

When referring to accounting services on demand, it is worth remembering how these can be differentiated into 3 major focus areas: 

  • Compliance Level. Limited to offering the client to comply with the law at the most basic level.
  • Performance Level. Understanding growth profitability and focusing on business performance.
  • Advisory Level. Encompassing advising and planning and that includes mastery of your app advisory skills. 

Those who are just beginning require support in figuring out first what they should offer, and secondly what to charge for it. Regarding the main tiers within app advisory, for instance, we find three main stages: level one or app recommendation, level two or app implementation, and, finally, the full app advisory stage.

The benefits of having an advisory-centred approach are many. And to offer your expertise on the matter, you’ll also be growing your revenue, saving plenty of time while deepening clients’ relationships. It’s a win-win situation.

With clients looking for expertise and demanding a well-developed skill set, fast onboarding also means experts embracing coaching and advisory-related training and services timely. Firms steadily growing and caring for clients’ preferences will be better positioned to give clients value, advice, and effective ways to meet their goals. 

In this area, Heather Smith, Founder at Anise Consulting, a cloud-based consultancy firm specialised in management accounting and based in Brisbane,  has clear expertise in harnessing technology to grow productive and profitable business. 

As a life long learner, Heather has found app advisory to be an enjoyable, interesting and challenging opportunity.  She believes investing in harmonious consultancy partnerships is vital for success.  Furthermore, she recognises that the riches are in the niches. Choosing to focus on an industry, identifying a tech stack that services that industry and figuring out what the optimal client looks like, a technique known as triple niching, can help in both marketing your offerings, and delivering advisory services. 

In this regard, Will Farnell, Founder at Farnell Clarke, knows how to clearly summarises that “advisory is about really great relationships. It's about making sure that we can use digital platforms to engage better with our clients to enable those advisory conversations”.

For Will, it’s about getting closer to clients. “We have to think about ways that enable us to get closer to our clients to build better relationships and, in doing so, we build a better understanding of the challenges that our clients are facing.”

“The technology that is available to us means we can deliver that so efficiently and so effectively for the client and in doing so, we get the opportunity to engage in weekly conversation. With our clients, and it's really simple. The more we talk to our clients, the more likely we're going to be in front of mind when they have that question that I mention in my definition of advisory. This gives us the opportunity to turn it into revenue,” he admits.

For Willy Tan, Managing Director at Forbis Accounting Pte. Ltd., advisory services offer the opportunity of helping in measurable, achievable ways. His current focus is centred on “getting achievable tasks, to help the player to troubleshoot and pinpoint their major pain points, digitalising it as much as possible.”

Influenced by the pandemic’s HR disruptions, Willy’s organisation has helped many traditional-based firms in their efforts of job redesigning. They have also been ​​doing a lot of governance lately, mainly for charities, nonprofits, and social enterprises with a special focus on restructuring the organisations and taking care they meet the rules.

Henry Tan, Group CEO at Nexia TS, realised the importance of diversifying their compliance-based audit services. He has seen more and more discussions on sustainability and climate change. “We all know that sustainability is a keyword. In every meeting now the two main topics are pandemic, and sustainability and climate change.”

From that perspective, Henry’s organisational efforts have been directed to maintain a successful sustainable advisory content model. “I think we do not have all the answers for sustainability advisory, especially related to climate change. It is about risk management. And then that's how you then link into the sustainability,” he continues.

The Future Dynamics of Client-oriented Advisory Services

With technology still transforming the world in the coming years, the accounting industry will continue to be poised for growth. Repositioning yourself and your business as well as reimagining your advisory skills will prove essential to add real value to your clients.

Indeed, there is a multitude of benefits when developing your accountancy advisory services. And, as you may know by now, the excellent potential for increased revenue is just endless. Embracing these fresh opportunities to learn from your clientele to offer them relevant consulting solutions will also increase the credibility, effectiveness, and overall relevance of your products and services. 

It’s an ideal time for accounting firms to invest and foster a sustainable approach to advisory services, applying and re-evaluating the right tools and trends at the right time with innovation and inventiveness. 

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