Consulting services continue to grow in accounting firms

Spotlight Reporting recently surveyed accounting professionals from the United States, New Zealand, Australia, Asia, the United Kingdom, Canada and South Africa to get a better idea of ​​accounting operations. business and future priorities.

One of the key findings from the survey highlighted the continued need for counseling services. The survey also highlighted the value of a trusted advisor. And while many companies have added consulting services to their menu of services, other companies are still struggling to create a business model that probably looks very different from their current one.

It’s not just a regional problem. Globally, more companies have created or want to create a more diverse selection of services, looking beyond tax season to offer a variety of consulting services such as forecasting, budgeting and strategy for their clients.

Although expansion is on the rise, businesses continue to struggle with staffing issues, a key factor when deciding whether to offer additional services. Due to the continued shortage of talent, more and more companies are beginning to offer additional benefits to potential employees, such as better work-life balance, which can help retain current staff and attract new employees. higher caliber in the future.

Other survey results include:

  • Nearly 80% of respondents plan to offer or expand consulting services in the future
  • 70% of respondents said they already perform mentoring, forecasting or other consulting services
  • Nearly 60% of respondents identified themselves as a hybrid company; offering both advisory and compliance services
  • Only 25% of companies surveyed identified themselves as a traditional company offering only tax and compliance services
  • 10% of companies surveyed indicated that there are barriers preventing them from offering consulting services

Although this is a small percentage, the obstacles these companies face can be significant. Barriers cited by companies include:

  • Lack of time
  • Not knowing how to start
  • I don’t know what to give
  • Not sure about pricing and competition

Although these obstacles may seem insurmountable, they can be overcome. Many experts believe that the best way to overcome these obstacles is to start and work through any issues along the way.

What areas do you want to develop in your business?

If your business primarily focuses on tax and compliance, you may want to consider adding additional services. These are the top five areas that respondents indicated they would like to develop over the next 1-2 years.

  1. Cash forecast – 68.7%
  2. Strategic planning and coaching – 65.1%
  3. Virtual CFO and Advisory Services – 62.5%
  4. Day-to-day accounting and support – 58.3%
  5. Budget creation – 55.3%

Of course, these are not your only options. You can offer payroll services, focus on cash flow management, or even help clients raise capital. You can also consider focusing on a certain industry, such as small businesses, nonprofits, or franchising.

The options are limitless for companies willing to look beyond the traditional role that the CPA firm has played in the past. It’s up to you to change the future.

The full survey is available on Spotlight Reporting.

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