Why Good Bookkeeping and Accounting are Essential for Selling Advisory Services

Published by maccount on

Why Good Bookkeeping and Accounting are Essential for Selling Advisory Services

After reading this article I decided to add my thoughts. The article says that for growing CPA firms, providing advisory services and giving good advice needs your client to have rock-solid confidence in your firm’s bookkeeping and basic accounting. 

I’d like to add some points to this conversation. A good friend of mine owns a large accounting firm in the Northeast. He’s been offering advisory services for years and he doesn’t go near an advisory engagement if he can’t have absolute control of the bookkeeping and accounting.

Why do you think that is? I’ll explain why it’s so important for you to provide excellent basic accounting services that can’t be questioned:

Better Decision-Making: Now, more than ever, you need to be able to use data to make good decisions. Accounting is all about accurately recording what your clients did. Advisory is about telling your clients what they should do – based on what they did

You can’t give advisory services if you can’t trust historical data! You can use clean data to identify opportunities for growth, assess risks, and work on strategies to help your clients reach their goals.

Greater Profitability: With clean bookkeeping and immaculate records of accounting, you can help your clients grow. How do you do this? By isolating where you can cut costs, get better resource utilization, and increase revenue. If your clients are more profitable, you are more useful, and your advisory services are worth the money. That’s the idea, right? But does it always work out this way in practice?

Selling advisory services to your clients is a huge challenge in the real world, even if the opportunity is clear. Many partners have been giving this advice away for free. So, it can be hard to go back to existing clients and ask for fees. 

I recommend you tackle this problem in two ways. For new clients, the best time to strike is from the get-go. Make sure you clearly separate advisory services from other services when selling to and onboarding new clients.

With existing clients, ask them if you can provide more complete advisory recommendations in the shape of formal deliverables, and adjust your fees accordingly. I will say that positioning advisory services to existing clients is a much bigger topic for another article. 

The bottom line is that clean bookkeeping and accounting are essential to selling CAS and advisory services. With accurate data, you can help your clients make better decisions and make bigger profits too.

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Yann Beaullan-Thong

Yann Beaullan-Thong

Yann is Accsurant’s president. With 20 years experience and six different technology startups behind him, Yann has a proven track record in developing innovative solutions based on his technology and financial acumen.