As we’ve seen throughout the last year, SMEs are looking to their accountants for advisory services. As technology allows us to do more in less time as the years go by, accounting professionals who charge hourly for their services will be making less money if they fail to reinvent their activities and find ways to add value to their services.
The best way to provide advisory services nowadays is by being anticipatory and proactive. In the past, financial advice was given after studying the past to adapt to changes and try to predict the future. Now, the best strategy is for accounting professionals to prepare themselves so they are able to anticipate emerging trends in business, demographics and broad social developments.
Clients are seeking proactive advice, and studies, like a recent one conducted by CPA.com, show most firms – 92 per cent of CPAs, are not “future ready”, and over 70 per cent of clients – mostly SMEs, have changed firms in search for more pre-emptive financial advice.
For firms and professionals looking to become anticipatory, most of it involves being able to use both Hard and Soft Trends – future events that will happen for certain, and those that may occur but are subject to influence, respectively. Knowing how to separate these allows accountants to better anticipate changes, and better serve their clients in helping them prepare for disruptions and predictable problems.
The best way to ensure a sound future for you as an accounting professional or for your firm is to learn how to better serve your clients and use technology to improve your productivity and collaboration. Being able to provide valuable advice to your clients in less time than your competitors is the only way to become a true game-changer in this industry.