It was interesting reading the latest Accountant’s Report 2016 prepared by Bstar that listed the four top business concerns facing accountants in 2016. These concerns are listed in order of priority as:-
- Attracting new high value business clients
- Transitioning from a compliance to an advice service business model
- Declining fee growth rates and profit margins
- Capacity and time constraints
In my previous blogs I covered the first three concerns for accountants. This week I will cover the final concern – number 4– Capacity and Time Constraints.
Declining Fee Growth Rates and Profit Margins
- Accountants do not have the time to deliver advisory services.
- Accountants do not know how to resource advisory services, they do not have capacity to deliver advisory services.
- Accountants are being told by accounting bodies that they should free up time to offer advisory services but they are not telling them how.
- Accountants are overwhelmed with all the technology that is on offer to help them free up time in their practice so they can deliver advisory services.
- Accountants do not have the time or the expertise to market advisory services to their clients and prospective clients.
According to the Bstar Report 2016, 48% of accountants are utilising technology effectively to improve practice efficiency and there has been a marked increase in the use of outsourcing solutions. Even though practices are becoming more efficient, the gains produced are expected to be short term. Accounting practices will now have to implement formal strategic or growth planning in order to maintain productivity.
Rather than increasing the burden on existing high performers, practices are now using leveraging techniques when deciding who is best suited to implement advice services.
According to Bstar’s 2015 Small Business Research Report, business owners want advice and they want focussed advice. They need professional assistance from an adviser they trust.
The solution to this time and capacity challenge for accountants is to engage the services of a business coach/ marketing strategist that has the know-how and the systems to assist the accountant with the smooth delivery of business advisory services and at the same time assist the accountant with the marketing of the practice.
To take this one step further, the ideal situation for the accountant could be to engage in a joint venture with the business coaches/ marketing strategist as they are qualified to deliver business and marketing advisory services to small business owners. The business coach could perform all the heavy lifting for the accountant, and, being a marketing strategist, can at the same time assist the accountant with the marketing of the practice. And this could all be included with the joint venture arrangement. This is a win/win situation for both parties. The business coach has a constant flow of referrals from the accountant and the accountant has business owners that are growing their businesses and requiring more services from the accountant.
To catch up on the previous three blogs covering concerns 1 to 3 click on www.bizconnectionsjointventures.com.
And stay tuned for next week’s blog.