More and more accountants are seeing their roles become more advisory. Here's how to make that change from accountant to advisor.
There’s a central paradox to 2020. While many things have slowed down this year (the economy, travel, medium term plans), another common theme of 2020 is acceleration. Rising trends like remote working, using the cloud and video meetings have gone into overdrive.
Similarly, more and more accountants are moving into advisory positions, as automation and AI are replacing some of accounting’s manual tasks. And clients often need help beyond balancing books: a whopping 82% of businesses fail due to cashflow mismanagement (according to a survey by Insights West).
But how do you transition from a strictly accounting position to an advisory one? Here’s how to get started.
(This post will primarily focus on how accountants provide financial advice for businesses, not individuals.)
If you’re moving from an accounting position to an advisory one, you can expect to carry out the following duties:
As an accountant, you’ll already have a clear understanding of your client’s finances. In fact, you might know a company’s health better than anyone (including the owners). But you may need to do a little additional training and research, specifically on:
Conversations with business owners can be delicate, but frankness and clarity are essential. Here are some pointers on getting the ball rolling...
Many accounting consultants and financial advisors get started via word of mouth. If you’d like to broaden your reach digitally, there are a few routes you can take…
The world’s most prominent B2B platform, LinkedIn is a handy marketing and sales tool. Once you connect, it’s acceptable to send an introductory email and build from there. You should also post regularly. Use posts to showcase your expertise and avoid the hard sell. Useful, relevant posts are more likely to receive engagement.
If you’ve not used Google Ads before, don’t be intimidated. The site has a user-friendly guide to walk you through. Google ads are affordable, targeted and trackable.
Social media feeds on Twitter and Facebook, along with advertising (budget permitting) are also a good idea. Again, try to provide useful, soft-sell content. You can also grow your visibility by sharing relevant content from third parties (appropriate business news, useful articles and so on).
Automation has played a big part in changing accountants’ roles. While manual data entry has previously been a big part of accountants’ lives; now, much of it can be automated, freeing accountants to spend more time discussing substantial issues with clients.
It also makes everyday finances and communications easier. A perfect example of this is receipt capture, which enables clients to snap and upload their receipts to their accountant - instead of handing them a classic shoebox filled with paperwork.
Several accountants have changed the conversation with their clients, and moved into a more advisory role in the process. If you’d like to spend more time talking to clients and less time manually entering data, why not go for an AutoEntry free trial?