As technology advances, automation is used for financial and accounting processes traditionally done manually. In response, accounting professionals are shifting roles—transitioning from task-oriented, compliance work to comprehensive strategic advising.
An Accountants Today report says accounting professionals should skill upwards as technology becomes more sophisticated. By leveraging process automation for tasks like data entry and bookkeeping, you can become a trusted advisor. By becoming a trusted advisor, you can benefit financially and intrinsically. On the financial side, trusted advisors tend to receive repeat business and new business via referrals. On the intrinsic side, you can spend your time doing high-level, value-add work.
Assess How You Can Add Advisory Services
Since many accounting professionals feel they don’t have time to add advisory services, the first step is to analyze your own operations and recognize the efficiency afforded to you by new technology. You can do this by assessing how technology affects your billable hours. For instance, how much time does cloud accounting software save you each month?
The goal is to consider how you can shift from a technical advisor to a trusted advisor. As outlined in a book called The Trusted Advisor, “The trusted advisor is the person the client turns to when an issue first arises, often in times of great urgency: a crisis, a change, a triumph, or a defeat” (Maister, Green & Galford, 2000).
By using new technology to complete repetitive work in less time, you can add performance advisory services like business intelligence and growth profitability, and strategic advisory services like succession planning and risk management. After you analyze your operations and discover ways to increase efficiency and revenue, here is a five-step process for integrating advisory services into your practice.
As automation impacts the accounting industry, firms are shifting from compliance offerings to advisory services. To remain relevant and attract better, higher paying clients, accountants must become trusted advisors. “There is no greater source of distrust than advisors who appear to be more interested in themselves than in trying to be of service to the client” (Maister, Green & Galford, 2000). Listen to your clients without distractions and add value after you understand the problem.
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