Our lives are dominated by technology. From the phones in our hand, to our wearable tech around our wrists, to the tools we use to run our businesses. We’re experiencing a once-in-a-generation shift in the way businesses operate.
For the accounting industry one of the single biggest innovations has been the move to the cloud. Where once we had manual calculations and hours of data entry, technology is stepping in and automating the menial, low-value tasks we all used to spend our time on.
This is freeing the entire accounting industry from the day-to-day drudgery and letting advisors focus more on the higher value activities that help boost the success of their clients.
The shift to the cloud is creating a shift in accounting, especially when it comes to how we perceive and demonstrate value. We’re no longer seen as tax consultants. Working on a single ledger, in real-time with our clients means we’re able to develop closer client relationships and up-level to offer more CFO-type services.
Advisory services are becoming the new norm
In the world of accounting, has been the inventory of a practice. But there’s a limit to how many minutes or hours you can bill when you’re charging out your time in six-minute increments. Moving to advisory services lets you differentiate your firm and generate new revenue. Advisory and consulting services revenue growth was up in 2015 for 32 percent of small- and mid-size North American accounting firms, according to the latest International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) Global SMP Survey. There’s a similar trend happening here in the UK, and right across the world.
To move away from recording your time to a value-based model, procedures and processes need to be automated. Despite the automation factor, it doesn’t change your value to your client. They want you for your expertise and how you can analyse the numbers of their business, not for how long it takes you to run a calculation.
By freeing up your time, accountants can offer advisory packages to small businesses that were previously not commercially viable – either it was too expensive for the small business owner or there wasn’t enough margin in it for the accountant. With better access to data, the role of