Accountants lack confidence to offer advisory services, research claims

A new research report, released by research house Bstar, shows accountants do not have confidence in their ability to successfully deliver business advisory services.

Bstar's Accountants Research Report 2016 indicated that 81 per cent of accountants continue to lack confidence in their ability to deliver advisory services, a sentiment due largely to a lack of knowledge regarding the characteristics of their clients and their firms as a whole.

“Most accounting practices don’t know enough about themselves, and their practice,” the report stated.

“They don’t have a clear understanding of what they can offer, who their target client is, and how much to charge. Before accountants are ready for advice services, they need to do their homework.”

According to the findings of the research report, only 32 per cent of those accountants surveyed had segmented their client base in an attempt to identify future growth opportunities.

“By segmenting their client base, accountants can assess the potential for growth. Once this is confirmed, the opportunity is to introduce and grow leveraged advice services in their practice,” the report added.

Bstar indicated that many accounting firms have adopted a practice adviser in order to provide independent advice, support and practice planning in an attempt to guide their transition into advisory.

Fifty-seven per cent of respondents revealed that they had indeed appointed an independent adviser to assist their growth and operations, representing year-on-year growth of 39 per cent from the 2015 findings.

In transitioning from a compliance based practice to an advisory focused model, BStar proposed that firms follow five key phases:

  • disrupt
  • transition
  • leverage
  • protect and grow
  • specialise. 

While confidence levels regarding a transition to the advisory space are low, accountants do recognise the need to grow their business through business advisory services. 

The newly launched AccountantsDaily Business Advisory Day will provide accountants with the tools and information they need to integrate new service offerings and boost their business.

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