Sam Allert, the software provider’s managing director – accountants group, told AccountantsDaily he believes accountants should rethink their fee structures to better serve their clients’ needs.
“Fifteen years ago I joined this industry and back then there was all this talk about value-billing and how the whole industry must change to value-billing. And do you know what? It was right then and I still believe it’s right now,” he said.
Mark Holton, director at Smithink 2020, also told AccountantsDaily he thinks value-based billing “is the way to go”.
He said the shift taking place, from compliance work to advisory services, is a great opportunity for many practices to implement this change.
“I’m a big believer that if you are going to go to the advisory piece that you need to put a new proposal in front of the client for that and it needs to identify the clients' specific issues, how you believe you are going to address those issues, how long it's going to take and how much it’s going to cost,” he said.
“One of my great beliefs with the advisory piece in practices is that they should have a variety of different package-type arrangements, yet [have] the flexibility to adapt them to the client as need be. A good firm might have, for the lack of a better term, a platinum, gold, silver and bronze package and each package steps up a little bit and offers a little bit more value-based service.”
According to Mr Holton, many firms are reluctant to change their billing structures as they feel uncomfortable selling a value-based offering. This, he said, is actually a lot easier to overcome than many firms and practitioners think.
“Firstly, don’t go in there ill prepared is the message I’ve got. You need to do a business advisory implementation plan and you need to understand, before going to market, exactly what you’re selling, exactly how you’re going to deliver it and exactly who’s going to deliver it,” Mr Holton said.