Crowe Horwath senior partner Mary O’Driscoll said the firm plans to harness a family office offering provided by its accounting network Findex, as a way to grow advice services in the firm.
“For quite a few years, we have driven the family office message. 2018 will be an expansion of that, a focus on helping our clients more holistically,” said Ms O’Driscoll.
“It's more than just using data to help them grow their business. It is being a source of advice on personal financial issues.
“It builds a greater bond and I think it really is an area I’d like to see us as a business focus on as an avenue for growth."
Ms O’Driscoll further believes there is great appetite for advice from accounting firms, marking an opportunity for growth in 2018.
“Companies big and small are seeking their accounting teams as a source of advice for how to grow their business,” said Ms O’Driscoll.
“While it might have been an unspoken agreement between clients and their accountant, it's becoming something to tout in order to grow a business.
“Make it your goal in 2018 to talk to your clients about what your business is capable of offering in terms of support.”
Ms O’Driscoll believes that firms will also begin to tap into data as the next step after the implementation of cloud-based accounting.
“We are at the point where cloud-based accounting is not a buzzword term, its commonplace. If by 2018, it's not something you’re using, you’re really behind your competition,” said Ms O’Driscoll.
“The leading firms are beyond having cloud-based work being common, phase two is in place and their clients have adjusted to see it as the norm too.
"Accounting firms in 2018 are set to embrace technology further and use it to make themselves more effective assets to a client’s business. Using data to build in-depth strategies for your clients is the next step and I think the real change we are going to see in 2018.”