Free compliance service offerings emerge

New technology is changing how accountants charge their clients, with some firms now offering compliance services for free.

Jamie Johns, CEO of Sky Accountants, has revealed to AccountantsDaily a tiered fixed-price service offering, which heavily discounts compliance work.

A bronze, silver, gold and platinum package is offered to each prospective client, with the bronze and silver tiers incorporating simple bookkeeping and compliance procedures.

As clients adopt advisory services with the gold and platinum packages, compliance work is offered at a 50 per cent and 100 per cent discounted rate respectively.

“When you get to your gold and platinum packages, which include quarterly management figures, quarterly or monthly meetings or monthly prepared financial statements, you’re getting towards that virtual CFO role,” said Mr Johns.

“Because you’re doing all that work, we allow ourselves to discount the client even more."

Mr Johns believes that incorporating a model like this acts as a successful selling point and as a means of shifting from a compliance-driven practice.

“We will give you some incentive to move to business advisory, which we think you’ll get more value out of,” he said.

Speaking to AccountantsDaily, Mark Holton, director at Smithink, described the model as “somewhat radical”.

“I think a lot of firms would look at that and think they wouldn’t want to do it, let alone couldn’t do it, because of the conservatism around the industry around compliance  and let’s be honest, it’s the bread and butter of the industry,” he stated.

Mr Holton conceded that although the model is unique, it should not be immediately disregarded.

“Conceptually, from a holistic point of view, if I’m doing well enough in advisory and I’m making that as profitable as I possibly can, then I don’t see any reason why that particular model shouldn’t at least have an opportunity to succeed,” he said.

“The industry needs disturbing, there’s no doubt about that.

“It’s radical, and maybe the industry needs a bit of thought. Maybe taking it to that degree isn’t the way for many firms, but at least considering different models probably should be the way,” he concluded.

 

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