How Can a Public Accounting and Advisory Firm Help Your Business?
Shifting your firm into a business advisory model will transform you into a strategic partner for clients, increasing revenue and positively impacting client relationships. It also opens doors for more meaningful work for you and your team.
Traditionally, revenue in accounting firms has been driven by compliance services completed. However, shifting to advisory focuses on identifying clients’ goals and setting their path toward them.
Core Accounting Services
A CPA firm offers many accounting services, including performing financial audits and helping businesses manage their tax obligations. These core accounting services allow clients to trust their financials and make informed business decisions based on accurate and up-to-date data.
For a new business, an accounting and advisory firm can help lay a solid foundation for growth by creating accounting processes and systems that guarantee compliance with regulations and efficient financial management. These can include setting up a business structure, establishing reporting systems, and creating financial procedures to facilitate the flow of data and information.
Accounting and advisory firms like your NetSuite partner also provide consulting services that go beyond compliance work. These include helping companies develop strategic plans to grow their businesses, identifying ways to reduce tax liabilities in a fiscal year, and navigating complex federal and state laws and regulations.
Strategic planning and business consulting can set your firm apart from competitors, particularly regarding the value you deliver to your clients. These services can be promoted by focusing on critical topics that resonate with your target audience and positioning yourself as an expert. This could mean writing a blog, hosting a webinar, or participating in networking events. In addition, you can offer hands-on training sessions on various technologies to empower your clients to take control of their financial management needs.
Business Consulting Services
Business advisory services are a valuable complement to core accounting, tax preparation, and financial reporting services. These non-audit services help businesses achieve their strategic goals, reduce costs, improve profitability, and more. Business advisory services are also known as management advisory services and can include many different areas of advice.
These include helping clients reduce taxes, make significant process changes to their business, secure bank financing, acquire a company, or even exit their business at the right time for the best results. A good accounting and advisory firm will work closely with clients to understand their goals, provide professional guidance and research assistance, and act as a sounding board to help clients make decisions that will impact the company’s success.
Some accounting firms specialize in advising on specific industries, such as construction or mergers and acquisitions (M&A), given their expertise in that niche. This allows them to build deep relationships with their clients and provide a more meaningful service beyond compliance reports.
Adding advisory services to your client engagements can increase your firm’s profit margin, connect with clients on a deeper level, and help them take their business to the next level. If you want to expand your advisory services, some provide content, tools, and guidance for forward-thinking accounting and advisory firms wishing to grow their business.
Financial Statement Preparation Services
Financial statements provide a detailed snapshot of your business’s financial health. Whether you’re looking for loans or investors or to grow your business, the numbers revealed in these reports and documents are essential in ensuring your company is on the right track.
These financial statements can take many forms depending on the type of business. Still, most include the profit and loss statement, balance sheet, cash flow statement, or statement of stockholders’ equity. These are typically produced monthly, quarterly, or annually and can be used by many stakeholders to understand the business and its performance better to understand the company and its performance better.
When preparing these reports, the accountant must ensure that all relevant accounting policies are followed and presented clearly. They may also need to help management with judgments regarding amounts and disclosures, but the financial statement preparation process should always be maintained.
Depending on the level of assurance you require, there are three primary levels of financial statement preparation services: compilations, reviews, and audits. Compilation is the most basic service and involves compiling data provided by the client and presenting it in the form of financial statements. It does not offer any assurance, and the accountant will not analyze or test the information in the report. Small and micro businesses or self-employed individuals primarily use it.
Tax Preparation Services
Professional tax preparation services help clients file their taxes accurately and ensure compliance with federal, state, and local laws. These services can include client consultations, document collection, data entry and calculation, form completion, and reviewing completed returns to ensure accuracy. Tax preparers may provide educational information and guidance to help clients understand their taxes, filing obligations, and potential tax benefits. This work often operates on a seasonal basis, with peak demand occurring during the tax-filing season of January to April each year.
In addition to these traditional tax compliance services, accounting firms can offer a suite of advisory services that can help fuel business growth and support clients on an ongoing basis. These advisory services are “developing findings, conclusions, and recommendations for consideration and decision making.”
Providing advisory services allows an accounting firm to shift away from serving as a one-time tax compliance processor and move into a more valued and meaningful role in clients’ lives. This new and powerful model offers a profitable way to differentiate from the competition while offering additional revenue streams and deeper client connections. Increasing the scope of a firm’s advisory offerings can also encourage staff to stay at the company and avoid turnover that can result from focusing exclusively on compliance activities.