It’s time for a paradigm shift in how we view the accounting profession. Gone are the days when accountants were seen as only compliance officers; today’s accountants are advisors by nature, navigating the complexities of a digital financial landscape to guide clients toward growth and stability.

In an era where data and digitisation are reshaping the future of tax administration and automation pressures pricing, the role of accountants is evolving. 

As a CPA and founder of The Small Business Project, I strive to illuminate the path forward, advocating for a unified approach where advisory and compliance are not just complementary but intrinsically linked. 

This seamless integration ensures that accountants provide value beyond compliance and foster a proactive partnership with their clients.

Accountants already perform advisory tasks within daily compliance work, offering insights and strategies that significantly impact clients’ businesses. 

However, these invaluable services often go unrecognised and underutilised, primarily because they lack formal structure and definition to be positioned as valued paid services. 

By identifying and structuring these advisory moments, accountants can ensure they are appropriately valued and compensated for the knowledge and expertise shared.

To begin to structure advisory for clients, these steps will get you started:

Inventory of Advisory Moments

Begin by recognising the advisory tasks you already perform. Whether it’s strategic tax planning, financial forecasting, helping a client plan for the cashflow requirements of GST and Income Tax obligations or identifying operational efficiencies during compliance engagements, these are advisory services in disguise.

Communicate Your Value

It’s crucial to articulate the advisory aspect of your work to clients. Ensure they understand that your role extends beyond compliance, offering strategic insights that drive business success.

Formalise Your Advisory Services

Structure your advisory offerings with clear definitions and outcomes. This not only helps in recognising the value of these services but also facilitates appropriate pricing and packaging.

Educate and Engage

Use every client interaction as an opportunity to educate them on the strategic value of your services. From compliance meetings to financial reports, weave in advisory insights that highlight opportunities for growth and efficiency.

The future of accountancy lies in recognising and harnessing the advisory potential inherent in every accountant. 

It’s time to step beyond the outdated compliance vs advisory divide and embrace our roles as holistic business advisors.

Embrace this integrated approach and redefine what it means to be an accountant in today’s dynamic business environment.

If you would like more information about the 4-Step Advisory Process for accountants and accounting teams watch this free CPD Advisor Masterclass for Accountants in public practice, 

“How to deliver more advisory solutions to compliance clients”

For resources to equip yourself with the necessary skills and structures for effective advisory, visit The Small Business Project’s Advisory Resources