May 25, 2022

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How consulting services can achieve business growth for accounting firms

Businesses and organizations today are facing increasingly complex demands in all facets of their operations. Many businesses understand they need to optimize those operations; however, they often do not know what steps to take to achieve maximum results. To support clients in navigating these challenges, consultants can offer operational assessments and analysis for a wide variety of scenarios. These unique qualities help businesses identify the actions necessary to achieve their business goals.

Offering consulting services gives accounting firms a competitive edge, advances and deepens client relationships, and opens doors to new growth opportunities.

Firm growth and profitability

There’s been a shift in the industry where more and more CPA firms are expanding their offerings to include consultancy and advisory arms of their business. Leadership in accounting firms is starting to see the potential and value that consulting services can offer. In fact, the consultancy service market as a whole is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 4.30% from 2021 to 2026. The impacts of COVID-19 on businesses have accelerated the need for management consulting services to help businesses rebound post-pandemic and implement strategies to increase overall growth and efficiency. The position of trust that accounting firms occupy within the business community makes adding consultancy a natural step in their evolution.

Consulting services that are a natural outcrop of accounting firms are primarily related to technical accounting, taxation, finance and transaction advisory, and compliance amid an ever-growing regulatory environment. By adding consultancy to a collective portfolio of services, firms can expect to generate additional value for clients they serve, which will invariably lead to additional revenue streams. With an increase in the number of services, firms can make a significant impact on growth, not only in their top line but maybe more importantly on their profitability.

Customization and personalization of consulting 

No two businesses are alike, and therefore they will have unique goals, objectives and barriers. Consultants offer tailored solutions that suit a business’ specific needs and help clients translate their financial data into profitable business decisions. Firms that have taken on adding consultancy practices are doing so to deliver value creation and help clients work toward both short- and long-term business goals.

Accounting business advisors and consultants offer a customized approach to public and private businesses, nonprofit agencies, health care organizations, government agencies, etc., and in a wide array of areas, including business valuation and succession planning, investment banking, mergers and acquisitions intelligence, fraud, cybersecurity, compliance, transportation, cannabis and more. Through their experience in a wide range of both services and industries, firms are well-positioned to offer customization of management reporting in support of critical business decisions.

Enhanced client relationships and loyalty

Through offering tailored solutions and understanding of core business goals, consultancy services can strengthen client loyalty and retention. As noted above, one of the great benefits of adding consulting services to a firm is organic growth with existing clients, but adding more depth to these relationships will mutually benefit both parties. Already having a deep knowledge of a business, consultants can easily jump in on specific strategic projects for traditional clients, reducing the time needed to onboard and educate a new service team about the relationship. This provides efficiency and effectiveness that can be a powerful motivation for clients confronting mounting challenges.

A new way of doing business

Pivoting or adjusting current business models to incorporate consulting services can help drive business growth and profitability, open the door to more growth with clients, and set an accounting firm apart by offering specialized consulting in unique areas of business. This type of integrated, holistic service approach will likely continue to grow in the accounting field as clients look to partner with firms that offer a wide variety of services, expertise and critical thinking under one roof.