A research of Small Accounting Practices by Black and Thompson of Accountancy SA found that accounting firms could no longer rely on traditional accounting services as their main source of revenue. The needs and demands of SMEs are leaning toward “value-added business advisory services.” What is striking in this report is that the need for a change of service types was not limited to one country. The United States, Great Britain, European Union, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa were included in that research. The findings reported that CPAs and CAs could attract SMEs to their new CFO model services by instituting the following changes in their practices:
- Set out a clear vision and roadmap for how to change your practice
- Train your people on the new required skills
- Focus on specific industries to target
- Promote the change to existing clients as well as new prospects
- Develop collaborative network with other firms to extend your reach
- Change your business model to sell your knowledge rather than your time
- Embrace the CLOUD to allow you to engage with clients in a responsive and transparent manner
The authors also researched what services the SMEs are requesting of their CPA/CA practitioners:
- Managerial competencies that they lack
- Integrity and Trust; something most of them already have with firms with which they are currently engaged
- Responsiveness, personal attention, and ease of access
The clients want this, and software accounting companies like Xero, Intuit, and Intacct are promoting the demand to CPAs and CAs.
Some points to consider:
- Where is your firm going?
- What is it doing to get there?
- Without movement, we perish.
- Goals are not attained unless you do something!
- Evaluate, improve, adjust continuously