There is a debate in the accountancy profession at present about the challenges to recurring fees if firms restrict themselves to providing compliance services. Less skilled firms are setting up to leech away clients who begrudge paying for services to meet the demands of legislation.

Ironically, it is almost impossible to deliver compliance services effectively without including advice. What seems to be missing is recognising this fact.

For example, when you present accounts or tax returns to clients it is almost impossible to do this without offering some commentary about various issues. But on your fee note you probably describe serves as accounts preparation or filing returns.

Is there an opportunity here to reframe compliance and boost the advisory content to a more prominent position?

Could you relegate the process, of preparing accounts and tax returns, as secondary to the client review process? Perhaps your fee note could say “To undertaking a review of accounts/tax position for the period xxxx and discussing changes compared to previous years”.

In this way any conversations you have are elevated as more important than the basic accounts and tax preparation process. 

This will start to increase awareness of your firm as advisers rather than number crunchers. It will also lead to opportunities to promote additional advisory services.

Source: New feed