‘Do nothing’ at your peril, accountants warned
With compliance revenues fast declining, accountants who do not diversify their services risk their future prosperity, according to an industry white paper issued by Prime Financial Group.
Simon Madder, Prime CEO and managing director, noted that while compliance work once formed the backbone of most firms, future growth requires an expanded service offering and an embrace of the changes that have “swept up” the accounting sector.
According to the white paper, a diversification of service offerings is the key for accountants to take advantage of “a golden opportunity” in a changing environment.
“Progressive firms are now aware that to avoid losing revenue you need to provide more advisory services in order to grow your client base and help those clients achieve their financial goals,” Mr Madder said.
“The clear message is that while accounting firms aren’t offering a diversity of service they will struggle."
The white paper also detailed the need for technology to be employed as an important strategic counter-balance as the compliance end of services is “eroded”.
“If accounting firms don’t start addressing technology and outsourcing to seek to reduce the cost of their compliance work, becoming more competitive and freeing up their teams' time to engage and value add for clients, then they’re going to miss the opportunity and they will lose their position as the client’s trusted adviser,” the paper said.
Mr Madder added that with financial advisers setting up accounting divisions while simultaneously offering lending solutions, “the lines between bookkeeping and the traditional accounting space are blurring”.