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How Accountants Can Better Sell Advisory Services
Episode 8730th January 2020 • Accounting Influencers Podcast • Rob Brown (Accounting Influencers Roundtable - AIR)
00:00:00 00:26:02

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John Thompson is an expert in how to delivery advisory services and build an advisory led practice. He currently runs F3C Advantage which helps accountancy practices of all shapes and sizes that want to get serious about developing advisory services. He advocates an advisory delivery platform called CAS – the Complete Advisory Solution. He knows exactly what clients want from accountants, what accountants feel about advisory and why to date so many dabble rather than get serious. Shownotes:

  • Accountants have been doing advisory for years - it just hasn't been called advisory
  • Some software vendors go to far in selling their solution as the silver bullet for accounting firms
  • How compliance can drive advisory - it's definitely not dying and they go hand in hand for accounting firms
  • Some accounting firms lead with compliance into advisory - others flip this and lead with advisory into compliance
  • Very few accounting practices plan more than 12-24 months ahead
  • Why accountancy firms should be more advisory led, for themselves AND their clients
  • On average, accounting firms should expect to leverage an extra £2-3 of advisory fees from every £1 of compliance for at least 20% of clients
  • There are money other benefits aside from revenue when accountants offer more advisory services to their clients
  • The big barriers or obstacles to accounting firms increasing their advisory offering
  • Accounting advisory is an internal phrase - what really counts is helping clients and asking good questions
  • The way to set a culture of advisory in an accounting firm is to set in place the right processes and training
  • The big mistakes accounting firms make when positioning and selling advisory services
  • If accountants spend quality time really understanding their clients' goals and aspirations, advisory opportunities naturally follow
  • Tips for pricing advisory services, using a combination of time based and value based approaches
  • Why it's dangerous for accountants to assume that if clients want advisory services, they'll ask for it
  • The majority of accountants who want more advisory work are already doing it, but are just not organised and structured with it
  • Where confidence comes from with accounting advisory
  • Niching for certain accountants is a good move, but it can be difficult for a number of reasons
  • At the highest level of advisory is a business coach, and many accountants operate at this level
  • The key traits accountants need to succeed with advisory is to like people and be curious
  • The future of accounting services will be as a concierge - identifying opportunities and signposting to key experts
  • The different levels of accounting advisory and how tech helps deliver it
  • How some of the accounting associations and institutes are failing to lead the profession.

John Thompson on the Accounting Influencers podcast with BD Academy founder Rob Brown

John qualified as a Chartered Accountant and was FD of a fast growing M & E Contractor in the construction sector. He came back into the profession to be a 100% New Business Director in a Regional Practice where he helped tripled the GRF in two years by focussing on an advisory-led approach. He then became Advisory Partner in a top 10 firm where he trained over 100 partners and managers in the nuances and practicalities of client advisory before setting up F3C.

John is also involved with a start-up social enterprise in the health sector called Talk Healthtalk. It focuses on educating and supporting the HIV Community. He also holds several consultancy and NED roles with SMEs in sectors as diverse as construction, manufacturing and professional services.

When not working with accountants, Geordie John lets Newcastle United FC play havoc with his blood pressure. He once taught JPR Williams, the Welsh Rugby Legend, to drink Newcastle Brown Ale properly and in his younger days, he once beat Steve Cram, the great 1500m runner … at pool. You can connect with John here:



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