It’s time to confront reality and offer more of the services that clients need

It’s time to confront reality and offer more of the services that clients need
March 27, 2017 Scott Charlton

To move away from being just another compliance-based accounting firm, you must expand your service offering and be confident in your ability to deliver. Whether it be directly, or by referral this capability should also include a robust solution for clients’ financial planning needs.

Picture the following scenario.
You have a busy day ahead. There are two accounting jobs to be reviewed and finalised today. You also need to return the phone calls of three clients who rang late yesterday when you were in a meeting. You have client appointments on either side of lunch and somewhere you also need to fit in some pressing admin tasks. Sound familiar enough?

However today is different. The first order of business is to meet with a financial planner who was introduced to you a few weeks ago. Somewhat against your better judgement you agreed to an appointment and today is the day.  

The planner duly arrives and proceeds to talk on and on about different issues of varying degrees of importance. You have listened politely, all the while feeling a rising sense of unease about the time ticking away and the day’s other commitments. A precious hour and a half later when the planner has finally exited you are a further four phone calls behind and your emails are banking up.

Doubtless you have been in this situation, or found yourself stuck in a meeting while a financial planner methodically goes through their fact-finding document with your client.

While the planner will see this as an opportunity to develop a relationship, it represents something entirely different to an accountant – time that might otherwise have been charged to clients and reduced hours in which to handle the day’s other priorities.

Understandably, you may be feeling extremely wary about embracing a vision where there is much more financial planning activity.

Before adopting a model where financial services become an integral part of your firm’s proposition, it’s important you feel assured that this can be made to work both practically and financially.

To this end, you need to address concerns such as meeting normal compliance commitments, creating the necessary capacity to offer more services and importantly, how to interest clients in what you intend to offer.

It’s a challenge to consider doing things differently but be encouraged that clients want you to be more actively involved in their financial future.

In 2017 Scott Charlton has issued a challenge to accountants, asking them to step up “be the complete adviser your clients need you to be.”  In order to meet the challenge. Scott understands that Accountants need to be bold. They need to have critical conversations with their clients; offer the sort of services clients may not know they need; and have the courage to accept that they may not yet have the skills or the knowledge they need to meet their clients’ requirement. The solution lies in a program aptly named, The Bold Accountant.  To find our more contact Slipstream Coaching.