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A Business Advisory Success Model

Creating a successful model for business advisory success in an accounting firm requires a dedicated approach to the right structure, infrastructure, engagement and delivery systems and processes. While processes are important the most important factor is people and for that matter the right people who really want to be part of a new divisionalised service.

When I look back at over 15 years of consulting to accounting firms, one firm that built a business advisory model is worth noting. When I first met this regional firm, they were doing extremely well in core accounting services. It was very scalable, systematic, and very profitable so why change?

They wanted to create a business advisory service model that did more than just compliance and called me into help. They also wanted to create a unique selling proposition (USP) that differentiated their firm from their competition. The very first thing we did was to complete a business advisory assessment where we focussed on the firm’s current model and desired future income and services. We also addressed any issues and risks that could impede growth and future aspirations for success.

Essentially the firm wanted to:

  • Provide a greater range of value-added services to existing and prospective clients;
  • Further develop the practice and enhance the turnover of fees in the advisory services stream;
  • Create a sustainable system and processes within the practice to deliver advisory services and;
  • Develop suitable software solutions as they are required to assist in the administration, management, and delivery of services.

The next step was to undertake a business advisory planning day and work through a systemised process to develop a business advisory implementation plan. That plan identified among other points.

  • the right structure in the firm to enhance business advisory services;
  • the services you can offer successfully to clients to get them engaged;
  • the right clients to start with and the right tools to create success;
  • the ideal staff to recruit or develop with the appropriate skill set to offer this service;
  • the right systems, processes, and procedures to create efficient scalable advisory services;
  • the right business advisory software and how to achieve a return on that investment;a
  • a fast-track system to develop your business advisory services using a structured process of accountability.

When I look back on their journey, they upfront, displayed a commitment to change their model to integrate this new service. They also developed a plan to address the capacity issues in the firm and with their team and recognised that if that was not done “air would be taken away” from the advisory model. Further they identified team members who really wanted to be advisor, trained, and developed them and put adequate administrative support into the advisory division.

Their key measures for success were identified and the Advisory partner drove performance off the back of budgets and KPI’s with a champion managing the process and administration staff managing the CRM and other tasks. Today they are going great and in my mind are the perfect demonstration of a committed firm that planned to succeed, resourced appropriately, and has created a divisional model that really works and is profitable!

To start your journey why not reach out to me and we can start the process with a Business Advisory Assessment teleconference. A 45 minute complimentary, no obligation look into the future of your firm. Just drop an email to [email protected] to confirm a suitable time.

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Mark Holton

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