How to move your practice towards business advisory

2nd March, 2017

Do you want to move into the world of business advisory, but you’re not entirely sure how to get started?

During our recent INCITE roadshows, many of you asked MYOB team members how you can get started on the business advisory journey.

As accountants and bookkeepers you have an insight into your clients’ numbers that others don’t. Often, you can see an opportunity to create value before your client does.

Believe it or not, you have the potential to be an absolute rock star for your clients and partner with them in business.

Getting started can be tough, though.

As with any transition in your business you need two things: a plan and the tools to put the plan into action.

The plan

Start with a small number of clients at first, and gradually move from following the numbers to leading the business.

1. Diagnose key areas of your client’s business for quick wins

Which area of the business is your client struggling with?

Given your experience ‘under the hood’ of your clients’ businesses, you’ve probably got a few ideas already. Take advantage of analysis and visualisation tools from the MYOB ecosystem to help with this.

2. Implement smart tools to solve your client’s problems

Thanks to cloud accounting and APIs, there’s a huge range of add-ons and tools you (or your client) can use to solve shorter-term problems and establish your expertise in solving client problems.

3. Review data, then look for opportunities for longer-term growth

With a shorter-term win under the belt, use your analysis and visualisation tools to discover and plan for longer-term growth.

This could be anything from facilitating business loans to ramping up your client’s business efficiency.

4. Find focus areas and implement tools or processes

Now that you’re focusing on longer-term opportunities, you can work with your client to implement new processes or manage change while they implement new business software or tools to drive business growth.

5. Continue to meet with your client regularly

A key component to advisory is understanding your clients – and clients change. Meet with them regularly to talk about their finances and goals.

Gain an appreciation of their concerns and worries, and celebrate their wins.

You’re now on the path to becoming a business advisor.

The tools

Reep – business insights, forecasting and budgets

Start with a tool that gives you quick insights into a business, but can also grow with you so you can rely on it as you build out your advisory story.

Reep is a data visualisation tool that simplifies the business.

From its simple traffic-light system through to more complex cash flow forecasting and budget management, Reep can help you get quick insights – or take a client on a journey through their finances.

It could be as quick as 30 minutes from signing up to Reep to connecting your client’s file and having your first dashboards and analysis of the business done.

Debtor Daddy – get outstanding invoices paid faster

Is your client’s cash flow being impacted by invoices taking a long time to pay?

To help drive those debtor days down, try implementing a tool like Debtor Daddy.

Debtor Daddy finds the outstanding invoices and crafts messages, alerts and workflows to help you get paid faster. It even sends and manages some of those messages for you.

Lending – helping your client grow

Now that you’ve corrected the business’ outstanding loans, and you’re meeting regularly using a tool like Reep to simplify the conversation, it’s time to think about growth.

Sometimes businesses just need a cash boost to help them capitalise on an opportunity.

Bringing it all together

Bring together strategic thought and the tools to help your client achieve their business goals means you’ll soon find yourself broadening out your services to the advisory side.

It’s about seeing an opportunity, planning for it, managing your client’s cash flow and taking them on a journey into their future.

*Loans are issued by On Deck Capital Australia Pty Ltd ABN 28 603 753 215.

MYOB holds a 30 percent stake in On Deck Australia and has a referral agreement under which it earns a commission on loans referred to On Deck Australia.