How expanding into business advisory benefited my accountancy business.

Multiple Australian Accounting Award-winner Kyelie Baxter has always offered business advisory services to her larger clients. But during the past 12 months, the Managing Partner at IQ Accountants in Queensland has seen increasing demand from her firm’s smaller clients, who are keen to seek business help during these difficult times.

“These smaller micro clients are really interested in business advisory,” says Baxter. “We discovered that maybe [the service] is not as price-sensitive as we once thought.”

As a result, IQ Accountants has extended its business advisory offering to its micro clients and has had great success. Baxter partly attributes the smaller clients’ interest in business-advisory services to the pandemic.

“A lot of the stimulus packages forced them to get their numbers done so quickly, so what they were doing was actually looking at things on a much more regular basis – monthly or weekly or fortnightly,” she says.

That meant they could track their progress much more efficiently and get to know their numbers much better. For some clients, business advisory is as simple as some advice around better management of cash flow and incomings and outgoings – aspects that may be harder to determine if the business only looks at its numbers annually.

Because IQ Accountants was already offering advisory services, it hasn’t needed to hire additional staff. It has, however, changed the way the firm markets its services. “We’ve been able to expand [and] we’ve been able to scale,” she says.

Addressing client pain points

IQ Accountants’ approach has always involved the latest digital technology, which means the advisory services can be delivered remotely if a client needs them. Baxter also expects a measurable increase to its bottom line as its services expand to reach a wider audience.

“I think it will change the shape of the business as more people see value in this kind of thing,” says Baxter. “We’re going to be offering these services upfront when we’re meeting with clients – it will be more of a value add.

“Micro clients have different needs and different requirements with different kinds of pain points, but we’re still providing them the same kind of service. The overall work is still similar; it’s just on a different scale.”

The range of services IQ Accountants offers includes preparing a business plan, management advice, cash-flow planning and projection, systems development, business expansion, budget development and trading-structure planning.

Baxter was the back-to-back winner of the Australian Accounting Awards Partner of the Year (Boutique Firm) in 2019 and 2020, the 2019 MYOB Certified Consultant of the Year and 2018 MYOB Accountant of the Year.

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