The traditional role of accountants and CPAs has been through a great many changes in the last decade itself. With disruptive trends like cloud-based accounting, the growing popularity of accounting software, IoT, artificial intelligence, and process automation, CPAs all over the world were becoming more and more uneasy with technology invading and even replacing the traditional accounting practices.
Many CPAs however soon found out that these disruptive trends can help them shed their traditional role of accountants and become more than simple tax preparers and financial consultants. In this article, we shall discuss briefly a few ways, by following which, CPAs can become trusted business advisors with incomparable business value.
The lack of tangible feedback that actually enables businesses to enhance their operational performance is a persistent business challenge. Solid business enhancing feedback and its lack thereof occurs due to many factors like improper scheduling, inflexibility in operations, etc.
Accountants armed with accounting software tools can help such businesses procure and analyze real actionable intelligence that transcends mere financial statements. They can come up with the concrete benchmarking and performance data which businesses can later use to optimize their daily operations and act as a trusted business advisor rather than just a financial consultant.
No business owners will ever be against tangible business enhancing feedback. However, they might not have enough financial and accounting knowledge, which diminishes their ability to properly analyze the strengths and weaknesses of their business. This is where cloud accounting tools and services are highly efficient as accountants can now show insightful business data to the owners in real time, from anywhere and anytime.
It enables accountants to be available to their clients all the time and also enables them to collaborate with the business owners and walk them through every element of finance, accountancy, and much more. This ensures that the business owners and the business accountant are on the same page and both parties understand each other.
Cloud hosted accounting solutions such as QuickBooks Hosting can also enable CPAs to automate certain tasks like data, entry, report generation, etc. This again helps to save time by eliminating the need for tedious data entry tasks, which accountants can now use elsewhere to analyze and optimize for additional business value.
Value Adding Services
Service diversification as a strategy has worked well for both accounting firms and individually practicing CPAs. By incorporating more business value adding services into their working profiles, they have managed to now act on a level which influences both the wealth and the future of the business. The following pointers highlight a few basic principles which help accountants and CPAs deliver greater business function and value.
1. Hindsight: The act of reporting past outcomes in accountancy is known as hindsight. However it is impossible to add any value through hindsight reporting, but it does, however, allow businesses and accountants to better gauge their financial standing and capabilities.
2. Oversight: It is the act of reviewing accountants and finances to create reports that might have future benefits, or addresses issues that are yet to arise. Eliminating issues well before they actually become problems is a great way to add business value and allows accounts to act as business advisors rather than simple financial advisors.
3. Insight: Reports created with the sole intent to analyze the current implications of financial statements and other essential business elements is the insight level. Accountants armed with hosted QuickBooks and other cloud accounting solutions has a better chance to clearly convey all such business and financial insights to the business owners. This way accountants can help business owners to properly understand and strategically react to current business issues.
4. Foresight: Repots that scientifically break down business goals and operations to identify key performance indicators. Accountants who also act as trusted business advisors as well can use this principle to create reports which help predict future business goals and performance, with the help of the previously mentioned performance indicators.
With the growing trend of technologically assisted accountancy, accounting firms and individual CPAs have slowly started to expand their working profile and offer advisory services along with accounting services. Accountants and CPAs who can offer businesses with deeper insights and perspective which enhance business value apart from their regular financial expertise are the ones who can shed their traditional roles/practices to become trusted business advisors for their clients.