Making the Jump to a Service-Based CPA Work Environment

Posted 09 March by Barb Easter in Advisory, Dryrun Updates, Tools and Resources

Why your firm should consider unbundling their offerings and provide more service-based offerings.  

Recently, there has been a shift in your clients’ needs. They may not realize it yet, but your CPA clients all need advisory services. Especially in times of economic hardship, small to medium-sized businesses will require more from their CPAs than just taxes and general bookkeeping. 

When we are talking about jumping to a service-based work environment, we don’t mean that you’re not currently providing a service to your clients. Of course, you are! 

What we’re referencing is the fact that by offering your clients more of an advisory service regarding their cash flows and other financials, you’re likely to keep these clients long-term by anticipating their needs before they are even aware of them. 

Many clients do truly value the services their CPAs are currently providing, but these services are likely as part of a monthly, quarterly, or yearly bundle with only a few touch points throughout the process. In order to help your clients grow their businesses (in turn, growing the business they do with your CPA firm) you need to be able to provide advisory services. They are already trusting you with their financials, providing advisory services is the next logical step. 

Instead of worrying about how much time you’ll be spending on the phone or on video calls with your clients, imagine your them as subscribers

We get it, you’d rather charge “per service” like per tax return, per month, or per bundle. In order to switch to a truly service-based business you need to ditch this mentality. And of course, we understand what a challenge billing hourly can be. There always seems to be some pushback from clients. But if you’re providing a service that brings them value, as advisory services do, there is no need for pushback. 

What if you were to charge your CPA advisory clients as subscribers to your professional advice? 

This could look like offering a set number of hours on retainer per month, or a set number of calls or weekly updates and advice based on their numbers. 

Whatever your service packages look like, make sure to include the frequency of communication, the types of reports that will be provided, and the recommended advice for the following period. 

Onboarding clients using a tool like Dryrun can be extremely useful in this situation, as they have access to their dashboard and can prepare questions ahead of time for your next service meeting, or simply have some visibility to cash flow forecasts and model various scenarios on their own. 

Basically, what we’re saying here is that your CPA firm needs to step away from the “a la carte” model of services and create value in different ways, through applying your expertise in an advisory capacity. 

─ Do you currently offer advisory services? If not, what’s stopping you? Let us know in the comments below and visit www.dryrun.com for more articles like this.

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