By Nick Hampson — Building a tax business — October 23, 2023

Accounting Advisory Services: A Comprehensive Guide for CPAs

Dive into Accounting Advisory Services with this in-depth guide for CPAs. Venture beyond tax preparation into strategic financial planning and estate management, unlocking new avenues for practice growth with Harness Tax's practice management platform.

Accounting Advisory Services

Key Takeaways:

If you’re a CPA who works with clients on more than just annual tax returns, you’re likely already providing accounting advisory services. This emerging discipline offers a wealth of opportunities for both clients and accounting firms, and focuses on providing strategic guidance and future-focused tax planning throughout the year.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the intricacies of accounting advisory services, dive into the many advisory services that accounting professionals can offer their clients, and discuss how to seamlessly integrate these services into the growth strategy of your accounting firm. We’ll also introduce you to Harness Tax’s accounting practice management platform, and how it, too, can be the catalyst for your accounting firm’s growth.

Table of Contents

  1. What Are Accounting Advisory Services?
  2. Signs and Steps: Transitioning to Advisory Services
  3. Harness Tax: Your Partner in Growth

What Are Accounting Advisory Services?

Accounting advisory services are a suite of strategic planning offerings that extend beyond the realm of traditional tax return preparation and filing. These services encompass a range of complex accounting solutions designed to provide more than just professional advice; they offer actionable strategies tailored to each client’s unique personal or business goals.

While there may be some overlap, accounting advisory services should not be mistaken for traditional financial planning or for Client Accounting Services (CAS).

Here are some examples of accounting advisory services that may apply to your clients:

Services for Individuals

Services for Businesses

Signs and Steps: Transitioning to Advisory Services

Whether you’re considering offering new services to your accounting clients, or have already decided to expand into advisory services, there are both signs to look for and practical steps to take for a successful transition.

Signs You Should Consider Advisory Services

  1. Client Demand: When your clients are increasingly seeking strategic financial advice beyond just tax preparation, it’s an unmistakable indicator that there’s a market demand for advisory services.
  2. Industry Trends: Changes to tax laws and political leadership can make it challenging for clients to keep up.  If you find that your clients are frequently asking questions about these complexities, it’s a clear sign that there’s a market need for advisory services in your practice.
  3. Skillset: If you find yourself already providing informal counsel on topics like risk management, tax optimization, or investment strategies, you’re well-positioned to formalize these advisory services.
  4. Revenue Potential:  The ability to charge higher fees for advisory services compared to traditional accounting tasks presents a lucrative revenue stream that can significantly boost your firm’s bottom line. If you’re looking for ways to expand your firm, introducing new service offerings could be a logical first step.

Practical Steps to Implement Advisory Services

  1. Conduct a Needs Assessment: To tailor your services to the actual needs of your client base, consider conducting surveys or one-on-one interviews. This will help you identify the specific advisory services that would be most beneficial.
  2. Choose the Right Technology: Harness Tax offers a comprehensive practice management solution tailored for CPAs, offering you access to a modern suite of accounting software all in one place.
  3. Train Your Team: The transition to advisory services may require coaching your team, or catching up on industry best practices.. Consider implementing formal training, or connecting with industry experts, like members of the Harness Tax Advisory Council.
  4. Market Your Services: To attract new clients and inform existing ones about your expanded offerings, leverage sales and marketing strategies and consider joining lead-generation platforms such as Harness Tax.

Pricing Strategy for Accounting Advisory Services

Determining the right pricing strategy is crucial for the profitability of your new service line. While there are various models to consider, it’s essential to choose one that aligns with both your business goals and your clients’ needs. For a deeper dive into pricing models and revenue growth strategy, refer to our article on earnings potential in the tax industry.

Harness Tax: Your Partner in Growth

By combining the expertise of tax professionals with advanced technology and best-in-class support, Harness Tax creates a more flexible and insightful tax experience for both advisors and their clients. Here’s how:

Accounting advisory services are not just an add-on but a necessity in today’s complex and evolving financial environment. With the right approach and tools, CPAs can elevate their practice, provide more value to their clients, and increase revenue.

Ready to take your tax advisory practice to the next level? Book a call with us today to learn how Harness Tax can be the catalyst for your firm’s growth.

Tax services provided through Harness Tax LLC. Harness Tax LLC is affiliated with Harness Wealth Advisers LLC, collectively referred to as “Harness Wealth”. Harness Wealth Advisers LLC is an internet registered investment adviser. This should not be considered tax or legal advice. Please consult a tax and/or legal professional for advice specific to your individual circumstances.

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