With each new year comes a renewed sense of investment, make this year the best year yet for your accounting firm. Every year, we like to recap the trends we’ve seen and make one or more predictions concerning growth for the coming year. Here is what we think you need to be paying attention to in 2016:
- Growing Your Non-Compliance Service Offerings
Bar none, the largest opportunity for most accounting firms will be to evaluate the consulting and non-compliance services they offer to their clients. Non-compliance driven services like wealth management, exit planning or outsourced CFO services offer the most growth potential for many firms and will produce higher profit margins over compliance-only services. There is a significant trend among larger firms in the profession to invest in building these services and it’s starting to take hold among firms of similar size to CPASNET members. If you aren’t looking at building out at least one existing service or adding one, you should be.
- Packaging/Bundling Services
As changes in the marketplace continue, so do expectations around buying accounting services. As larger firms continue to do whatever it takes to grow, including ‘buying’ work, smaller local firms must respond by making it easier to work with them. Firms must embrace flat fee billing by offering client packages and options for working with them.
- Decision Maker Demographic Transition
Just as accounting firms struggle with transition, so do your clients. Accounting firms need to remain vigilant concerning the changing demographics of their decisions makers. Whether through an internal transition or sale of the business, the next generation of business owners is taking shape. Firms need to have a clear plan in place to ensure they are forging relationships with future leaders. This planning will help you secure long-standing clients and help transition the relationships that you worked so hard to build.
- Prediction: Virtual Service
Anytime, anywhere work is a hot topic among many accounting firms. As virtual working increases, so does virtual service. Traditional geographic boundaries for delivering tax and accounting services are diminishing and accounting firms are serving clients all over the place. In fact, many new accounting firms are being founded with this very concept in mind. As this change happens, the way established firms deliver their services will need to shift. We think that 2016 will be the year that many firms start to take notice of this evolving work initiative. Want to know the keys to delivering virtual service? Check out Embracing Virtual Service.
What are your predictions for 2016?