What would it look like if your accounting firm had a steady stream of cash flow all year long?
It would mean that you wouldn’t have to rely on tax season revenue to fuel your firm throughout the year. And you could take on fewer tax clients, making tax season…well, less painful and more fun.
If you’re wondering how you can create highly profitable, recurring revenue for your firm, I’ll tell you: You do it through accounting advisory services. So, let’s start you on the path to year-round revenue.
Overhaul your business model
First things first: Take a look at your business model. Is everyone in your firm clear on your WHO, WHAT and HOW? Let’s define them to be sure:
- WHO: Who do you want to serve? These are your ideal clients—the ones you want to serve and are good at serving. (Hint: Not usually just anyone who walks in the door. These are the clients you love to serve, who pay on time, who purchase multiple services and who use your tech stack.)
- WHAT: What do you want to sell? Determine the products and services you’re great at providing and whether you have the staff to support these services. These need to be “off-the-shelf” products that are easily repeatable across all clients.
- HOW: How do you want to deliver your products? Think about the technologies that help you provide your products and services as seamlessly as possible—for both the firm and clients. You’ll create processes that flow through your tech stack and make delivery frictionless.
The intentional focus on evaluating your business model—and taking control of what you want it to be—puts you well on your way to becoming a modern firm that offers accounting advisory services.
Build your ideal client list
Let’s talk about your client list. Would you consider it to be full of ideal clients or non-ideal clients? I’m going to venture a guess and say your firm probably has more of the latter. And that’s OK. We can help you build your list—full of ideal clients whom you love to serve.
Think about your favorite client, and ask yourself the following three questions:
- Do they pay on time?
- Do they purchase several services from us?
- Do they use our tech stack?
There are certainly additional questions you can ask yourself to help you define the characteristics of your ideal client (Rootworks members: Check out our ideal client resource here). But these three questions will help you determine the clients you want to work with—and the ones that could be better served by another firm.
Define your accounting advisory services with data
Next, let’s chat about using data to determine the services you want to sell. Keep in mind that the services you want to sell should have the following characteristics:
- Your firm excels at providing these services.
- You have the right staff to support these services.
- The services are standardized and repeatable.
Use an application like Rootworks Insights to connect to QuickBooks® Online or Xero and view metrics that help you locate opportunities to build strategies for advisory offerings. Rootworks Insights also helps you uncover data with the same insights into your clients’ small businesses.
Consider services that will help create year-round revenue, like client accounting and tax, cash flow forecasting, payroll and retirement plans—just to name a few. And identify the services that are time-consuming and don’t provide value to your firm, so you can remove them from your service offerings.
Create recurring revenue
Once you’ve determined the advisory services you want to offer, it’s time for the word most accountants hate: selling. Think of selling as an opportunity to help your clients more. Instead of looking for new opportunities and new clients, focus on upselling and cross-selling to your current ideal clients.
Upselling involves offering a more valuable version of a product to clients, like bundled services. Cross-selling means you’re offering products and services to existing clients who aren’t already using them.
It costs less to upsell and cross-sell than it does to find new clients. Your goal should be to become the one central place your clients go to for their accounting advisory services needs. Determine which products and services can be subscription-based versus value-based to establish multiple streams of recurring revenue.
Get to year-round cash flow
It’s time to rethink your current business model and stop relying on tax season revenue to carry your firm year-round. Build your ideal client list, figure out the services you want to offer, and start upselling and cross-selling to your existing clients.
Highly profitable and recurring revenue is within your reach!
To learn more about Rootworks Insights and getting to year-round revenue, check out our website here.