June 6, 2023

Reality Check: Challenges Associated with Moving to Advisory Services

By: Center For Accounting Transformation / article

Are you tired of feeling overwhelmed and stuck in the compliance workload, unable to provide valuable insights to your clients? Do you feel that your firm has the potential to grow and create a lasting impact, but capacity issues hinder your progress? You’re not alone. Many accounting firms are struggling with the same challenges. But what if there was a way to break through these barriers and elevate your firm to new heights? Read on to discover how to overcome the challenges associated with providing advisory services and transform your firm into a thriving, client-centered business.

Overcoming Capacity Constraints: A Barrier to Advisory Services
Many accountants are overwhelmed with compliance work, making it difficult to focus on providing deeper, more valuable services to clients. This capacity issue is the enemy of impactful advisory services. But it’s not just an “interest” problem for the next generation of leaders—it’s a matter of work-hours and the ability to meet deadlines while maintaining quality.

The solution? Rethink your firm’s priorities and shift your focus to what truly matters: providing excellent services that accelerate your clients’ success.

Embracing the Reality of the Current Accounting Demographic
Generally speaking, the best advisors in the accounting profession have years of experience and have tested and tried their processes. It’s challenging to create an educational framework for college students who don’t have the exposure or experience to provide valuable advice. But we can do better. By encouraging experiential learning and mentorship programs, we can prepare the next generation of accountants to become skilled advisors.

Recognize That Your Firm is a Business First
If your primary objective as a firm owner is to make more money, moving to advisory services alone won’t solve your problem. You need to treat your accounting firm like a business. Focus on streamlining operations, improving efficiency, and nurturing a company culture that values innovation and growth. By doing so, you’ll create a firm that’s primed for success in the world of advisory services.

Demystifying Advisory: A Struggle Shared by Many Firms
Accounting firms continue to grapple with the meaning of advisory and how to transition their teams from traditional compliance tasks. It’s a common challenge, but one that can be overcome with a clear vision and commitment to change. By defining what advisory means to your firm and providing your team with the necessary tools and training, you’ll pave the way for a successful transition.

Three-Tier Pricing: A Catalyst for Moving Towards Advisory
A powerful strategy to help firms embrace advisory services is implementing a three-tier pricing model. By offering three levels of service, firms can include advisory services in levels 2 and 3, effectively changing the conversation with clients. This approach empowers clients to choose the level of service that best suits their needs, while also incentivizing your firm to provide more comprehensive, valuable support.

The journey toward embracing advisory services in accounting is fraught with challenges, but the rewards are immense. By addressing capacity issues, cultivating the next generation of advisors, treating your firm like a business, and implementing a three-tier pricing model, you’ll create a thriving, client-centered firm that stands out in the competitive accounting landscape.


There are many unknowns in this world, and the impact that advisory services have on business success is one that we can solve. We can understand how successful accounting firms, businesses, and other organizations are by taking 10 minutes to complete the Advisory Services Survey. Data will be gathered, compiled, and analyzed, and the results will be shared. 

Our mission is to quantify and understand the impact that advisory services have on business success- for the first time ever. Thank you from Avalara, The Center for Accounting Transformation, and CPA Trendlines. It’s time to Own the Unknown.

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