May 30, 2023

Transforming Your Team into Trusted Advisors

By: Center For Accounting Transformation / article

There’s a secret lurking in the depths of the public accounting world. A hidden treasure, a powerful weapon that can catapult your firm to new heights of success. It’s called “advisory services.” And yet, despite its immense potential, many firms are not yet experiencing its transformative power. Why? Because they’re looking in the wrong place.

The truth is, advisory services are not just about technical skills and compliance knowledge. It’s a whole different game. And if you want to play and win, you need to invest in your team’s development and give them the tools they need to become Trusted Advisors  [<– insert link to Trusted Advisor article].

The Wrong Assumption
Many firms make the dangerous assumption that everyone on their team is naturally suited for advisory roles. They believe that their employees, who have been trained in compliance, can easily transition into this new realm. But this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Not everyone has the innate ability to ask the right questions or the curiosity to dig deeper. Not everyone has the empathy and the listening skills needed to connect with clients and understand their unique challenges. To succeed in the advisory space, your team needs more than just technical prowess. They need a whole new skill set, a new mindset, and a powerful framework to guide them.

The Path to Transformation
To tip the scales with a high percentage of advisory services in your firm, you must invest in your team’s growth. This means providing them with the coaching, resources, and support they need to develop the confidence and skills necessary to become Trusted Advisors.

Begin by creating a framework that focuses on empathy and active listening. Encourage your team to put themselves in their clients’ shoes, to understand their concerns and aspirations. Teach them how to ask the right questions, probing deeper to uncover hidden opportunities and challenges.

But that’s not all. Remember that your team is embarking on a journey, and they need your support every step of the way. This means offering ongoing coaching and mentoring to help them hone their skills, overcome obstacles, and gain the confidence needed to excel in their new roles.

The Power of Partnership
As your team transitions from compliance experts to trusted advisors, they’ll need to forge strong relationships with their clients. This means emphasizing the importance of building partnerships based on trust, understanding, and mutual growth.

In this world of advisory services, your team members are no longer just problem-solvers. They’re transformation pathfinders, guiding their clients towards a brighter future. And as they gain the skills, confidence, and mindset needed to excel in this new role, they’ll help your firm tap into the vast, untapped potential of advisory services that exists within your compliance practice.

The secret to transforming your firm to provide more advisory services lies within your team. By investing in their development, providing them with the framework and support they need, and encouraging them to build powerful partnerships with their clients, you’ll build the momentum that will propel your firm to new heights of success.


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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