The AICPA is projecting that the amount of simple tax preparation work will decrease over the next five to 10 years because of more automation, and that audit work will be done by fewer firms. Since small firms often have 80% or more of their revenue from tax, and larger firms frequently have splits of 40% tax and 40% audit, these compliance services need to be augmented by new offerings. When you assist business owners with making money and helping them run their businesses more effectively, the conversations change from the “must dos” of compliance, to the “wouldn’t it be great if…” of business advisory services.
The last sentence there is what really caught my eye. Over the course of this year, I’ve been hearing this from many different places said in many different ways. Randy ends that section of his column by saying: “You will be able to expand [your] offerings with more capabilities in business analytics, niche specialty advice, wealth management and other specialty offerings“. Basically he’s saying expand your offerings by specializing.
As a non-traditional CPA (I don’t do financial audit or tax work), that specializes in IT, I definitely agree with Randy. I started my business almost 10 years ago and 95% of my work comes from referrals. I believe that I can only sustain this because of my ability to act not only as an IT consultant for my clients, but with my CPA background, I truly am a business advisor.