Most accountants still lack confidence in their ability to deliver financial advice services, according to Bstar research.
The Bstar 2016 Accountants Research Report suggests that 81% of accountants are unready to provide financial advice. This is lower than the 91% surveyed in 2015, which Bstar said indicated that accounting practices are increasingly recognising the need to provide financial advice in order to grow their businesses.
Despite this, the research also shows that less than half (41%) of accounting practice business owners had a proper growth plan in place for their business. Only 32% have segmented their client-bases and just 5% regularly survey their clients about their services.
Bstar chief executive Grant Bloxham commented that "competition for compliance fees is becoming more cutthroat, with aggressive discounting being used to retain clients. Practices are now valuing clients based on their lifetime value to the practice. Converting an existing client to an advisory client is a key growth strategy.
He added, "I am often asked what an advice practice looks like. It should have a minimum of 40% revenue generated from advice services and 60% to 80% of those advice services should be delivered by professional staff, not partners.
"In my view, every accounting practice has opportunities to build a successful advice practice."