Date posted: 30/01/2023 5 min read

Help clients see your true value

Many accountancy firms struggle to communicate the true worth of their advisory services, and could lose out financially. Brought to you by Intuit.

Accountants need to find more effective ways to communicate their range of premium services to clients, according to Intuit marketing head Damien Greathead. He often finds that firms are undercharging for tasks that go beyond regular accounting and compliance, and should therefore warrant premium rates - regardless of who in the firm completes them.

“The term ‘advisory services’ can encompass a wide range of activities and there’s no one definition of what it means,” he says. “So accountants need to find a clear way to explain exactly what they are, and how they can benefit each client.”

Greathead is calling on accountants to find more effective techniques to not only better communicate the breadth of services available, but also to demonstrate the tangible benefits that each one offers.

“If the client understands that the advice is of high value, they won’t begrudge paying a fair rate,” he argues.

Internal controls audit

“Fraud often occurs in small and medium sized businesses, and it’s not people on the dark web doing it,” Greathead warns. “Expense reimbursements, accounts payable and timesheets are areas susceptible to fraudulent activity, but are all very easily guarded against with the right tools and simple controls that accountants are perfectly placed to guide their clients on.”

Cash flow planning and forecasting

“If a company has a pre-conceived idea of what an accountant does, then they’re not going to expect any more than a basic service. The accountant needs to educate them about the value they can bring,” he says.

Accountants can go beyond the traditional profit and loss and balance sheet, and talk cash flow with their clients.

“This is often what keeps clients up at night - making sure they can pay the bills. There are simple tools out there, including the Cashflow Planner in QuickBooks Online, to help facilitate this conversation.

‘What if’ scenarios

“Another great opportunity to have really engaging conversations with your clients is through scenario planning,” he advises. “What if you’re able to decrease your cost of goods by 2%, and maybe combine that with a 1-2% improvement in your price? What will be the impact on profit? And now, what if we increase our total number of customers by 3-4%? What impact will that have?

“With the right tools you can put a dollar figure on these what-if scenarios, which I hope gets your clients excited.”

Greathead says there’s a lot of opportunity for accountants to add more value to their clients’ businesses, but the key for him is being able to communicate that value. And in turn getting paid appropriately.

KPI monitoring

Once you’ve discussed the cash flow forecast and created some ‘what-if’ scenarios, the next logical opportunity to add value to your client engagements is by helping them set targets and milestones, and then monitor their progress towards them. Clients seeking high growth need an accountant’s financial expertise to help them get there.”

Find out more:

Intuit’s exclusive QuickBooks Online Accountant means accountants can manage their practice and all their clients in one place, and includes a suite of tools designed to facilitate discussions around advisory services. To find out more, visit