Alan Kirby is a partner in Accountancy & Business Improvement Ltd
Despite being a more “mature” accountant, I’m excited about moving into advisory services for clients. The compliance arena is becoming easier because of technology – which has also caused it to be devalued and less profitable – and unqualified accountants are now able to use technology to take on clients they would previously have steered clear of. And that’s if clients haven’t decided that they can do it themselves as advertising by cloud accounting software houses suggests!
I had a corporate background before moving into practice relatively late in life so advising businesses comes naturally to me. I understand why others who have only ever been in practice would be uncomfortable with making the move to advisory services, but it is vital to the sustainability of your practice.
I got my push towards advisory work from joining the Momentum Programme that Amanda C Watts runs and I’m really enjoying this new direction for my practice. I’ve undertaken a series of webinars with one of the advisory software providers out there to learn about the advisory work you can do if you use their tool and how to sell it to clients, and I’m excited about the competitive advantage that it is giving me.
I have also niched my practice because once you’re a specialist and become an adviser, you become more valuable and slightly bigger businesses are happy to pay a bit more for your services. My niches are the arts, the motor industry, and property & construction. There are reasons why those niches fit in with my practice and I have clients all over the UK – the virtual world means you don’t need to stay local.