6 Practical Tips to Introduce Advisory Services Into Your Practice

The accounting industry is currently undergoing a significant shift, with accountants evolving into true advisors rather than just data keepers. However, knowing where to begin and what changes to implement can be challenging. Having personally navigated this transition in recent years, and with a practice serving over 150 business clients, here are some practical tips for firms aiming to transform their advisory approach.

Let the technology do the heavy lifting

Modern technology, despite disrupting our industry, has also made advisory services more accessible to small businesses.To make your advisory division scalable and profitable, you must leverage technology and automate as much of your practice as possible.

Cloud accounting and reporting systems now present data and results in unprecedented ways, enabling accountants to generate reports in minutes. This efficiency frees up time to focus on clients, helping them solve problems and make data-driven decisions essential for business growth.

You’re (probably) already providing advisory services

Providing advice is not new to accountants, even those primarily focused on tax. Clients have always sought our ad-hoc advice via phone or email. This is the starting point for any firm aiming to expand its advisory services. Identify the common areas where you already provide advice and where you have specialist skills or expertise that set you apart from other accountants.


Once you understand your strengths, consider how to package these into tangible services that clients can easily understand and purchase. Clearly articulate the value of your services. For instance, my clients frequently ask how to streamline their businesses, which led me to specialize in advisory solutions for systems improvement across their workflows. Remember, advisory services are not just about key performance indicators and forecasts. Focus on what truly adds value to your clients.

It’s an education process

One of the most challenging aspects I encountered when transitioning my practice was educating clients on the advisory process. When I encourage clients to examine key parts of their business, I often hear the Aussie adage, “she’ll be right, mate,” indicating they don’t immediately see the need for the advice. Spend time working with clients who you believe will benefit most from your advice, and help them understand how it will add value to their business. Ultimately, they need to buy into and believe in the process for it to succeed.

Ask the hard questions

Advice isn’t just about graphs and trend reports. Your client understands what makes their business tick. Avoid a ‘one size fits all’ approach. While leveraging technology to automate reporting and some responses is important, it only becomes valuable if the client acts on the information.


To achieve this, ask your clients what information they need. If they ignore your reports and still run their business based on their bank balance, you are not solving their problems. Just this week, a client told me they weren’t using the monthly reporting data because they preferred a more concise format. With this feedback, I can adjust the reports and processes to ensure my advice makes an impact. Ultimately, your advisory process must continually evolve to meet your clients’ needs.

Start small and build your expertise

Introducing advisory services is similar to launching any new product or service. Over the past few years, I have been refining my model. Start with pilot clients to test the new services, and be prepared to invest time and resources at no or reduced fees. This allows you to adjust the model based on their feedback. This pilot process has been invaluable for understanding what works, what doesn’t, and what truly adds value to my clients rather than what I think they need. Focus on providing services that solve your client’s problems, and you’ll be on the path to success.

Commit to investing the time

None of us would have become accountants without investing significant time in study and practical learning. Similarly, introducing advisory services requires dedicating time to educate yourself and your team on how to deliver these services effectively. It’s less about formatting numbers—technology handles that—and more about understanding the cultural and business impact your advisory services will have on the firm.


Compliance services will always be necessary and will remain a part of many firms’ revenue streams for years to come. There is no definitive right or wrong regarding which products or services a firm provides. However, accountants looking to enter the advisory space are doing so at the best possible time in our profession’s history. It’s not the insurmountable challenge some suggest. With concerted effort and focus, advisory services can become a profitable and integral part of your firm’s offerings.