A group of accountants at a table discussing 3 practical client accounting services strategies to drive high service

3 practical client accounting services strategies to drive high service

QuickBooks Connect 2023 was a great success. It’s always good to see the profession come together, learn and grow, and actually be changed by our time together as a community.

My partner and I led a packed workshop, “Pitching and Delivering High-Value CFO, Financial, and Advisory Services.” It was so good to see the room full of firm entrepreneurs who take their value seriously and also want to grow their high-value work. 

Our first point is one that is made often: Most of us are already offering these kinds of advisory services. I felt it was important to make this distinction since many of those who attend workshops like this one may not realize that they are already doing what they were there to learn to do better!

Kudos to this profession that is caring for their clients—the foundation of advisory services. After that first point, we taught three key areas we wanted to share from our own experience in the work of high-value CFO services in our firm, Blumer CPAs. Here’s a summary of the points, along with a link to the documents we shared during our workshop.

1. Discuss and review the pitch of a CFO and advisory package.

This was the discussion of how to pitch high-value services to clients. Clients often tell us, “I need a CFO to help me,” when what they may really mean is that they want controllership services or even business coaching. In pitching advisory offerings, it’s important to make sure we help the client know what labels they use to describe what they want to purchase from our firm. If a client says they want “CFO services,” but we know they are not big enough to actually consume the value of that offering, we’ll clarify what they want to buy to make sure we stay on the same page.

2. Discuss and review the internal timeline and roles meeting.

Once we’ve sold an advisory package, we’ll get our team ready to deliver the service. One note here is that advisory work takes three to four months to roll a client into a firm. This is much different than accounting, payroll, or tax work. So we have internal meetings with our team to assign this work to a team member, we discuss the nuances of the service, and put it all together in a timeline that the client can see visually. Seeing a visual timeline over a few months helps the client realize that this is a long-term commitment, and that they need to settle in as our collaborative partner to ensure these services are achieved. In advisory work, the client must partner with the firm to make the service valuable. Clients can’t just dump an advisory service on our firm and expect us to fulfill the contract without their involvement. This step helps the client realize what is truly involved.

3. Discuss and review the external engagement kickoff.

The last point we discussed in our session is the external kickoff we have with the client. This is the official launch of our service and our firm taking over this work from another firm. We celebrate together, the teams meet each other, and we re-review the timeline and contract. Clarity is paramount when delivering an advisory package of services, so this external kickoff is where last-minute questions or worries are dealt with so that our firm can comfort the client and show them that we have a dedicated team to do their work. This external kickoff is where we can drive a lot of comfort because when a client is about to hand over a huge process to our firm, they always feel some sort of worry.

Selling advisory is different

You can see that there are particular phases to selling a larger high-value CFO advisory offering. We don’t sell these services the same way we sell transactional work; accounting, payroll, and tax services are still highly valuable;, but are sold in different ways. As a result, the sales process can be easier than selling CFO advisory. The client has to grasp the value and price, and the process of selling, leading the team, and kicking off the engagement is more extensive and takes more time.

Lean into the time and commitment it takes to lead clients to more impactful offerings. The impact to our clients is greater, and they are often willing to pay much more for these services. If you want to get started with some of these services, make sure you download our eBook, “What Growth Means.”

A person and person sitting next to each other.

Free eBook

Grow Your Firm With Client Advisory Services

Fuel client growth, increase revenue, and support your customers with CAS.

Recommended for you

Get the latest to your inbox

Get the latest product updates and certification news to help you grow your practice.

By clicking “Submit,” you agree to permit Intuit to contact you regarding QuickBooks and have read and acknowledge our Privacy Statement.

Thanks for subscribing.

Relevant resources to help start, run, and grow your business.

Looking for something else?

Get QuickBooks

Smart features made for your business. We've got you covered.

Tax Pro Center

Expert advice and resources for today’s accounting professionals.

QuickBooks Support

Get help with QuickBooks. Find articles, video tutorials, and more.

How can we help?
Talk to sales 1-800-497-1712

Monday - Friday, 5 AM to 6 PM PT

Get product support