Benefits to Accountants of Working with Manufacturing & Wholesale Clients

As the vital signs of the U.S. economy point to steady and sustained recovery, driven in large part by U.S. small business manufacturers and wholesale distributors, it’s becoming clear that accountants who get involved and position themselves ahead of this trend stand to benefit tremendously. The rise in U.S. manufacturing and entrepreneurship presents an unprecedented opportunity for accountants to differentiate themselves, expand their client base, experience growth and play a role in the continued U.S. economic resurgence.

With even the smallest manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors investing in people, technology and infrastructure, an entirely new revenue base is opening up for accountants. Today, there are small manufacturers down the street who are planning expansion, and they’re lining up accounting partners just like you to help enable that growth. The seemingly “big” transition from spreadsheets to QuickBooks® has now given way to a massive migration to cloud, mobile and other technologies, and small manufacturers will be looking for advice from you – and lots of it.

Now, this new relationship will certainly be a two-way street. Working together, accountants and small manufacturing/wholesale distribution companies have a lot to offer each other. In fact, this market (small manufacturing/wholesale distribution companies) – those with 50 or fewer employees – is second only to professionals, such as doctors and lawyers, as an industry sector with which accountants work.

However, in terms of services, most accountants typically provide only accounting services such as tax preparation and other financial services, with only about a third offering other services such as technology consulting, business process consulting and business plans. Moreover, accountants spent only about a quarter of their time with clients on services other than accounting and tax planning.

At the same time, these small manufacturing/wholesale distribution clients have problems of their own, such as a lack of integration in technology systems, manual processes and outdated technology. And this is something accountants can help with – in fact, according to a recent survey we did with Accounting Today, more than half of the accountants surveyed advise clients on software selection, including recommending specific brands and consulting on implementation of new software. However, less than a quarter of them actually manage the implementation of the new software.

The big takeaway is that there is a tremendous opportunity for accountants and small business manufacturers/wholesale distributors to work together in a way that is mutually beneficial. Small businesses will get the expert advice they need to grow, and you, as the accountant, will be presented with a tremendous opportunity to differentiate yourself and open up new revenue streams. So, as an accountant, what steps should you take to prepare for this opportunity? Stay tuned – in our next blog post, we’ll highlight three important first steps to take to seize this new market opportunity.