Integrative Advisory ServicesExpanding Your Accounting Services Beyond the Cloud
Stop crunching numbers and start truly serving your clients Integrative Advisory Services is the CPA, accounting professional and bookkeeper's guide to the future. As technology paves the way for increased self-reliance and DIY financial services, much of the traditional data entry tasks of accounting professionals and bookkeepers will be reduced. Yet, nothing can replace the human side of the client-advisor experience and the desire to improve your clients' businesses with financial information. Technology will continue marching on, so accounting professionals must adapt to the changing marketplace to thrive in this new paradigm. This book shows you how to provide the kind of value that technology cannot: human connection. Rather than simply reporting data, today's accounting professionals have an opportunity to take a much more active role in their clients' business by analyzing the story behind the numbers, understanding both operations and finance, and guiding the client toward the outcomes they need. Creating an ongoing relationship throughout the year allows you to be proactive rather than reactive, and help your client's business at a holistic level. Your business owner and CEO clients can get the numbers from the computer too—but, they come to you for personalized advice, explanations, and guidance based on their unique situation and financial needs. This book shows you how to take on more of an advisory role and become a critical component of your client's success. Spend less time crunching numbers and more time advising clients Become an integral part of the client's decision-making process Provide real value by clearly communicating financial data analysis Become the strategic partner your client cannot do without Cloud technology, machine learning, and artificial intelligence are not the death knell for financial advisors; in fact, they're the opposite—they do the number crunching for you, leaving you more time to provide the personal guidance that no computer could. As the financial advisory industry evolves, Integrative Advisory Services is your real-world guide to adapting and thriving.
Preface v Acknowledgments vi Introduction vii Chapter 1 History of the Accounting Profession: From Compliance to Advisory 1 Technology and Humans 3 Looking Back on Accounting 5 Reaching for the Cloud 10 Humanity versus Machine 12 New Opportunities Abound 13 Where Does Your Business Go from Here? 15 Summary 17 Endnotes 18 Chapter 2 Bringing the Human Side to Technology 19 The Old Way of Data Flowing versus the New Way 21 What CEOs Want from Their CFOs 23 Choosing Your Vertical Industry Niche 25 Steps to Create Your Cloud Platform 34 The Cherished Advisor Journey 39 Summary 43 Endnotes 43 Chapter 3 The Cherished Advisor: The Transformation Journey beyond the Technology 45 Documenting the Business Processes 47 Obtaining Needed Technical and Business Skills 55 New Staffing Model 60 Pricing and Packaging 66 Summary 70 Endnotes 70 Chapter 4 Strategies for Marketing Your New Advisory Experience 71 How Do You Want to Design the Client Experience? 73 Building an Overall Architecture 74 Creating and Implementing a Marketing Strategy 81 Online Marketing 87 Networking 97 Referrals 98 Summary 99 Endnotes 99 Chapter 5 Creating a Successful Sales Model and Client Onboarding Process 100 The Science of the Sale 101 The Simple Sales Process 102 Client Onboarding Process 116 Creating a Project Plan 123 Automating Your Internal Processes with CRM 131 Summary 133 Endnotes 133 Chapter 6 Building Lasting Relationships 135 Creating Personalized Virtual Relationships 140 Creating Touch Points to Stay Engaged 142 Interpersonal Awareness to Succeed as an Advisor: Collaboration, Influence, Negotiation, and Communication 147 Leadership Capabilities to Grow the People Around You: Team Satisfaction and Rewards 158 Succession Planning Tactics for Bringing Up the Next Generation of Leadership 167 Summary 175 Endnotes 176 About the Author 177 Index 179
AMY VETTER, CPA, CITP, CGMA, has held many executive positions and leadership roles in the accounting technology industry overseeing customer, sales, education and marketing programs both nationally and internationally. Amy also has experience running multiple client accounting practices, including her own companies and as a partner in a CPA firm. Vetter is an advocate and evangelist for the accounting profession and entrepreneurship. She has inspired thousands of accountants and small business owners as a keynote speaker on business, financial, technology, and work-life balance topics. Vetter has been recognized as one of the Most Powerful Women in Accounting by CPA Practice Advisor, one of the Top 100 Most Influential People by Accounting Today, and was previously selected as one of the outstanding 40 under 40 by CPA Technology Advisor.
With the introduction of cloud technology, much of the traditional data entry tasks of CPAs, accounting professionals, and bookkeepers has been greatly reduced. This is due to rapid technological innovation in which businesses can deploy high-integrity cloud-based systems, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. Technology will continue its relentless march, so accounting professionals must adapt to the changing marketplace in order to thrive in this new paradigm. Integrative Advisory Services offers CPAs, accountants, and other financial services professionals a method for tapping into the power of cloud accounting technology in order to become a trusted strategic partner with their clients. Nothing can replace the human side of the client-advisor experience like accounting professionals' ability to improve their clients' businesses with reliable financial information. Written by Amy Vetter—a noted expert on current accounting strategies— Integrative Advisory Services is filled with the information needed to help offer personalized advice, explanations, and guidance based on a client's unique situation and financial needs. Vetter shows how to create an experience for your clients that they have not had before with other accountants or bookkeepers. By becoming an integral part of the real time decision-making process, your services are delivered proactively, rather than reactively, and you understand both the operational and financial sides of the business. Take advantage of new technology and let it do the tedious number crunching for you. Retool your skills to get ahead of the pack and help your clients improve their businesses at a holistic level. With Integrative Advisory Services as your guide, you can integrate advisory services into your practice and expand your services beyond cloud technology to become truly valued by your clients.
Praise for Integrative Advisory Services "Integrated Advisory Services is a timely tool for anyone looking to get into the client accounting space with true meaning and depth to their practice. Amy's experience as a small firm practitioner, combined with her family lineage of CPAs and passion for the profession shines through in helping firms build a successful client accounting practice. The term 'Cherished Advisor' is a great term to get CPAs thinking differently about this practice. Many think technology will disrupt and disintermediate what they do for clients. Yet, as Amy explains well, it can actually put the 'public' back into CPA and get practitioners re-focused on the human element which the client will value highly." —Mark J. Koziel, CPA, CGMA, Executive Vice President, Public Accounting, Association of International Certified Professional Accountants "Amy Vetter offers some keen insights into the nature of the accounting profession and our relationship with technology. She connects her personal family story and sheds new light on the future of accounting. One thing is certain, the future is about relationships and the human side of accounting. She will make you want to get out from behind your desk and out with clients or out in the business operations. This is a must read for every accountant and CPA." —Tom Hood, CPA, CITP, CGMA, CEO, Maryland Association of CPAs, Business Learning Institute "Technology is no longer just a business enabler—it has become the product. The CPA advisor is the specialist to fine-tune the accounting product and make it more meaningful for the client. This integrative approach is the best of both worlds for the business community. No matter what technologies future accounting and financial professionals will have at their disposal, it is the human connection that counts, as Amy Vetter so aptly points out in her new book." —Loretta Doon, CEO, CalCPA/CalCPA Education Foundation "Today's successful accountants don't just tell you what the numbers are, they tell you what the numbers mean. They spot trends, they guide you into the future, they remove stress, they shine the light on problems, they offer solutions, and they are indispensable to the success of your business. Amy Vetter's career has led her through every aspect of accounting and business. She offers an engaging and mindful perspective on how accounting professionals can provide true and lasting value to the clients they serve." —Gail Perry, CPA, Editor-in-Chief, CPA Practice Advisor "Having known Amy Vetter for the better part of my 15 years covering the accounting profession, I can say that she helps to unequivocally define what it means to be a 'thought leader' in this space. Her unwavering commitment to the growth of this profession, through sharing of her own knowledge and experiences has been evident throughout her career regardless of the many professional titles she's held. She regularly places the profession's advancement and the growing need of their service among the small to midsized business world above all." —Seth Fineberg, Managing Editor, AccountingWEB.com
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