Will the downward pressure on compliance service fee levels continue in 2024?
You would need to be a supreme optimist if you sincerely believed that the continuing impact of accounting software development and less qualified firms moving into the compliance service sector will have no impact on your compliance activity this year.
In which case, is the time for prevarication on the provision of advisory services – as opposed to compliance services – reached a tipping point?
And is there a half-way house? Could you, for example, start advocating the supply of advisory led compliance services? This may be a sensible approach to the advisory service transition.
Instead of describing your services as accounts production and tax return filing, you could say “we help business owners start, grow and exit from their business activities in the most beneficial way to increase financial returns and keep tax payments to an absolute minimum”.
In that one sentence you have implied that you can offer advice on setting up a new business, business development, exit planning and tax planning.
And you could add:
“And using the data we collect, we can make sure accounts and tax returns will be prepared and filed to secure these outcomes.”.
In this way, you start the conversation that you are primarily advisors and not merely bean counters.
It will be interesting to see how many firms develop or accept this challenge in 2024.
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