Accountants, CPAs and Bookkeepers have one thing going for us that we consistently overlook.
We have the trust of our clients.
They trust us with the most sensitive info they possess – their financials.
Let’s face it. Our clients don’t really know what we do.
They don’t know if we’re doing a good job, mediocre job, or a horrible job.
They simply trust we know what we’re doing.
Trust is a very powerful logical and emotional thing.
Logically, they see us as an authority on numbers. It’s a job they don’t want – nor understand. We seem to have the credentials to do what we do.
Emotionally…well, this is something we take for granted. And, it’s something we totally undervalue.
Most clients – especially business owner clients - don’t have that many people in their lives that they can trust. Especially with something as sensitive as their financials.
They can’t turn to their employees.
They can’t burden their spouse.
This is not a topic of conversation at a dinner party.
Most business owners are scared, lonely, overwhelmed. Being a business owner is an emotional roller coaster.
On top of that, they don’t understand their numbers. They don’t get it. Many never stepped foot in a college classroom.
But you do.
You get it. You understand their numbers. You have the qualifications. And your clients trust you.
Most accountants are not capitalizing on this trust.
Most accountants are not giving their clients what they really want.
What do they want? Well...
Business owners want someone they trust. To tell them what to do. To have a growing and successful business.
They want someone they trust (again, you have this in the bag).
To tell them what to do (on a regular basis).
To do the one thing they want more than anything – to have a successful business.
Business owners want to FEEL successful. They want to BE successful. They want their business to GROW.
They need help. They CRAVE this type of help.
If you – someone that already has their trust – can offer this to them, you can pretty much charge what you want.
As an accountant, CPA, or bookkeeper – you are in the best possible position to offer a CFO or business advisory service. You already understand financials. And, of course, you already have the trust of the target audience – business owners.
The missing piece is how to actually “tell them what to do to have a growing and successful business.”
This can be learned. (In fact, in our masterclass we'll show you step-by-step.)
So, the bigger question is does this makes sense for you?
Here’s a few reasons why offering a CFO or business advisory service would make sense…and why it wouldn’t.
Offering an CFO or business advisory service would make sense if…
a. If your business clients are asking for it.
They might not directly come out and ask for a CFO or business advisory service (in fact, this is highly improbable).
However, are they indirectly asking for help? Are they saying things like “I’m making a lot of money but it’s not showing in my bank account – where did it go?” or “I’m working a ton but I can’t seem to make this thing work – I feel like I’m constantly spinning my wheels but not getting anywhere.” If so, this is a signal that they want some sort of guidance.
b. If you get the ‘dear-in-the-headlights-look’ when you give them their financials each month.
You know the look. It’s the “I know these reports are important because you give them to me but I have no idea what they mean but I don’t want to let you know that because I don’t want to seem ignorant.”
c. If you have a ton of competition.
Let’s face it. You do. You could be the best accountant, CPA or bookkeeper in town but if your clients don’t see the difference between you and the thousands of others (they don’t) why would they pay you top dollar?
Not only that, but you’re also not just competing with other accountants you’re competing with QuickBooks and Bench and all of the other SAAS businesses disguised as ‘financial services’ firms across the country.
d. If you need a way to increase your income.
The only way to truly – dramatically – increase your income is to scale. Scaling is being able to make more money without taking up more time. Offering a CFO or business advisory service will allow you to leverage your time better. You could potentially make more money servicing one business owner client as their CFO/business advisor than twenty clients as their accountant or bookkeeper.
e. If you’re employed and want to start your own business.
If you’ve ever wanted to start your own business, you could open up a traditional accounting or bookkeeping shop. However, you’ll need a TON of tax/bookkeeping clients to make this a reality. Much less to be able to replace your day job salary. Offering a CFO service is a way to quickly replace your salary because you only need about ten clients to make six figures.
f. If you like the idea of being a financial guide/therapist/confidant.
If being able to guide and teach gets you excited, then this might be a great route for you. Being a CFO/business advisor is like being a financial therapist. Your clients will value the time you spend together because you’re helping them get better. They love having someone who ‘gets it’ to bounce ideas off of and, well, to simply vent. Again, most business owners don’t have someone in their lives they can do that with.
That being said, offering an outsourced CFO service might not make sense for you for two reasons…
a. If you don’t want to serve business clients.
Whether you’re employed by an accounting firm or you’re self-employed, this doesn’t make sense if you don’t want to target or service business clients.
b. If you want to stay employed at your accounting firm.
Most people are simply not cut out to be a business owner. Many accountants got into this profession precisely because they don’t like risk. They love the idea of working for a major firm and getting the perks that come along with it. And there usually are some great perks.
Now, if you think offering a CFO or business advisory service might be something you want to explore, we invite you to our upcoming masterclass called “How to Start a CFO Service”. Register using the form above.
In this masterclass, we’ll discuss…
- What business owners really want from a CFO/business advisory service (it's not what you think).
- How to determine if you're qualified to provide CFO/business advisory services.
- How to get new clients to your practice and how to approach existing clients.
- How much you should be charging for this type of service.
- How to approach your existing clients about this service (and get them to buy)
- How to provide a CFO/business advisory service in the most efficient way possible
We’ll also talk about some frequent objections that we hear. Things like…My clients don’t need a CFO
You’re right, but they do need someone they trust to help them make more money. Whether you call yourself a CFO or something else almost doesn’t matter.I’m not qualified to be a CFO
You may not be qualified to be Coca-Cola’s next CFO but you’re probably qualified to guide a business doing between $1mm and $10mm in annual revenue.My clients can’t afford this
If someone wants something bad enough, they’ll afford it.All I know is accounting. I’ve never ran a business before.
You have two major things that most business coaches don’t have. Trust from business clients from the get-go and an understanding of the numbers. Most business coaches can’t even explain how the advice they give will effect cash flow.I don’t really know how to sell this service.
This is tricky. You can’t go up to a client and pitch your CFO service. They don’t know what a CFO is, nor will they think their small business needs one. In our masterclass, we’ll show you how to pitch it to them in a way that gets them to take action.
If offering a CFO/business advisory service sounds interesting and you’d like to learn more, join us for our upcoming masterclass on “How to Start a CFO Service”