Advisory-led compliance

In the coming months you will hear more about our ideas to start the gradual change from offering pure compliance services, to rewiring these accounts preparation and return services by bolting on a front-ended advisory element.

In this way you can gradually wean clients away from dedicated “grudge” compliance activity and get them to see the value in taking your advice.

Why worry? Compliance has been our bread and butter for years…

There are few practices that have not been affected as less qualified firms – with lower compliance costs – have started to encroach on this service market. They have lower costs and are prepared to work on lower profit margins.

Add to this the impact of the major players in the bookkeeping and accounts software market, and it should be evident that the days of relying on pure compliance services are leaching away.

Time to lift your head above the advisory parapet

Clients who are used to annual accounts and tax service levels, will no doubt react negatively if you suddenly try and offer advisory services “out of the blue”. Many are used to considering your services as something they are required to do, and they may have major concern about your cost.

Accordingly, they may not immediately see the benefits of advice.

However, just because you cannot see how you would ever get a reasonable number of your clients to appreciate and engage on an advisory level, does not mean this is a lost cause. Far from it.

What is advisory-led compliance

We are staking our claim to be one of the first practice development firms to promote the idea that you can merge compliance needs with the advantages of advisory services into a composite “advisory-led compliance” offering.

The two options are not mutually exclusive. Most practitioners will sprinkle their compliance conversations with advice. The issue is not your ability to offer advice it is more that clients may not appreciate that they are advised; or appreciate the value in that advice.

In the coming months our Fee Builder program will focus on creating advisory-led services that you could offer to your clients. The service packs will include easy to read updates that you can use to “convert” clients and prospects to this novel approach.

Like to be kept in the loop?

Don’t bury your head in compliance sands. Register now as a firm that is interested in this process and we will send you updates as and when we add relevant material to our Fee Builder library.

Email me now,, and register your interest.

Bob Edwards

Bob has been working with practices across the UK offering novel ways to improve cross-sales and increase new client acquisitions. He is also interested in "step changes" in legislation that offer challenges, and therefore opportunities, for practitioners to provide new recurring and one-off support services to clients.

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