Commerciality for Accountants – why is it key?
- Despite often excellent resources and processes, our research shows that clients view accountants as less commercial than lawyers
- Whether you are from one of the ‘Big 4’ or from a smaller firm , you need to adapt to changing market conditions to deliver pragmatic solutions that align with your clients’ needs
The annual audit should provide a great opportunity to understand a business. Yet, despite this, only 15% of clients rate their accountants as “excellent” for providing advice that shows commercial insight. Why is this?
Tighter regulation of audit is a a major reason. Concerns about cross-selling to audit clients has meant that accountants have drawn back from the trusted adviser role.
Another criticism by clients is that accountants like to sell-in large complex projects; whereas the client wants quick and pragmatic solutions.
But change is afoot.
As consultancy arms of the Big 4 flourish, a new more commercial and entrepreneurial culture is taking hold. But there are inevitable tensions with their assurance and compliance colleagues.
The large accountancy firms also benefit from excellent resources and processes. Key account planning, thought leadership and knowledge management are well ahead of most law firms.
There is also greater focus on soft-skills training, particularly at director level.
Reform of the audit market around the world will shake things up still further. Only the agile with thrive.