Accountants CAN Innovate Their Services

Transcript: Hey, do you consider yourself an innovator? Firm owners, a lot of time, struggle with innovation. I was just writing an article for Dext, one of the products we use in our firm, and I was talking about innovation and accounting services. And as I was thinking through it, I had to figure out where has our firm innovated? And there’s a couple of different things I want to highlight. And I think as accountants, we struggle with, “Well, I can’t innovate around compliant services,” right? So accounting, tax, payroll, audit, these kinds of things are locked down, basically. So it is what it is, right?

Well, that’s not actually true. I think you can innovate around those compliant services by offering different levels of service, so that’s an innovation. For example, in our payroll services, we offer different levels of innovation, or different levels of service, and that is the innovation in the service. So we don’t just say, “Buy payroll from us.” We say, “Do you want level one, two or three?” Because we’re going to do different things in those.

And when you create different levels of service, you’re basically creating different levels of value. And when you create different levels of value, it means you’re automatically creating different pricing levels. You get to charge more if you’re doing more valuable things. And so instead of just saying, “Do you want to buy a payroll,” ask them which level? That’s one innovation around compliant services.

Now, there’s another side that you can innovate on as an accounting firm. And that’s the non-compliant stuff that you sell. That’s the advisory stuff. That’s the consulting. And man, you have all kind of ways to innovate around non-compliant services, because those are just anything the client wants to buy. Basically, non-compliant services are just knowledge that you sell.
So a lot of times you’re going to find that your non-compliant services, or what a lot of people called, “Advisory services,” this is knowledge base, which means it’s done with your mouth and in meetings with clients. So you want to sell a meeting where you show up and speak. That is an advisory knowledge deliverable, and that’s kind of what you’re trying to sell.

So when we sell a advisor, or when we innovate around a non-compliant service, which is the delivery of some kind of value, financial advisory value, we sell those in sessions. So 12 sessions, which is one a month in our contracts, or every other month, six months, or quarterly, four times. And that’s basically, “We’ll do your accounting monthly, but we’ll meet with you quarterly.” So those are two different things because they’re two different values.

One is something we do with our fingers, that’s accounting. That has less value, but still very valuable. And one of them is done with our mouth and our brain, that is highly valuable, and it requires our presence and attention. So those are the things that bring a lot of value to something. So if you want to create more valuable things, more money, then attach yourself to a meeting where you speak and talk about financials. That is an advisory service, and it’s one way you can innovate.

So I hope that helps to drive some clarity around, what does it mean to innovate? If you need any more help around that, just hit us up at Thriveal. This is the stuff we do. We coach firm owners through creating innovative services. You can hit us at or you can email us [email protected]. We’ll see you. Take care.

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