The Covid-19 pandemic has forced changes in many areas of business. Financial forecasting is no exception. The conditions created by the pandemic have simultaneously made accurate financial forecasting more challenging, while also putting a premium on these services. This presents some important opportunities for accounting firms that can respond to these changes by helping to fill the gap with robust accounting and advisory service offerings.
From supply chain disruptions to unpredictable consumer demand, many businesses have simply found it too difficult to create accurate models or financial forecasts. This is a barrier that impedes businesses from being able to accurately assess their financial status going forward. As they take on an advisory role, accountants can provide clarity for their clients backed by accounting services that deliver accurate and timely financial data.
The result is a win-win for firms and their clients—firms have the opportunity to add value and expand relationships, leading to new revenue opportunities—and clients receive the information and guidance they need to successfully move their businesses forward even in the face of continued uncertainty.
4 keys to growing your firm’s advisory and CAS services:
Given the current business environment, accounting leaders who aren’t taking advantage of these opportunities are at significant risk of falling behind their competitors and losing clients. To avoid these negative situations, firms can leverage financial forecasting tools to provide added value to clients and expand both their client accounting services (CAS) and advisory roles. Here’s how:
- Using scenario planning tools, your firm can show clients the impact of various outcomes and continuously re-examine forecasts for sales, expenses, and cash flow.
- Testing and re-testing assumptions by modeling cash flow, burn rate and liquidity under multiple scenarios can help you provide key insights that are fast becoming essential to most businesses.
- Accessing real-time information to help build financial models based on current conditions and depicting realistic best-, worst- and average-case scenarios.
- Increased use of budgeting, forecasting and planning software, as well as data analytics and visualization tools help set you apart and become an indispensable member of your clients’ team.
From this high-level overview of improved financial forecasting tools, start mapping out how your firms can take advantage of the changing role of accountants when it comes to financial modeling and reporting. Clearly, the accounting function is becoming significantly more analytical, with advanced technology driving the transition from being reactionary and transactional to proactive and analytical.
Use advanced financial forecasting to add value for clients and increase revenue for your firm:
Another significant development impacting the role of accountants accelerated by the pandemic is the further blurring of the lines between accounting and finance professionals, with the former taking on more responsibilities that traditionally fell on finance, especially when working with smaller businesses. This is where the improved ability to build predictive financial models has accelerated the move toward proactive and analytical work.
By providing clients with additional accurate, real-time data, accountants are able to build models that are based on current business realities, giving companies a clearer picture of what to expect and taking the guesswork out of forecasting efforts. The end result is a firm that is growing both advisory services and CAS using advanced tools to help clients navigate the still uncertain business landscape, supported by data that is timelier and as accurate as possible.
Tap into additional tools and trends shaping the future of accounting
Support your firm’s competitive advantage in advisory and CAS offerings by learning more about advanced financial forecasting tools and modeling at the 9 Developments Shaping Accounting’s Future webinar on November 18, 2021, at 2 p.m. ET. You can register for the session here.
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