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Topic 2

Expanding into advisory services


Expanding into advisory services

Perhaps you’re already seeing the efficiency of being in the cloud and you’ve freed up time to take on additional advisory services for your clients. Advisory is broad and comes in all different shapes and sizes, so remember to play to your strengths.

Topics covered in this chapter:

  • Introducing advisory services
  • App advisory
  • Advisor directory

Introducing advisory services

The biggest challenge partners face with introducing advisory services is a lack of time or capabilities, but there are lots of positives that make it worthwhile.

First of all, determine the areas that you feel comfortable advising in. You might not know until you try out a few different avenues.

You might decide that you just want to offer advisory services for your current clients, you might want to offer them as an additional cost, or you could decide to use them as a way to introduce new streams of revenue for your practice.

To find your feet with advisory services you might start by:

  • assisting in deciding on key performance indicators

  • setting up a dashboard to track those metrics

  • using the dashboard to help clients stay on track to achieve their business goals

From the simple dashboard you could grow your advisory offering into something more regular and more billable, using data to show accounts receivable, accounts payable, cash reserves, revenue over time, expenses over time and cash flow position.

With this information, you’ll be able to share graphs with your clients of their cash flow situation and explain what it means for them, highlighting trends or spending patterns. You can also suggest ways that resources could be deployed more efficiently. This is a logical progression from the work you already do for your clients, as it’s about identifying patterns and talking to your clients about them.

Let your clients know what kind of advisory services you provide as they might not be aware of what you’re able to offer. Some of your clients will love the advisory offerings, and some might not, so take a proactive approach and ask them.

Levels of advisory service that can be offered to clients, from compliance to simple advisory to complex advisory

Compliance, Simple and Complex advisory

Next steps:

  1. Scope new services and how you will deliver them.

  2. Determine how much to charge or how much your clients will pay.

  3. Communicate the benefits with your clients.

  4. Pilot the services at reduced costs to refine your offering.

  5. Update marketing material.

If you have professional service providers in your network then you may be able to use this to your advantage. Getting professionals such as in-house lawyers, conveyancers, financial advisors and the like into your firm is a great way to grow your practice without taking on extra work yourself.

How do you go about managing advisory services? Let us know in the Facebook Community group.
 

More helpful resources
Accounting services to diversify your business
How to use KPIs to strengthen your advisory services
How to become a virtual CFO

App advisory

With over 700 apps in the Xero app marketplace, app advisory is becoming increasingly popular and puts you in the virtual CFO seat.

With so many options it might be hard to know where to begin. Our app playbooks help sort through the choices so you can recommend the right apps to your clients.

App advisory playbook

Learn what app advisory is and how to get going, knowing that you’re recommending the right apps.

Get the playbook (PDF 3.4MB)

Retail and ecommerce app playbook

Help your clients run smarter retail with the right choice of POS, inventory and ecommerce apps.

Get the playbook (PDF 3.3MB)

Trade and construction app playbook

Identify the best trade and construction apps, from job and project management to payroll, for your clients.

Get the playbook (PDF 4.3MB)

Professional services playbook

Find the most suitable apps to help clients deliver projects, improve cash flow, and manage relationships.

Get the playbook (PDF 6.9MB)

Take a look at our app advisory and trade and construction courses on Xero U too. They’ll give you the information you need to start your app advisory journey and help you with recommending apps to your clients. With three levels of advisory you can choose the course that’s right for your practice.

Once you’ve completed an industry course in Xero U you’ll be eligible for an industry specialist badge on your advisor directory profile – to earn one, you’ll need to have three clients tagged within a specific industry and at least one client using an industry app.
 

More helpful resources
Xero app marketplace
Xero Expenses for your clients
Xero Projects for your clients

Advisor directory

If you haven’t already, make sure you set up your listing in the advisor directory. This will put your practice in the spotlight and make it easier for small businesses to find you. To get listed, you’ll need to set up in Xero HQ, maintain Xero bronze partner status, and have at least one Xero-certified staff member.

Xero's advisor directory webpage viewed on a tablet

Xero's advisor directory

From there, you can enhance your listing through geo-tagging and updating client information in the Explorer tab in Xero HQ. 

Search results are based on the location of your practice as well as the locations of clients you service. For example, if you’re based in Launceston but have clients in Hobart, you’ll appear in the Hobart search results. And you’ll appear higher based on the number of partner points you have for clients in the search area. As this is based on geo-tagging, it’s essential that your clients’ physical addresses are listed in Xero.

When you have three or more clients tagged to a certain industry, it’ll show up in your listing.

If you’re already set up, it’s important to make sure it’s performing the best it can. Check out our tips on optimising your advisor directory listing and put your practice in the spotlight. This guide covers:

  • tips for showing higher up in the directory

  • how the search works

  • how the search results display

  • standing out in the crowd
     

More helpful resources
Xero Central tips on your advisor directory listing
Video on geotagging in Xero
Video on setting up your advisor directory listing


Checkpoint

Download the Expanding into advisory services checklist (PDF)

Download checklist

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You, your staff, and your workplace
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