Topic at Hand

Creative Consulting Options for Clients

Irma Zaldivar, LSL CPAs & Advisors


A client of yours is seeking a consultant to help grow their business. Their CPA is great fit to help the client identify their needs outside of tax and accounting services. Thinking outside the box and offering creative consulting services to the client can help you stand out from competitors.


Following are three value-added services your accounting firm can offer clients:


  • Marketing consulting services – A partner is meeting with a client over lunch and asks their marketing director to join. How does your role as a marketing expert benefit this meeting? It is really quite simple. This is an opportunity for the firm to discuss creative marketing ideas that can help clients grow their business. If it is a small company, recommend having a social media presence. Walk through the process from beginning to end and encourage the client to hire a millennial that understands the ins and outs of social media. Or perhaps they do not have a website and cannot afford to hire a web developer. Encourage your client to start small and create a landing page that they can then build out over time. If it is a larger company and they are looking to grow a specific service, recommend a Google AdWords campaign. Take them through the process of setting up a budget, creating a campaign, and note the importance of calling these potential new clients immediately. Lastly, perhaps the client is too large and they now need a sales and marketing professional. Coach them and provide advice on the skillsets needed to thrive in today’s marketing environment.


  • Benchmarking studies – A partner meets a prospect and needs to put a proposal together. How does a benchmarking study play a role in the proposal process? When the proposal is delivered to the client, your firm can offer a financial analysis and benchmarking report during this time. It allows your firm to stand out from the rest because you have taken that extra step to compare the prospect to industry standards. Remember, your firm can offer benchmarking studies to existing clients as well. By evaluating these benchmarking study results, your firm can formulate recommendations to the prospect/existing client for their specific needs and goals. Key metrics can be used to develop a plan for shifting the prospect/existing client to the next level. Get creative with the report and design something that is easy for clients to understand. Consider putting together these benchmarks for key industries within your firm – this will speed up the process when dropping in client data and allow you to efficiently and effectively share results.


  • Tax reform analysis – There has been quite a bit of chatter about President Trump’s tax reform plan and what it means for business owners. Business owners are reaching out to their trusted advisors (CPAs) to learn more about “what this means” for their business. However, it can be a daunting task to make sense of President Trump’s tax reform plan. With many changes in store for 2018 and beyond, why not help your clients make sense of these changes throughout the year and make recommendations that will benefit individual businesses accordingly? This is the perfect opportunity for your firm to offer a tax reform analysis for existing clients and help them make sense of how these tax changes will affect their business. Consider putting together a marketing campaign around the offer with key elements/facts from tax reform to try and gather interest. Infographics would be a great way to integrate marketing into the process and result in easy to digest facts for clients to consider.


It is up to your firm whether you charge the client for this expert advice or consider it a value add. Remember, don’t be afraid to get creative with your offerings and also suggest your marketing expertise to help take these consulting services to the next level! Your clients will thank you for thinking outside the box.