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Accounting Industry Trends

Many firms have seen the profitability of their traditional tax and accounting business increasingly affected by changes today’s in marketplace. These changes (uncertain economic conditions, commercial tax and accounting software, internet competition, and even proposed federal income tax simplification) continue to diminish the perceived value of the tax professional and create a subtle uncertainty regarding the future growth and profitability of the entire public accounting profession.

With these market forces in effect, the accounting profession is changing more rapidly than ever before. Accounting firms are looking to alternative services to create a market niche and remain competitive.

This opportunity is financial services.

The tax and accounting professions are uniquely positioned to coordinate their clients’ tax, estate, insurance and investment needs. Clients come to their CPAs because they trust them to provide sound tax advice. But these same clients are also looking for a more comprehensive approach to their financial issues. They are looking for a single, trusted advisor to coordinate their financial, insurance, and estate needs. These clients could easily turn to their CPA for these new services.

This client-driven need not only helps the accounting professional, but it has the added potential of increasing revenue to his or her accounting practice as well. With the high value placed on financial services income streams, a well-planned financial services division has the potential to add significantly to the value of an accounting firm.

But accounting professionals need to be careful in choosing exactly how offer financial services. They have created quality trust relationships by satisfying their clients with their traditional accounting practice; any new endeavor must only improve the level of client satisfaction.