Transforming your firm’s focus to CAS, or advisory work, for clients is no small feat—you must be committed to changing how your organization runs and be ready to say goodbye to some clients who no longer fit your new ideal client profile as you make the shift to CAS.
That’s why any accountant looking to be successful in advisory services needs to be an innovator, curious, confident, proactive and creative—just to name a few. Here are 3 skills all CAS accountants need to succeed.
Typically, compliance work is very much focused on the past; the entire idea is to make sure everything that happened in the last year is in order and clients have the right paperwork filled out to file their tax returns. Advisory services are more focused on the future and being proactive about your client’s needs. That’s why it’s crucial to be forward-looking when it comes to advisory services. Part of owning proactivity will be brushing up on your project management skills.
2. Remain open to change
Odds are, if you are transitioning your traditional accounting firm to focus on advisory services, you already are open to change. When you do officially complete your transformation into a CAS firm, it is crucial to keep this perspective—change is not something to be feared, but utilized. Consider embracing a Japanese business philosophy called “Kaizen,” which means “change for the better" or "continuous improvement." The idea is that operational improvement is not a bad thing and should be a continuous process involving employees. Constant improvement should be a goal of your CAS firm—even 1% of improvement everyday will add up in the span of one year. Don’t become complacent because things seem to be working fine—don’t settle for fine and instead strive for excellence and constant improvement. Embrace innovation as you transition your firm.
3. Be a learner
It doesn’t matter if you’re 18 or 101, successful people strive to be lifelong learners. No matter how much life experience you have, there will always be something new to learn. Keeping a mindset open to learning will help you stay open to new opportunities, improve yourself and improve your practice. In fact, the American Psychological Association found that 87% of personal learners say learning helped them feel more capable and well rounded.
What skills do you think advisory accountants need to be successful? Let us know in the comments below.