Value Pricing Accounting Advisory Services

We've got a lot to talk about in this episode including how clients disappointed with tax refunds, expect more from accountants, more app news with QuickBooks Online Advanced now supporting fiscal weeks for restaurants; NetSuite adding more remote-friendly accounting features, and Xero and TriNet providing full-service HR solutions to U.S. small businesses. In other news, a reported 57% of parents feel closer to coworkers now, despite working from home. The IRS will start sending out interest payments to millions of taxpayers with 2019 tax refunds. In PPP news, Potbelly returned its first $10M PPP loan after public uproar. All this and much more! Enjoy!

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Do you have some clients that need more than what your current cloud-accounting software can offer - more robust inventory tracking, more connections to online sales channels, more users, more permissions, more reports, more control, more customization, more flexibility? Stay tuned to hear more from our sponsor, AccountingSuite, later in the podcast.
 
Blake Oliver: [00:00:22] ... And you don't have to go get new clients. If you're serving small clients, you can increase your revenue 31% just by adding advisory services.
 
David Leary: [00:00:30] Especially if you already are doing this. If you already offer this service at your firm, and you're not selling this in a good way to an existing client ... It's your God-given right to make more money off of your clients instead of trying to go hunt in the market for a new client to sell a teeny advisory service ... You have to show your customers what you offer, package it up in a way that's attractive that they'll buy it, and they'll pay more, if they know they're getting more value from you.
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This episode of the Cloud Accounting Podcast is sponsored by LivePlan. If 2020 has taught us anything, it's to be lean and nimble in our work. More than ever, you need to help your clients understand their opportunities and limitations, so they can react quickly, and accurately. The clients need advisory services, and you need to provide them ASAP, but you probably don't have months to develop your advising skills as a scalable offering. You need to learn this, lean style. 

At the LivePlan Strategic Advisory Bootcamp, you'll rapidly create your advisory offering within three days of deep learning and hands-on workshops. You'll learn a scalable system on how to market, sell, and deliver vital client advisory services. This virtual event even includes a bundle of resources, like meeting scripts, marketing collateral, packages and pricing. To learn more about attending the LivePlan Strategic Advisory Bootcamp on October 5, 6, and 7, head over the CloudAccountingPodcast.promo/lpbootcamp.
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This episode of The Cloud Accounting Podcast is sponsored by BQE Core. As firms everywhere are positioning themselves to work remotely, BQE Software is committed to supporting you and your employees during this critical time. BQE's Core products operate 100 percent on a native cloud platform that's uniquely able to help you in your efforts to embrace remote work while maintaining your productivity.

In response to the impact that COVID-19 has had on your firm and your clients' businesses, the team at BQE has let us know that Cloud Accounting Podcast listeners will now receive three months of BQE Core for free with an annual subscription package purchased on or before September 30, 2020. To learn more, head over to cloudaccountingpodcast.promo/core.
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Blake Oliver: [00:02:55] Welcome to The Cloud Accounting Podcast. I'm Blake Oliver. 
 
David Leary: [00:02:59] And I'm David Leary.
 
Blake Oliver: [00:02:59] My son finished his first week of virtual kindergarten. Did I talk about that?
 
David Leary: [00:03:05] Last week, we talked about that. We talked about how the kids should, maybe, instead of using Zooms, they should use that software- the virtual world, so the kids can walk around and walk into their classrooms.
 
Blake Oliver: [00:03:15] It went great for him. He's happy. It just is an inspiration to me because kids are- they don't have these expectations. He's good ... We're also fortunate in that we can send him to a place where he has tutors who help him go through all this stuff, because both my wife and I work. I feel for the parents who don't have that. I mean, you've got your kids stuck at home, and you're juggling them, and you're trying to work?
 
David Leary: [00:03:41] They're on a Zoom call; my wife's on a Zoom call. The other day, I walked out of the room I'm in, and everybody in the house was on a Zoom call at the same time. The house was deathly quiet. Everybody's doing their own thing. It's just not the Zoom call fatigue I think is the problem. Teachers only have one way to communicate, so, the emails you get. I can't even keep up.
 
Blake Oliver: [00:03:59] Oh, yeah. 
 
David Leary: [00:03:59] Then, there's the things you'd typically go to school in the evening to attend some event with your children. That's now a Zoom call. You're getting reminded about a Zoom call at 8:00 a.m. that you're supposed to get on at 7:00 p.m. at night, and it's like, I just took 12 hours of Zoom calls. It's the reality.
 
Blake Oliver: [00:04:14] Well, I've got some good news for you this week, which is that we had two people call our number. We have that Google Voice number that people can call and leave a message. We've been talking about it for months and months, and people started calling. So, I wanted to play the first listener message that we got.
 
Shawna: [00:04:33] Hi, my name is Shawna. I am a solopreneur/practitioner in central Florida, just driving today, and I had to call in and say thank you. Your Episode 187 just recently aired this month, in August. I had just been on a phone call with a client of mine, struggling with e-commerce. They use QuickBooks Point of Sale in their retail store, but because of COVID, they have not been open for three or four months now; they've been struggling with their online presence, and they have an online store, have had it for a while. They sold something online. Somebody called in, wanted to buy, and they had already sold it, but it couldn't figure it out because their desktop Point of Sale said they had it, but it got sold online, so they didn't, obviously, talk to each other.
 
[00:05:18] The struggle is real for them, right now, so they're like, "We need to rethink our e-commerce situation." I didn't have an answer at the time, but now I do, with Webgility, and with the TradeGecko purchase that Intuit just had. We're gonna start researching those two options for them. So, kudos to you guys. You're saving me some time trying to figure out what's their best solution. I now can point them a little bit- guide them a bit better than I would trying to figure it out on my own. Thanks for all you guys do. All the best. Bye. 
 
Blake Oliver: [00:05:52] That makes me happier than any review. Whenever we can help somebody give more direction to their clients, learn about apps, know what to recommend, that makes me happy. 
 
David Leary: [00:06:01] Or just save time and getting things in their awareness. I said before, I'm plowing through 1,100 crappy blog posts just to try to surface the best ones.
 
Blake Oliver: [00:06:10] Thank you, Shawna, for listening. Good luck to you on that e-commerce journey. We got a bunch more app updates. We could start with that.
 
David Leary: [00:06:21] Yeah, why not? Jump in?
 
Blake Oliver: [00:06:26] QuickBooks Online Advanced ... A lot of those features, I think, kind of underwhelmed us as they were released over the last few months, but there's a big one that just came out. Now, you can track fiscal weeks in QuickBooks Online Advanced. Note, this is the Advanced version, the more expensive one, the premium one, not the Pro, not the Essentials.
 
[00:06:48] In QuickBooks Online Advanced, you can now serve restaurants with better reporting because you can do that restaurant-style week setup, where you break the months not into calendar months, but into groups of four or five weeks throughout the year. You have four 13-week periods, and each 13-week period is 4-5, or 4-5-4. That way, you get comparability because now, all your month periods have the same number of weekends.
 
[00:07:23] This is one of the big problems with the restaurant reporting is that because you get these spikes on the weekends, if you have a month where you have four weekends or five weekends, and it changes, then you can't compare December of '19 to December of '20 anymore. Does it make sense?
 
David Leary: [00:07:37] Yeah, absolutely. It's been requested. I mean, for years, people were asking for this. There's a term for that report, and it's not coming to me, right now. Ultimately, you're right, it's for comparisons.
 
Blake Oliver: [00:07:48] Yeah. 
 
David Leary: [00:07:48] Probably, eventually, this is how COVID numbers should be reported ... Eventually. You know how there's all these spikes on the Mondays, and the weekends, and all this; you can't compare it calendar to calendar; probably gonna have to look at it week by week, especially if this goes on for another year ... Especially, if we see if there's trends over time. Like, "Oh, yes, the second week of April, there's always a spike. Why? Because of X event."
 
Blake Oliver: [00:08:07] This is really cool. Neat to see this feature coming in for Advanced to help offer better reporting to specific industries, like restaurants. Xero and TriNet are now integrating. TriNet is a PEO provider. Map your TriNet payroll accounts to your Xero accounts and automatically post those journal entries into Xero.
 
David Leary: [00:08:28] Yeah, this was one of the app news I had, as well. At the same time, I was like, this is it? This is the peak of the week. Xero wrote a blog post about mapping the wage account to the Xero account, matching the benefits account to the Xero account. This is the blog post. This is every single payroll integration, and every single app integration, at some level. I think the week has been that slow, of news. When this makes the show, it's a slow week of news. 
 
Blake Oliver: [00:08:54] Well, I got some more for you, David- 
 
David Leary: [00:08:55] All right. 
 
Blake Oliver: [00:08:55] -that's probably not going to impress you, if that didn't impress you. NetSuite has added some more features. There's three new features in NetSuite, the ERP from the mid-market. Consolidating multiple invoices. Now, instead of creating a separate invoice for every order in NetSuite - and orders and invoices are a separate concept - you can group multiple orders into a single invoice for your customer to pay. 
 
[00:09:22] Automated matching transactions from bank statements. "Bank reconciliation is tedious and time-consuming." I'm quoting the article, here. "To ensure that bank data and accounting details are in sync, financial transactions must be entered into the accounting system first. Oftentimes, this process is done manually and leaves room for inaccurate information. Now, with the ability to automate transaction creation from bank transactions, NetSuite users can create and post transactions automatically from imported bank data, saving time and improving accuracy."
 
David Leary: [00:09:52] This is good. I mean, if you think about this, QuickBooks and Xero had bank feeds 10 years ago.
 
Blake Oliver: [00:09:58] Well, that's the thing about this-
 
David Leary: [00:10:00] I think when we started the podcast, early on, you went to a Sage Intacct conference that first time, and they announced that they were adding bank feeds to Intacct. As this goes up market, finally these bigger apps are starting to get bank feeds. 
 
Blake Oliver: [00:10:11] We did an interview with a customer at the Sage Intacct conference-
 
David Leary: [00:10:15] That's right. 
 
Blake Oliver: [00:10:15] -who had built ... Her company built their own bank feed that went into the online banking and grabbed all the transactions and then posted a journal entry with all the daily transactions categorized. We were so impressed by that, but what's crazy about that is that Intacct did not have bank feeds at that time.
 
[00:10:34] Now, I think both Intacct and NetSuite have them, to some extent. Again, what this feature does is something that has been happening in QuickBooks for 20 years, which is that you can import your bank data and then create transactions while you reconcile. If there isn't something to match it to in the GL, now, you can create it on the fly? It's kind of crazy that this didn't exist before.
 
David Leary: [00:10:58] The thing is, even though QuickBooks has had this for a decade, QuickBooks is still involved in press releases about connecting to banks and getting bank-feed data.
 
Blake Oliver: [00:11:06] Okay. 
 
David Leary: [00:11:06] This is the article on Crowdfund Insider. Essentially, Bank of Montreal - BMO - they are announcing that Intuit's QuickBooks accounting software may now access financial data provided by Bank of Montreal customers via a new API. They've had a connection before, it's just there's new open API standards, and they're now connecting through the new pipe. There's nothing in this article ... This is what I mean. This is not a great week of news. If the announcements like this are making the podcast, it's a slow week.
 
Blake Oliver: [00:11:39] Here's a big announcement that we kind of already announced. I mean, it's now finally happened. Kabbage is getting acquired by Amex. It's for sure; that's definitely happening at this point, right? The financial terms of the deal are not being disclosed but reports earlier this month put the acquisition value at up to $850 million. I think that's the number you used last week.
 
David Leary: [00:12:02] I'm still confused on this. I tweeted about it, just trying to better understand. I mean, essentially, in my brain, I would have said Kabbage and OnDeck are very similar companies. One got purchase for $90 million and the other got purchased for maybe $800 million. It's just such a disparity between those two prices. Apparently, somebody said that Amex didn't even acquire the loan parts of Kabbage.
 
Blake Oliver: [00:12:27] Right. 
 
David Leary: [00:12:27] It's a technology play of their other products. They shut down their normal loan products because of PPP. They offered their PPP loan; they have their checking account. They launched a bank, like everybody else has been launching a bank. They launched a bank; we talked about that four months ago, five months ago, when they launched a bank. 
 
[00:12:43] Then, their other product is they offer payments. You could have a Pay with Kabbage button. You can move invoices through it. Maybe that part of their product is major traction and that's attractive to Amex. There's some piece of this that is justifying them to go for the price they went for. Do they have some technology stack? Is it a talent acquisition? 
 
Blake Oliver: [00:13:02] Two more stories here. We talked about NetSuite. NetSuite is owned by Oracle ... Oracle was in the news for a very, very strange reason this week. Donald Trump expressed support for Oracle to buy TikTok. The talk was that Microsoft was gonna acquire TikTok, but now Trump has floated the idea of Oracle buying TikTok. I just thought that was really funny because imagine the Oracle buys TikTok, and then they decide to reimagine the user interface. In order to make a TikTok, you now have to go through  20 different dropdown menus - an Oracle ERP interface.
 
David Leary: [00:13:41] At some weird level, this makes a little bit of sense.
 
Blake Oliver: [00:13:44] Okay, please tell me how this makes sense at all that [crosstalk] an enterprise software company would purchase a social media app.
 
David Leary: [00:13:52] Larry Ellison is all ... You go back to post-9/11 and see TV interviews with Larry Ellison, he's all about everybody should have a government-issued ID. Everything should be tracked in a government database. Obviously, he's trying to sell a database to the government, right? 
 
Blake Oliver: [00:14:04] Right. 
 
David Leary: [00:14:04] He's into big databases. The key comes from that point of view of the world. If TikTok is really gathering data and spying on people this much, as they think the Chinese are, this makes sense. Oracle wants to create a database that spies on Americans and sell it to the government. This all makes sense to me. This is not a surprise. It makes sense, where TikTok fits into Oracle's plans.
 
Blake Oliver: [00:14:26] I just wanna say for our listeners, that's David's conspiracy theory, there. There is no evidence that that is what is happening.
 
David Leary: [00:14:33] I'll find it for the show notes. I'll find the interview of Larry Ellison talking about the government ID and government database tracking what Americans do.
 
Blake Oliver: [00:14:40] My last story in app news is about Excel. It was an article that appeared in Financial Management Magazine about how to automate bank reconciliations with Excel Power Query. I opened this article in my browser thinking this is gonna be a joke. People are really still doing bank recs in Excel? Now, I know that is happening. That's happening in a lot of organizations because these ERP systems, like Oracle and SAP, have really crappy bank-reconciliation modules because it's just not a high priority for them.
 
[00:15:13] You can just throw entry level staff at this all day long. It's just this problem in a larger organization that you can solve with people and make them do it in Excel. This is actually, if you have to do it in Excel, a really good way to do it. So, I highly recommend if you're doing Excel reconciliations and you're not using Power Query, check out this article. You can just search for Financial Management Magazine, Excel Power Query, reconciliations, something  that, or you can go find the link in the show notes.
 
[00:15:43] It's really cool because one of the features of Power Query is that you can configure how it retrieves and formats the data, and you can set up that workflow. Then, if the data sets change that you're comparing, like, say you get a new bank statement, and you have a new export from your GL, you can just click a button, and it does the whole thing again without you having to do it manually. You can set it up once and then compare two tables and then find the missing lines in each table.
 
David Leary: [00:16:17] Excel Power Query's always existed, but this is basically somebody's exploiting it for more benefit now that you can get bank feeds tied into Excel.
 
Blake Oliver: [00:16:28] Well, you could, actually. I didn't even think about that, but we have talked about, in the show, how there's now a way to pull bank statements into Excel. What was that? Is that an app that's native to Microsoft or something? Is that something they created? I can't remember.
 
David Leary: [00:16:42] I think so. It's a Plaid integration into Excel, and I think it's built-in. I think there's a thing for Google, but it's a third-party company you use to do it for Google, but I think it's a default in Excel now.
 
Blake Oliver: [00:16:52] So, you could set up one sheet in your workbook where it's the bank statement that's being pulled in by this Plaid integration. Then you could have another one where you copy/paste to your GL for the month. Then, you run the Power Query and it finds the missing values in the GL, the missing values in the bank statement, and then, you can go manually fix it.
 
David Leary: [00:17:12] None of our users will use this because they're all using cloud-accounting software that does all this stuff for them automatically. You don't have to build it from scratch, right? 
 
Blake Oliver: [00:17:18] All right, so-
 
David Leary: [00:17:22] I did paste you a little link there, so you can click on it and just verify that, yes, Larry Ellison wants everybody to have ID cards, all backed by Oracle databases.
 
Blake Oliver: [00:17:31] This is a Wired article from 2001. Wow, you really dug for this.
 
David Leary: [00:17:36] I didn't have to dig. It was the first ... I just Google searched: Larry Ellison, Oracle government ID. Came right up. Boom. There's lots of articles. The ACLU is against it. This is a bigger march into Oracle-
 
Blake Oliver: [00:17:49] Understood. All right let's talk about what's going on with tax, IRS, payroll tax. That's all related, right?
 
David Leary: [00:17:56] Well, it started on Monday. I got a deposit from the IRS in my bank account for $32.12, and I thought, oh, no, is this my stimulus payment? I was very confused. Another day later, it starts turning out, the IRS got their press going. 13.9 million Americans are getting a tax refund interest. The average payment they're sending out is about $18 million- I'm sorry, $18.
 
Blake Oliver: [00:18:20] Is this because the refunds are delayed?
 
David Leary: [00:18:22] They were delayed because the IRS ... Maybe they were closed; they were shut down; people's refunds ... I didn't even know- it didn't feel like my refund was any more delayed or less than it has been in previous years, but that's the deposit everybody got. So, now, this makes me question- they obviously have my direct deposit info. Where's my stimulus payment? That's the question.
 
Blake Oliver: [00:18:40] Well, don't spend all that $30 in one place, David.
 
David Leary: [00:18:43] Well, the best was somebody tweeted on top of it, and I said, I need ... I'd better go and hire a trained financial professional to help me manage that windfall.
 
Blake Oliver: [00:18:52] Yeah, the IRS is really behind on a lot of stuff. That mail that we talked about that piled up during the coronavirus shutdown for the IRS, that's still- they're still working through that. I guess they were sending out notices to taxpayers about unpaid balances, but the taxpayer checks were sitting in giant bins waiting to be opened and processed. The IRS finally stopped doing that. They're gonna pause these collections notices while they work through their backlog.
 
[00:19:21] That was causing a ton of confusion for tax preparers and for their clients. They're warning people: don't cancel the checks. They probably have them. It's just sitting in ... I guess they've got these giant storage containers with millions of pieces of mail that need to get opened. Hopefully, they'll catch up, at some point, or the changing situation, and administration executive orders will cause them to fall farther and farther behind, and they'll never catch up. I don't know.
 
[00:19:48] Speaking of the administration, there's not much news on the payroll tax deferral. It's scheduled to start on September 1, but we don't have any guidance that I saw from the Treasury on how that's gonna work. How is it gonna get deferred? All these questions that the AICPA has sent - no answer. The payroll companies have a trade group that issued a statement. 
 
[00:20:12] The National Payroll Reporting Consortium - Paychex, ADP; all these guys are in that - they issued a very short statement on August 20, saying, "NPRC is concerned that sufficient time is not available to implement an option to defer employee Social Security tax by September 1. IRS still needs to issue guidance on how such deferrals will work and any related reporting and other requirements before programming changes can be made." Now, at this point, as we record on August 22nd, I think there's zero chance this happens. 
 
David Leary: [00:20:43] I found an article ... I just wanted to clarify - this is only the employee's share of Social Security, correct? Not federal withholding, as well?
 
Blake Oliver: [00:20:49] And not Medicare. Just the employee share of Social Security.
 
David Leary: [00:20:52] It's just 6.2% of each paycheck. It looks like the administration felt that it only had the power to issue a deferral and not a forgiveness. They didn't really have the power to truly handle this the right way, but they signed it anyways, because it obviously gets good press, right? 
 
Blake Oliver: [00:21:06] Right. 
 
David Leary: [00:21:06] This is an election year. I think we're gonna see ... I wouldn't be surprised if we see student-loan deferral type things come out from Trump- we're gonna see a lot. 
 
Blake Oliver: [00:21:15] No, there was one. We haven't talked about it. That was an executive order, or it's a memorandum. I don't remember this difference. Practically speaking, there's no difference, but they're called different things. That's also having questions. We didn't even talk about it because it's not really related to tax. Yeah, chaos on that end. Meanwhile, no agreement in Congress about what to do about further stimulus. I haven't seen anything on that. 
 
David Leary: [00:21:42] Everything's in limbo, right. Because things are in limbo ... Remember Potbelly was one of the people that applied for the loan, early on - the PPP loan - then gave it back.
 
Blake Oliver: [00:21:49] The sandwich company.
 
David Leary: [00:21:50] Yeah, the sandwich company. Apparently, they went, later on, and reapplied, once they saw that there was extra money ... They basically gave it back under the guise of, "Oh, maybe we took it from small businesses that needed the money."
 
Blake Oliver: [00:22:01] Yeah. 
 
David Leary: [00:22:01] Then, they gave it back. Then, they reapplied because everything's in limbo. They don't know what's coming down the pipe, so they reapplied to get a new loan.
 
Blake Oliver: [00:22:09] Also in limbo is the tax treatment of the expenses paid with PPP loans. The AICPA joined with 170 business and trade organizations asking Congressional leaders to allow businesses to write off those expenses. Still no action on that. Yeah, that's what's going on in the world of politics.
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This episode of The Cloud Accounting Podcast is sponsored by AccountingSuite. AccountingSuite is cloud accounting software that acts like a customizable ERP system. It lets you start out with just the features you need today and, in the future, as your business grows, you can easily add AccountingSuite extensions to give you the features you need.

A major strength of AccountingSuite is its robust set of inventory management tools. It includes multichannel inventory and has many integrations to many online stores, like ShipStation, Shopify, and Square. You can track inventory levels, orders, sales, and deliveries from anywhere at any time.AccountingSuite has an extension for multi-channel online sales. After connecting your online marketplaces, AccountingSuite will download all your transactions for you to approve prior to entry into the accounting system. It's similar to working with bank feeds.

AccountingSuite is offering Cloud Accounting Podcast listeners 50 percent off forever by using the promo code "CAP_50_2020." To take advantage of this exciting offer and to learn more about how AccountingSuite offers an upgradable path for your firm and company's future, head over to cloudaccountingpodcast.promo/asuite. That is Cloud Accounting Podcast dot promo forward slash A-S-U-I-T-E. AccountingSuite is here to help you grow.
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Blake Oliver: [00:23:44] Where do we wanna go from here? We have another voicemail. Maybe we should break things up and listen to that.
 
David Leary: [00:23:49] We could do the voicemail, and a review, and then, let's jump into surveys. We have all kinds of surveys.
 
Blake Oliver: [00:23:53] We'll hit the survey data at the end of this. So, let me pull up our second voicemail from a friend of the show, Hector Garcia.
 
Hector Garcia: [00:24:02] Hi, folks. This is Hector Garcia. I am a fan of the Cloud Accounting Podcast. I love the podcast. I love the content. I wanted to chime in on this stuff you guys were talking about on value pricing on the last episode. What I wanted to tell you, from what I've learned about implementing value pricing in my practice, there are three rules I learned from Ron Baker, which I think are really important.
 
[00:24:27] Rule 1) in the real world, debits do not equal credits. Basically, that means that whatever the customer's spending and what you're receiving in an accounting ledger, it is a transfer of money. As accountants, we think it's just $100 moving from one place to the other, but in the real world, your customer values your services above the amount that they're paying you, and you value your customer's $100 more than the alternative of not doing anything with your time or not serving that particular customer. It's a win-win transaction.
 
[00:25:04] Rule 2) value is subjective, but pricing is contextual. Value is subjective because every single person values things differently. Whatever your customer values your service for, you will never know. However, with pricing, you can contextually get closer and understand what the customers value the most. Also, when you offer options in fixed prices, where you have a package that's a lower tier, a package that's a middle tier, and a package that's a higher tier, customized based on their needs, the customer will now, with the context, understand where the value potentially is. They will pay more to get more. Plus, they can compare that with other people's quotes, and if a competitor gives them one quote, and you give them three quotes, you basically triple your chances of getting a deal versus a competitor because you gave the customer three choices.
 
[00:25:59] Lastly, "Prescription without diagnosis is malpractice" basically means that we should not jump to the solution; we should not jump to offer what we think the customer needs. This means you need to take your time to understand your customer's needs. Have a deep conversation. Without the value conversation, you cannot have value pricing. Many of us make the mistake of jumping the gun and offering what we think the customer needs right away, instead of taking the extra 20 minutes, 30 minutes, hour to conversate with a client in depth and know what they need. Hopefully, these three rules help you implement value pricing much quicker and in a much effective way.
 
David Leary: [00:26:41] This is a great voicemail.
 
Blake Oliver: [00:26:43] Yeah, right? Super-helpful. Thank you, Hector, for those insights. Hector is summarizing some of the key tenets of Ron Baker, the guru of value pricing, I would say, in the profession. If you want to learn more, check out Hector's YouTube channel.
 
David Leary: [00:27:00] So, his third point in that, I have a question on. Basically, he's saying to have the value conversation, you have to have a longer conversation to determine how you want to price the value of this.
 
Blake Oliver: [00:27:09] Yes.
 
David Leary: [00:27:09] Is that a psychological struggle for accountants and bookkeepers? Because, in your brain, "My billable time, it's my time. Time is money. Time is money. I can't have two hours of free phone call." Is there are some gamble, if you wanna value-bill people, that you're gonna have waste? You have to accept the fact that you might have some wasted conversations with people that maybe aren't the right fit; maybe won't ever value-bill? Maybe you have a two-hour conversation, you make zero money on that person, and they walk because the offset of getting the true value from one or two clients is just monstrous, and it offsets the losses? Psychologically, I can't see a lot of accountants and bookkeepers being okay with, "I'm talking to this person for free."
 
Blake Oliver: [00:27:48] I think you nailed it with that question. I have a possible solution - what I did in my own practice. That is a huge problem. You get people calling you; you don't wanna spend hours on the phone with them, giving them what feels like free information. You just wanna start working. You just give them your hourly rate and say, "You wanna work with me, there it is," right? Obviously, that is not ideal, so how do you deal with this? How do you deal with all that time you're gonna spend up front, before you get to the value, before you can give them a proposal?
 
[00:28:22] The way I did it in my firm is I had an assessment fee. This was for bookkeeping, and payroll, and bill pay. We're talking bookkeeping work, lower value, relatively lower value type work. We didn't charge a lot of money, but we charged $500 for an assessment. That would mean I go through your QuickBooks, or your Xero file with you. I learn about your business operations. I do basically an hour-long assessment call, and then I would spend another hour - two hours all in - doing a write-up. They actually get a deliverable at the end. They get a document that says, "Here's what you're doing now, and here is how we can help you."
 
David Leary: [00:29:02] So, it's like a known package you have: "I'm gonna provide X service at this price." It's a flat fee. 
 
Blake Oliver: [00:29:09] Right. When people called up, I could talk to them for 15 minutes. and then I could say, "Look, if you want to talk more, here is the assessment package. This is the way that you get started with me. If you're not ready, come back to me when you're ready to invest the $500." I didn't say it that way, but that was the implication, that I'm not gonna give you any more time for free. I found this to be a great barrier to entry that helped weed out the people who weren't really serious, who were just looking for free consulting and allowed me to cover the cost of my time to do these initial calls.
 
[00:29:38] I think, in a larger firm, actually, it might be worth not doing that. I don't know. It just depends on are you willing to have a loss leader type of service? Can you dedicate the time of a salesperson to just have those free calls? I think it definitely could have eliminated some people who didn't wanna pay up front for that. For me, it was a way to protect my time, when I didn't have a lot of it, so it worked out for me. I also think it just sort of sets an expectation, like, "If this guy is charging me $500 for an assessment," do they really expect to pay less than that per month for bookkeeping? No. It kind of sets that in their head. So, that's my recommendation. That's what worked for me. I think those were really great points, and I liked the last one a lot. Thank you, Hector. Actually, there's quite a bit of relevant data in some of these surveys that we could get to.
 
David Leary: [00:30:26] Let's jump in.
 
Blake Oliver: [00:30:27] Okay, let's see ... Canopy, or Bill.com? Maybe we'll start with the Canopy survey. The headline here is: "Clients disappointed with tax refunds, expect more from accountants." According to a survey by practice management software provider Canopy, over half of tax clients aren't positive that their accountant fully minimizes their tax payment. 46% were disappointed by the size of their tax refund last year. Now, nevertheless, 85% of those surveyed would recommend their accountant.
 
David Leary: [00:31:00] Disappointed in it, but still would recommend their accountant.
 
Blake Oliver: [00:31:03] Or they don't have full confidence, I suppose, in it. They're not totally sure that they got the biggest refund they could have gotten. I've been thinking about that since I saw this stat. I'm thinking, what does this indicate? What is the problem here? I think it has to do with client expectations, perhaps, or maybe the way that firms are communicating with clients. I think a lot of the time, firms simply deliver a tax return and that's it. "Here's your tax return. Sign this; send this in; we're done," right? 
 
David Leary: [00:31:33] Is it a problem with the CPA branding? You just assume they've all got the same certification, they're all the same. If you're picking a dentist, a lot of times, your health insurance is gonna give you a list of six dentists. You're like, "That one's close to the house," and you pick it. They're all dentists. 
 
Blake Oliver: [00:31:48] Hmm. 
 
David Leary: [00:31:48] Do you think it's a little bit of a branding problem where people just don't have ... It's not that they have low expectations, but they don't have any expectations to get any different experiences anywhere else.
 
Blake Oliver: [00:32:01] Right. 
 
David Leary: [00:32:01] The CPA brand is so strong, in a way, it lowers ... People's expectations are like, "You're just a CPA, they're a CPA. It's all the same. I don't have to go ..." There's no way to differentiate between one CPA and the next. Now, you and I are deep in the weeds here, and, of course, that's not true, but think about the average person. They don't know. 
 
Blake Oliver: [00:32:17] That's true, and so, that's an opportunity. That's one of the highlights of the Canopy survey. Crazy enough, only 2% of the respondents said that their accountant offers an online portal. That seems insanely low to me. Does that seem low to you, David, 2%?
 
David Leary: [00:32:39] I think there's a lot of accountants that offer online portals, but they can't get their clients to use them.
 
Blake Oliver: [00:32:45] Or maybe the clients didn't even know about it, or something?
 
David Leary: [00:32:46] Didn't know about them, or even wanna use it. Even if the accountant communicated to the client about their online portal, the client ... It's the lowest thing in their priority list to remember-
 
Blake Oliver: [00:32:55] Which is funny because online portals are the thing that all the tax-preparation companies are trying to differentiate themselves with. 78% of taxpayers surveyed said that the technology their accountant uses to make tax preparation easy is important. So, nobody's using portals, but technology is important. If it's not portals, then what is it?
 
David Leary: [00:33:16] I always felt like the portal should be the other direction. Somebody like Intuit should offer- I have my portal at Intuit if it's my business. Then, I invite an accountant to my portal; I invite a lawyer to my portal; I invite these other professional services that I need to my data. Why, as the business owner, do I need to go to three or four different portals and upload the same documents many times? I always felt like the whole concept of portals is completely upside down. A company like Intuit actually has probably a perfect position to do it. 
 
Blake Oliver: [00:33:46] I can't tell you how many times I've tried to share documents securely with professionals that I utilize. I send them a Google Drive link, and they can't figure out how to open it. 
 
David Leary: [00:33:59] Oh, yeah, and send you a PDF with confidential information over the internet as a postcard. Yeah, I get it. You can't win. 
 
Blake Oliver: [00:34:03] The top technologies that customers cited for improving the way that they work with their accountants is an online way to send and receive documents - Hmm, I wonder what that would be? - text chat for questions and answers, and the ability to set and change appointments online. So, they wanna be able to send and receive documents more easily, text chat for questions and answers, and the ability to set and change appointments online. Doesn't seem like they're asking for a lot if you ask me. I can do that with a lot of businesses. I don't know if I can do that with a lot of accounting firms, though, or tax firms.
 
David Leary: [00:34:39] Yeah, and you can do it with a lot of other ... I think it's from a consumer standpoint, right? You probably will, now that you're in Arizona, with the heat; you're gonna get a rock that hits your windshield.
 
Blake Oliver: [00:34:49] It already happened. It happened the first month I was here. I had-
 
David Leary: [00:34:53] The heat's gonna make it crack in like 10 minutes, and you're gonna have to have it replaced. I don't know if you've use that Safelite Auto thing. It's all done through the app. You book it. The whole thing's a calendar appointment. You get notifications when they're on their way. The experience is pretty good. So, you're right, if accounting firms could give a little bit more of that insight, like, "Hey, we've started to return ..." Almost like your delivery - you can see your package from each facility and from Amazon, then it gets to the delivery truck, and now, it's almost in your neighborhood. It's not so much a portal, it's a communication device [crosstalk] 
 
Blake Oliver: [00:35:24] Status update. Even just being able to text .... To have clients text with you instead of email with you ... I can't tell you how annoying it is for me, personally, when I'm working with the service provider, if I can't communicate them with them via chat. If I have to actually remember to call them during business hours and then leave a message and not know if the message is received ... I would much rather just open up my phone and text with them. You can do this these days, securely. RingCentral has texting capabilities, so you can deploy virtual phone numbers to your firm and allow people to text. If you use a help desk software, like Ryan Lazanis recommends as being one of the game-changers for your firm, a lot of those services now allow you to have a text message channel for support requests that can then be routed to the right people.
 
[00:36:11] Last bit of insight from this Canopy survey: apparently, many tax clients are unaware of the post-filing services offered by their accountants. One out of three clients didn't know if their tax accountant provides audit protection services. 37% of the tax clients polled said they don't know if their tax accountant provides legal tax services. So, if you do, then your clients aren't finding out about it. If you don't, maybe you could have referrals. If you're referring people to folks who do provide those legal tax services, then that could increase your business, in return. 
 
[00:36:45] Just kind of shows a lack of marketing follow-up and nurturing of clients that needs to happen. So, stay in touch with your clients throughout the year. Have an email distribution list, where you remind them of the things that you do. Pretty simple; not complicated stuff, not expensive stuff to do. Again, like having a way for them to securely share documents with you, to chat with you, to make a calendar appointment online - this is all stuff that you can set up very cheaply for your firm.
 
David Leary: [00:37:16] This goes back to thinking about packages. Package your services in some three-tier lineup, to where, "Hey, if you just want a return and never talk to me, it's this much a year. If you want this package, or this package ..." When you do that exercise, it forces you to list the services you offer in a nice three-column approach. You could build this in Excel, people! You could do this in Excel.
 
Blake Oliver: [00:37:36] That's the benefit of the three-tier pricing. Again, if you wanna show clients everything you offer, that's where you have that super-premium offering that has everything that you do. That way, they at least know that you do it. Even if they're not gonna ever select it, they can see there that you offer audit support, that you offer legal services, that you offer financial planning, that you offer advisory type services. They'll know because it's in your pricing. That's the one thing that everybody looks at really carefully is the pricing.
 
David Leary: [00:38:02] Yeah. They don't go to the services page of your website, they go to the pricing page. So, if you list your services as part of the pricing model, they're gonna see your services [crosstalk] 
 
Blake Oliver: [00:38:08] That's right. I'm surprised that more and more firms don't package audit defense with their tax prep because if you have a big enough client base, you can figure out how to do it in a way that's not gonna bankrupt your firm. It's like an insurance policy that your clients buy. It's the same way they do it with TurboTax; you pay an extra blah-blah-blah, X dollars, and now you have Audit Defense. Why don't accounting firms do that, too?
 
David Leary: [00:38:33] I have some work-at-home survey from Adobe. You wanna jump into that? There's some neat learnings here.
 
Blake Oliver: [00:38:38] Yeah! Let's hear about working from home.
 
David Leary: [00:38:41] They studied 1,000 currently employed people who usually work in the office to see how it's going, working at home and with COVID. We've beat this one to death. 34% say they're starting to experience video-conference fatigue and they see this keep churning up. People are starting to feel the fatigue of this. What's happening now is  - and that's the theme of this - there's a shift to email that we'll talk about. What's happening now is 78% of workers are using email to connect with colleagues, and 56% are starting to prefer just to make a phone call. They're starting to get sick of it.
 
[00:39:15] One thing is they're saying is this working remotely has helped a lot of parents, themselves, feel more connected to some coworkers that are also parents because they can easily bond over the homeschooling nightmares and all this other stuff that's happening as being a stay-at-home working parent. It's given them a whole new way to have a working relationship with people because they're going through the same at-home situation.
 
[00:39:34] The other thing, going back to email, they're starting to keep the work/life separation a little better because what they're doing is, they're waiting and only checking email, when it's truly work hours. Before, you'd be at home, and you'd check emails outside of your normal work hours. People are starting to put a boundary around when they check the emails.
 
Blake Oliver: [00:39:51] That's super-important. When I start my day, I try not to check my email for the first hour or two.
 
David Leary: [00:39:57] The reason they're starting to see email becoming the top go-to now is because instant messaging, the video conferences, Slack ... Those conversations never end. You can't be productive with that, and they're super-interruptive, and intrusive. Even on-demand video is kind of intrusive. You have to drop what you're doing, and you have to be on video. You can see what I'm doing. I can see what you're doing. So, you're starting to see a shift back towards email because it gives you control over your schedule, your time when you wanna check it, when you're gonna respond. It lets you collect your thoughts.
 
Blake Oliver: [00:40:28] Yeah.
 
David Leary: [00:40:28] Every time people think email is dead, the pendulum's swinging back.
 
Blake Oliver: [00:40:32] I don't like using Slack most of the time for a lot of work because it's not like I need an immediate response, and I know that I'm bothering somebody; I'm interrupting them, if I send them a message on Slack.
 
David Leary: [00:40:41] My Slack is just all red. I just have zillions of reds everywhere ... 
 
Blake Oliver: [00:40:45] It's too much.
 
David Leary: [00:40:48] I don't know what I should read or not read ... Yeah, so, the shift to email is coming back.
 
Blake Oliver: [00:40:53] Well, and the best, in my opinion, is a project management software, or task management software that allows people to get all of the notifications via email. That way, people who prefer using their inbox as a to-do list, or a way of managing their tasks, or whatever you wanna call it, they can still do that, but then, you can also have the structure of project management software.
 
David Leary: [00:41:14] Yeah, I've changed ... I've been struggling, myself, personally, on this. There were some stragglers this week, but as it's going forward, I'm kind of ... Mondays and Tuesdays, from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., jump on my calendar. It's wide open. I don't care. I've kind of just written those off as bankrupt. Whatever. On Wednesdays, after 1:00 p.m., no more meetings, no Zoom calls, nothing. On Thursdays, after 11:00 a.m., and on Fridays, I'm not taking any calls. I did this Friday. It was so productive. I could think, and I was calm, and my brain got into a good space. I just- I can't ... You can't do these calls nonstop. You have to create a situation ... It's hard. It's super-hard to protect yourself, I think. 
 
Blake Oliver: [00:41:57] I try to keep my afternoons clear so I can do flow work. And I'm just working on anything that requires a lot of thought. You need a few hours just to get into that flow and start working. And then if notifications come in, it ruins that . It takes you a long time to get back into it. So, I totally agree with you. I think that's really smart. All right, I've got one more survey for us.
 
[00:42:19] Perfect. 
 
Blake Oliver: [00:42:19] Bill.com and CPA.com came out with a survey that they did in partnership with Hinge. There's tons of goodies in here about the service offerings that accounting firms have, the buyer-perceived value of the various service offerings, and even how much you are possibly leaving on the table by not offering certain services. The one chart that I really liked is this matrix that shows the common versus uncommon services in accounting firms, meaning there are some services that lots of firms provide, like tax prep and bookkeeping. Then, there are services that not very many firms provide, like forensic accounting, or cash flow analysis.
 
[00:43:04] What this survey did is it broke out those services by the perceived value that buyers have for them. It suggests areas that you could go into. If you're looking to expand services, you want to expand into those that have high perceived value, so people are willing to pay for them, and ones that other firms are not doing yet. Get where I'm going with this?
 
David Leary: [00:43:28] Yeah, It's blue-ocean strategies.
 
Blake Oliver: [00:43:32] Yes. 
 
David Leary: [00:43:32] You wanna be in the blue ocean, where nobody's competing and create your own market.
 
Blake Oliver: [00:43:34] Yeah, and there's lots of money to be made, right? I'll go through these quadrants. I'm actually gonna start with ... They labeled them funny, too. I'm gonna start with the quadrant in the bottom left. This is lowest perceived value and the most common service, and that is bookkeeping, and financial statement closures - closing the books, low value, very common.
 
[00:43:53] Now, you move up. This is also common services but with higher value. You have financial reporting, and advisory/consulting, and tax prep. If you're a firm that's doing a lot of bookkeeping, if you add financial reporting, or advisory, or tax prep, you're gonna increase your value. Now, let's move to the bottom right. This is an uncommon service that has low value, so you may not want to necessarily get into providing this. Interestingly enough, cash flow analysis is listed here. So, it's a service that not many firms are providing, but it also has relatively low value. That surprised me.
 
David Leary: [00:44:34] Low value perceived by the buyer, the actual customer.
 
Blake Oliver: [00:44:37] By the buyer, yeah. We have all these apps out there that are talking about helping with cash flow, helping your clients with cash flow, but apparently that is not the thing that they are looking for or willing to pay for as much as you might think.
 
David Leary: [00:44:51] Was this a survey of customers, small business owners, people that consume tax?
 
Blake Oliver: [00:44:56] Mm-hmm. 
 
David Leary: [00:44:57] Is this catching all the entire accounting industry? How did they determine- who'd they survey for the perceived buyer value?
 
Blake Oliver: [00:45:04] They surveyed over 650 individuals representing accounting firms and companies. There are three size categories: small, midsize, and large, where small is less than 10 employees, midsize as a 10 to 99, and then large is 100 or more. It's a mix of buyers across the spectrum. On the buyer side, when we're talking about perceived value, over half are on the small side, about a quarter on the midsize side, and 15% or so are on the large side. So, it's a mix.
 
David Leary: [00:45:35] Got it. 
 
Blake Oliver: [00:45:35] So, relatively lower value - cash flow analysis. Also, on this bottom right of uncommon service/lower value is benefits administration, lean processes, outsourced/virtual CFO, and payroll. So, payroll doesn't surprise me because that's kind of become somewhat of a commodity by itself; just running payroll is not super-high value. But I was surprised to see outsourced and virtual CFO on that bottom right quadrant.
 
[00:46:05] Advisory/consulting is in the top left quadrant. Advisory/consulting has high higher value than outsourced/virtual CFO. I'm wondering if that is simply a marketing problem, that when people think virtual CFO, that's not what they want. They want advisory/consulting. Really, those are kind of the same thing to me. Are they different to you? Do you think they're different?
 
David Leary: [00:46:33] I think it's the same thing. This is a brand-
 
Blake Oliver: [00:46:36] A branding problem, right? 
 
David Leary: [00:46:37] A branding thing, in the way it's been referred to. Arguably, financial reporting, even cash flow analysis, that's really advisory, and consulting, and financial reporting. There's something ... As I'm really sitting here staring at this more and more, as you're talking, this thing doesn't totally add up to me. It's a little ...
 
Blake Oliver: [00:46:56] Well, again, I think it's terminology. What does this mean to different people? When you talk about cash flow analysis, I think a lot of business owners think of short-term cash flow - the next eight weeks - which maybe they have lower- they perceive lower value because they're doing that themselves; they know how to do that. 
 
[00:47:14] To be a successful business owner, you kind of have to be able to manage your short-term cash flow, otherwise, you'd be out of business ... I think most of the businesses that fail in the first few years, it's because of cash flow issues. The ones that are still around seeking accounting services already figured this out. That's just my theory.
 
[00:47:30] Let's continue on. We've got one more quadrant. This is the money quadrant where you have an uncommon service not offered by a lot of firms but has high perceived value by the buyer. This is where we should be expanding. David, you're gonna be happy, I think, to see that accounts payable/bill pay is on there.
 
David Leary: [00:47:45] Yes.
 
Blake Oliver: [00:47:46] Now, the survey was also sponsored by Bill.com. So ... [crosstalk] Who knows? Who knows? That actually doesn't surprise me because that was my number-one value-add service in my firm when I did virtual bookkeeping.
 
David Leary: [00:48:00] So it's interesting if you compare this third quadrant graph to their very next graph, which is basically the buyer demand for these groups, that's where this doesn't reconcile.
 
Blake Oliver: [00:48:10] Well, let's go through the rest of the services on this upper-right corner, and then we'll go to that. We have bill pay/accounts, managing that for clients - high value. Not a lot of firms do it. Forensic accounting - that makes sense to me. Not a lot of firms do forensic accounting. Data and analytics, and technology services. So, hey, Cloud Accounting Podcast listeners, you're into technology because you're listening to this show, right? That's a good place to be. Not a lot of firms are offering integration work, setting up ERP systems or accounting systems, all that stuff.
 
[00:48:44] That's it. We've got those four quadrants. If you're gonna expand into stuff, probably wanna expand into areas with high value. On the common side, if you're not doing it, you should be doing financial reporting, advisory/consulting, and tax prep. If you wanna expand into that blue-ocean territory that David mentioned, forensic accounting, AP/bill pay, data analytics, and technology services. Now, what's the confusion with this next chart here?
 
David Leary: [00:49:11] So, the perceived value I get. They don't value bookkeeping. But the demand is the second largest behind tax prep. Obviously, tax-prep people are like, "I don't wanna deal with this at all. I'm gonna have somebody else do this for me," which I get why there's such a high perceived value and demand. Bookkeeping is high up on the demand; financial reporting is high up on demand-
 
Blake Oliver: [00:49:30] Again, perceived value versus demand, very different things, right?
 
David Leary: [00:49:34] Yeah.
 
Blake Oliver: [00:49:34] Demand just means I want this; not necessarily that I'm willing to pay a lot of money for it, but ... It's interesting. Tax prep, by far, outstrips everything else. 68% of buyers surveyed currently purchase tax prep and another 4% is unmet. So, there's even room for expansion in tax prep. Bookkeeping is next on the list. 40% of buyers currently purchase bookkeeping with 7% unmet demand. Then we've got financial reporting ... That advisory/consulting bar that we're looking at here, David, fourth down on the list - crazy unmet demand. Only 15% of buyers are currently getting advisory/consulting services from their firms and another 28.6% want to buy it.
 
David Leary: [00:50:20] Even look at the top box thing - forensic accounting. It's high perceived value, uncommon service.
 
Blake Oliver: [00:50:27] Mm-hmm.
 
David Leary: [00:50:27] Te reason it's an uncommon service is because it's the lowest in demand [crosstalk] Right? This is why it's uncommon. Nobody offers it because nobody wants it.
 
Blake Oliver: [00:50:37] Interesting. 
 
David Leary: [00:50:37] Do you see why I'm trying to reconcile these two charts? 
 
Blake Oliver: [00:50:40] Oh, yeah. 
 
David Leary: [00:50:40] It just doesn't ... Of course, it's uncommon. Nobody wants it.
 
Blake Oliver: [00:50:44] Exactly, not high demand for that. If we're gonna put our eye on this chart and tell people where to go, it looks like- 
 
David Leary: [00:50:52] Well, if we're building an accounting firm, what services do we offer?
 
Blake Oliver: [00:50:55] We obviously offer the top ones that people want - tax prep, bookkeeping, financial reporting. I think that goes- that's a given, right? 
 
David Leary: [00:51:01] Because you can't do the other ones without bookkeeping. 
 
Blake Oliver: [00:51:04] Advisory/consulting, you can't do without bookkeeping and kind of hard to do it without also managing their tax, if you're doing tax planning, which I would roll into that. Payroll's optional. I think that makes sense. A lot of companies can run payroll themselves these days, with ADP, Gusto, Paychex. Those services are quite good. Accounts payable/bill pay, definitely. Cash flow analysis, here, right? 10% of customers get it, but there's 18% demand. More than half of the people who want it are not being served by cash flow analysis.
 
David Leary: [00:51:37] Yeah. So maybe this is where - you think about this chart - you have to do the low perceived value things, and that's where your fixed package is. "We're gonna do your basic bookkeeping for this much a month, etc., but we're gonna do forensic accounting for you, and we're gonna ..." That's what you value-bill on, these smaller niche-type services. You probably can't do them all. You probably can't offer forensic accounting, and lean processes, and tech services.
 
[00:51:59] It could be hard to do all this, but you could probably do one of those, a niche, get really good at it, and that's where you bring higher value, and you could charge more for those services. If you just built a firm, like, "We're gonna forensic accounting, accounts payable, and data analytics," it's not gonna work because there's not enough demand. It's an interesting survey of this whole ... It's deep, though. They break it down by every industry, perceived value of what you're doing for them.
 
Blake Oliver: [00:52:22] There's a breakdown of what advisory services mean to buyers - the areas inside of that. I was excited to see that 65% of buyers said revenue growth, and business modeling is an area of need inside of advisory services. Of course, that's what we do at Jirav is business modeling, financial modeling. That's pretty cool. Going down the list: budgeting, tax planning, risk management, advanced KPI reporting, cash flow, business valuation. Then, we dip down below 30%. Financial dashboard's still 27%. Help with pricing, 27%. A lot of opportunities inside of that advisory services realm.
 
[00:53:05] The last thing I wanna offer here with this survey, there's a bunch of stuff about pricing. So, if you're trying to convince your firm to offer advisory services, it can be challenging because it takes a big investment, and it's kind of unknown how much more money you're gonna make, especially if you're trying to do value pricing. Not easy to convince a partner who's used to pricing hourly to go on value-priced, or fixed-price advisory services, or whatnot.
 
[00:53:32] This survey actually quantifies how much money is being left on the table. Small buyers are willing to pay 31% more if you add advisory services. Whatever they're paying now, they're willing to pay 31% more to add advisory services to their package. Midsize buyers present an 11% growth opportunity. Now, interestingly, large buyers, over 100 employees, they actually wanna cut their costs. They don't wanna pay anything more.
 
[00:54:05] Kind of interesting, if you can package advisory services for the small customers with less than 10 employees, that's a huge growth opportunity. I think you need automation, or you need to standardize it. You can't do a one-off. With large customers, it's not worth going after them for that, at least according to this survey; you'd be better off helping them save money with automation, and tech, and all that.
 
David Leary: [00:54:29] If you think about Hector's voicemail, and you go back to that first survey, you talked about, where people aren't aware of what services you offer, it all comes down to packaging. Now, this survey is actually telling you, hey, if you do package it, you have a 30% margin you can add on to your prices. 
 
Blake Oliver: [00:54:43] Last bit here, the average monthly price paid for accounting services for buyers who do not currently purchase advisory services, it's about $1,100 a month. They would be willing to pay another $5654 per month to add some advisory services. Buyers who currently purchase advisory services, they're paying an average of about almost $1,600 per month.
 
[00:55:06] So, that actually tracks that the buyers who do not currently purchase advisory services, but they have some sort of accounting services, they're paying an average of $1,100 per month in this survey, and they'd be willing to pay another $500-$600. 
 
[00:55:18] That tracks with the amount that buyers who are currently purchasing advisory services pay. So, there is good data supporting that. There's a huge growth opportunity. If you're not doing it and you don't have to go get new clients. If you're serving small clients, you can increase your revenue 31% just by adding advisory services.
 
David Leary: [00:55:39] Especially if you already are doing this. If you already offer this service at your firm, and you're not selling this in a good way to an existing client ... It's your God-given right to make more money off of your clients instead of trying to go hunt in the market for a new client to sell a teeny advisory service ... You have to show your customers what you offer, package it up in a way that's attractive that they'll buy it, and they'll pay more, if they know they're getting more value from you.
 
Blake Oliver: [00:56:05] If you wanna look at the survey, yourself, you can head to the link in the show notes, or you can search for business model trends for accounting advisory services, and you'll find that on the Bill.com website. That's all that I've got this week, David.
 
David Leary: [00:56:24] That's it for me, as well. We have one review. We should probably read that quickly.
 
Blake Oliver: [00:56:27] This is from Teff7, five stars. "After making a decision to make a mid-life career change from government funding to accounting, I started listening to accounting podcasts to get my head in the game. The Cloud Accounting Podcast is by far the best. I nailed my first (and consequently only) interview for a finance job, in no small part thanks to David and Blake. I was able to talk confidently about technology and was even able to enthusiastically inform them about the brand new (at the time) Xlookup function in Excel. Thanks, guys, David Paitai." Wow! 
 
David Leary: [00:57:02] This is great. So, you can impress your coworkers if you listen to The Cloud Accounting Podcast, and you can get jobs, if you listen- 
 
Blake Oliver: [00:57:09] You can get a job from listening to The Cloud Accounting Podcast! Wow. Thank you so much, David. Thanks for listening, and I'm so glad to hear that you got that job. I think we need to include maybe more Excel information in our show, David. We did with Power Query, today.
 
David Leary: [00:57:25] Well, Excel's been in the last three episodes in a row, by the way, because the bug with the DNA strands, the naming [crosstalk] Excel's been popping up a lot in the show, which is funny. Again, there's this pendulum swinging back to email; now, there's a pendulum possibly swinging back to Excel. More things stay the same, the longer we go down this timeline. What I would love everybody do is, yes, leave us voicemails, right? 
 
Blake Oliver: [00:57:50] Yep. 
 
David Leary: [00:57:50] They can call and easily leave us a voicemail.
 
Blake Oliver: [00:57:53] You wanna say that number again, David?
 
David Leary: [00:57:55] It's (202) 695-1040. 
 
Blake Oliver: [00:57:58] Just note, you have a three-minute recording limit on that.
 
David Leary: [00:58:01] We'd love if you left reviews on Apple Podcasts, or on Podchaser. We'll read your reviews. We're obligated, like Blake says, to read your review on the air. We'll read your review, and we'd love to see more voicemails. I love the fact that listeners are reaching out and doing that.
 
Blake Oliver: [00:58:15] Yeah, and again, your voicemail can be about anything you want. Let us know if something that helped you that you wanna share with our listeners. I love that, like what Hector did when he called in with that advice. Fantastic. Feel free. If something is working in your firm and you wanna share it, let us know. We will share it with the world. If you wanna contact me online, I'm @BlakeTOliver on Twitter. How about you, David?
 
David Leary: [00:58:38] I'm on Twitter, as well - @DavidLeary.
 
Blake Oliver: [00:58:41] David, great to chat with you, as always. I'll see you here next week.
 
David Leary: [00:58:45] All right.
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