Become a Certified Consultant: Now is the Time
Post by: Jim Boomer, CEO
In the past few months, as businesses have been reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic, accountants have found themselves in a unique position to help their clients navigate these challenging times, plan for an uncertain future and even identify opportunities resulting from the pandemic. Some professionals may view this as doing whatever it takes to get through the current crisis. But forward-thinking firms recognize it as an opportunity to create momentum in the transition from technical advisor to consultant.
Emerging opportunities for accountants
Change creates opportunity. Right now, businesses need their CPAs to help them develop strategies to mitigate risks, manage cash flow, apply for credit and federal support programs, looking for new opportunities, and figuring out benefits and obligations of the CARES Act.
Whether offering consulting services was on your radar or not, you likely had a crash course on having consultative conversations with your clients during this year’s busy season. Your business clients need you more than ever and trust you to guide their business through this crisis.
Building on momentum
The opportunity to serve your clients in new ways won’t disappear after tax season. Business clients will have ongoing compliance needs for reporting, valuation and analysis as the pandemic continues and beyond. And they’ll continue to need advice in diverse areas, such as adapting to remote work, technology, analytics, fraud prevention, cybersecurity and more.
These ongoing needs allow you to build on the momentum created during busy season to have consultative conversations throughout the year, not just during tax season or surrounding Paycheck Protection Program applications.
How can you make these services a regular part of your offerings going forward?
The Boomer Certified Consultant Training
The Boomer Certified Consultant Training is a program designed to give professionals tools, accountability and a clear path to make the transition from technical advisor to consultant. It starts with three and a half days of in-depth training (now offered virtually) that covers:
What a consultant is (and is not)
Tips for creating capacity, so you have space to “transform as you perform”
How to become a thought leader in your niche
How to have consultative conversations
A process for selling consulting engagements
Tools consultants use
A plan of action
After the training, individuals participate in group coaching calls, monthly accountability calls with an assigned buddy and must complete a consulting engagement with a client before receiving their certification.
We held our inaugural training session with 14 professionals in December of 2019. Despite the challenges presented by the longest tax season in recorded history and COVID-19, each of these professionals have made changes in their careers and their firms. They’ve developed new consulting opportunities and successfully provided consulting services that deliver real value for their clients.
Is the profit potential there?
Of course, with many businesses impacted by the COVID-19 virus, you may be wondering whether clients have the money available to pay for your services. To some extent, it’s important to focus on the long game, showing value to clients now and looking ahead to future opportunities.
That’s what members of our inaugural Certified Consultant Training have been doing in the past few months. Before the COVID-19 shutdowns, many were talking to their clients about strategic planning. Understandably, many of those clients wanted to put those initiatives on hold. They were focusing on immediate survival, not where they wanted to be in the next one to five years.
Rather than put strategic planning on hold entirely, these Certified Consultants asked their clients if they’d want to participate in a four-hour virtual strategic planning session to see them through the next 120 days. In these scaled-down engagements, the consultants helped them deal with the disruption of their business operations, make a plan for cash flows. The consultants pivoted their own service offerings and helped clients figure out a pivot plan of their own.
Are you ready to start your consulting journey?
Are you ready to build on the momentum created during busy season and take the next step toward becoming more consultative with your clients? Our next Boomer Certified Consultant Training takes place November 17-20, 2020. Complete an interest form today and let us help you become the consultant your clients need right now.
Jim Boomer, CEO of Boomer Consulting, Inc., is an expert on managing technology within an accounting firm. He serves as the director of the Boomer Technology Circles, The Advisor Circle and the CIO Circle. He also acts as a strategic planning and technology consultant and firm adviser to CPA firms across the country. Accounting Today called him a “thought leader who can help accountants create next-generation firms.” Jim is a prolific writer with a monthly column in The CPA Practice Advisor and has been published in a number of industry publications including Accounting Today, Accounting Web, the International Group of Accounting Firms and several state society publications.