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The Grass is Greener—Why Other Professions Bill More than Accounting

Tech Support // Practice Management, Tax Planning, Delivery, Engagement & Pricing, Life Accounting, Marketing

Playing with the kids—but thinking about your clients’ cash flow. Sitting down with a coffee—but phone in hand, replying to concerned clients. You’re invested in your clients’ businesses. You’re on—all the time.

You take the work home every day. But do you take home the pay to match? And how often are you pulling eighty hour weeks, with an effective hourly rate of...well, let’s not go there.

You’re not paid like other professionals.

Lawyers, dentists—you name it, other professionals are earning more, or earning it with less hours.

So why is the grass greener on the other side?

And how do we fix it?

It’s time to talk about the elephant in the room.

Other professions charge for advice—and other professionals are comfortable doing it.

The ‘quick chat’.

How often do clients text you with a ‘quick question’? Or catch you on the fly for the proverbial ‘quick chat’? Many accountants take those calls, and many feel obliged to give advice. Almost none charge for that time. It’s seen as part of the job, part of being the trusted advisor.

But if we’re trusted advisors, why don’t we charge for our advice?

As an accountant in Australia, you’re essentially required to advise on compliance. It’s part of our tax system. The ATO requires people to submit their own taxes. But in the USA for example, the IRS simply issues out a tax bill. And so, for any challenges or changes, clients in the US engage their accountant for advice.

But in the Australian tax system, you advise clients on compliance every time you prepare their tax. So it’s all seen as part of the service, with bookkeepers handling preparation. That’s why in Australia, advisory as a service is a late bloomer.

That’s also why accountants keep taking those ‘quick calls’.

Think about lawyers. When was the last time you squeezed in an unbilled ‘quick call’ with a lawyer? Every minute is scheduled, every conversation is billed—it’s considered professional.

‘Sell’—it’s not a four-letter word.

Think about going to the dentists. In the waiting room there are literally walls of brochures, advertising, service options. Dentists have become masters at the art of selling.

There’s a product for everything. How many of us know about Invisalign? We may never need braces, but we know the product. Strips for whiter teeth, mouthwash for better gums—the list goes on.

Because dentistry is so product-oriented, dental product brands have constantly pushed for new ways to inject their products into the dental experience. They’re educating customers so it’s easier to sell—and along the way they’ve educated dentists.

Time and expertise. Repeat.

We’re quick to laugh at lawyers who charge clients for a photocopy. But their clients aren’t in on the joke. They’re paying, and then they’re hiring lawyers again when they’re needed.

That’s because they’re not paying for the piece of paper, nor for the minute it takes to copy it—and they know it. They’re paying for the decades of training that went into choosing which page to copy.

But if lawyers don’t have an issue charging for their time and expertise, what’s stopping accountants? Could we be afraid of charging because of our repeat business model? Do lawyers charge as much as they can, knowing clients might only need their services once or twice a lifetime?

That might explain our past—but it doesn’t have to determine the future. Clients are ready to see the ‘trusted advisor’ as the ‘professional advisor’—so it’s time we moved beyond old fears.

Change the script.

The grass is greener on the other side. Whatever caused it , there’s a reluctance and lack of skill in charging properly. It’s seriously underselling—and underpaying—our professional services.

That’s why ChangeGPS makes sense.

We equip accountants with the language, tools, rates and materials to educate clients through the path to purchase—and get paid what their advice is actually worth.

We sell, you bill.

With engagement letters, reports, templates, and tools, ChangeGPS actually shows clients the value of your time and expertise—so they’re happy to pay.

Change GPS helps you:

  1. Educate your customers—they can’t buy if they don’t know. You get a wide range of engagement content.
  2. Benchmark your prices—you get the peace of mind of knowing you’re in-line with market rates.
  3. Articulate your value—you get service descriptions and engagement letters, crystal clear on value.
  4. Invoice with detail—you get service descriptions clearly written into invoices for zero client surprises.
  5. Bill for strategy reports—get rid of the ‘quick calls’, turn your advice into chargeable deliverables.
  6. Get better clients—not every client is worth the time: ChangeGPS helps attract the right clients.

It’s time to green up the grass on the accounting side.

Get in touch to find out how.

Schedule a demo—we’ll show you how to make a change as good as a payday.


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