Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

Identifying New Service Opportunities

Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

Identifying New Service Opportunities

Article excerpt

Often the best way to expand your practice is to find opportunities to provide additional services to existing clients. Asking the right questions can help you learn clients' needs for quality information. The American Institute of CPAs special committee on assurance services developed the following set of questions you can use to identify new service opportunities.

Clients make decisions based on information. The information might be financial or nonfinancial, relate to data or systems or come from internal or external sources. The information clients actually use is often not directly relevant to their problems or not reliable. But they use it because better information has not been developed or because they haven't linked their decision needs with the range of available information. Assisting clients to identify information needs and then finding or developing the information can be a high-value service.

The following questions should be asked during a typical client service engagement. Depending on the client relationship, they might be asked during a formal meeting or informal lunch with the controller, chief financial officer, chief executive officer or other executive. In any case, notes should be taken in order to communicate the importance of the discussion and to assist in the follow-up discussions and in later documentation of suggestions.

* What important business decisions keep you awake at night? …

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