To stay relevant, accountants must be ready to develop new services and ways of working to meet the needs of today and tomorrow, through recovery and beyond. Sixty-seven per cent of Canadian SMBs said the nature of their business had changed, according to Wagepoint. And, also according to Wagepoint, 90 per cent of Canadian SMBs used at least one of the following tactics during the pandemic: shifting to remote work, using government wage subsidies, using new tech or software, shifting to an online model, or changing their business model.
According to the Dext survey, while tax is consistently the most important service provided by accounting professionals, there is significant variation in willingness to pay for services depending on the age group of respondents. SMB owners between 45-55+ have the strongest willingness to pay for traditional services including tax, compliance, audit and bookkeeping. Entrepreneurs aged 18-34, however, have the strongest interest in virtual CFO, supply chain and financial planning services — although their willingness to pay is limited.
For the majority of value-add services, SMB owners under the age of 44 were twice as likely as those 45+ to be willing to pay for:
- Financial management support.
- Advice on diversifying one’s business.
- Advice and support on international expansion.
- Planning to virtualize one’s business model/operations.
- Increasing data integrity.