Date posted: 09/08/2022

Felice Male CA on building a profitable advisory practice

Are you looking to offer more value to clients and improve profitability? The Business Advisory Accelerator Program has helped Felice Male CA do both.

In Brief

  • Adding a business advisory function can boost your firm’s revenue and profitability
  • Accountants have the expertise and client trust needed to deliver advisory services
  • The Business Advisory Accelerator Program can help you launch your offering successfully

Business advisory has been on the menu at ID Accounting and Wealth Solutions for over a decade but, in the past year, the firm’s ad hoc offering has been transformed into a fully-fledged division, with a promising future.

Based in Geelong, ID Accounting and Wealth Solutions has a team of 23 staff across its accounting and financial advice divisions. Clients of the former are predominately small and medium-sized enterprises that spend between $5,000 and $10,000 each year with the firm.

With business structuring and compliance work becoming increasingly commoditised, ID Accounting director Felice Male CA was alive to the need to seek out higher value assignments. When he learned of CA Catalyst’s Business Advisory Accelerator Program his interest was piqued.

“Advisory was something we’d dipped our toe into over the years on a reactive basis – typically clients would ask us to step into a quasi-CFO role, to help them out temporarily with budgeting or cashflow – but we never really got a lot of ongoing traction,” Felice explains.

“Then I became aware of the Accelerator program. I rate courses coming out of CA ANZ as having a fair bit of credibility so I decided to look into it further and my fellow director Michael Noonan and I enrolled.”

Conducted by consulting firm The Outperformer, the eight-week Accelerator program teaches firms how to position themselves, and market and sell their services. Participants are guided through the process of converting existing clients to their advisory offering and receive feedback on their efforts each week from an experienced team of instructors.

As well as providing a blueprint to create a viable new business stream, the Accelerator program reinforced the fact that accountants were ideally positioned to segue into the business advisory space, Felice observes.

“The big thing that landed for me was that, as an ongoing adviser, you weren’t expected to have all the answers,” he says. “Our role as an adviser is to look at the business as a whole, determine where they want to be in 24 to 36 months’ time and support them as they push towards those targets and goals. It’s akin to being a co-pilot or a GPS system – the client is in charge but we’re keeping them on track for where they want to go.”

Felice now devotes the equivalent of two days a week to advisory work and notes it delivers a significantly better return on his time than traditional compliance.

“We’ve always prided ourselves on forming strong relationships with business owners, via the services we offer,” Felice says.

“If they’re happy, the natural evolution is for them to look at advisory. The great thing for us, as accountants, is we already have the trust there. If the advisory engagement goes well, our clients see some real rewards or improvements and that increases the ‘stickiness’ of the relationship even more.”

Thanks to his experience in the program, Felice has plans in place to begin marketing the service to ID Accounting’s 3,500-strong business client base.

“I’m a big advocate for the program and highly recommend it to anyone who’s looking to understand how to systemise, price and market their services, or ramp up their advisory function.”

Learn more about the Accelerator program

Visit CA Business Advisory Accelerator Program

Search related topics