Advisory Skills for Auditors (course)

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Big data, globalization, rapid changes in technology and regulation are quickly changing businesses of all sizes across all industries. The global pandemic amplified this need for change.

Accounting firms have always been uniquely qualified to help their clients navigate change, and firms are now rapidly developing new service offerings to meet this shifting business environment.

Auditors have obtained a deep understanding of their clients’ strategies, operations and information. Tax preparers have intimate access to a business owner’s personal financial situation and family needs. The nature of audit tax preparation engagements fosters a client relationship based on candor and trust. For these reasons, the audit or tax can serve as a bridge between client and other firm service lines.

This is not a course about cross-selling. It’s a one day course that helps senior staff and Managers better identify, understand and articulate client needs. The engaged participation in this course will enable the audit and tax professional to serve as the “tip of the spear” in the firm’s business development initiatives.

Learning Outcomes

  • Apply an understanding of the client’s business strategies and problem-solving process to lay the groundwork for a business partnering relationship.
  • Differentiate between three different types of advice and determine which would be most valuable in a given set of circumstances.
  • Use effective techniques for clarifying the root causes of problems.
  • Develop foundational skills for effective business advisors, including:
    • Forming and asking probing questions that drive clarity.
    • Using active listening skills to derive meaning.
    • Applying critical thinking and problem-definition skills to develop and present actionable advice that allows the client to make supportable business decisions.

Course Agenda

  • Problem Solving and the Role of the Business Advisor

    Advice is valuable when it helps clients solve a problem or realize an ambition. Participants observe a high level decision-maker receive and evaluate advice and learn how to strategically insert themselves into a client’s problem-solving process.
  • What You Bring to the Table

    Participants build a personalized inventory of expertise, experiences and relationships they can bring to the table to help clients.
  • Driving Clarity

    With their outsider perspective, consultants have the ability to identify their client’s problem-solving blind spots and guide them to clarity.
  • Evaluating Data and Assumptions

    Auditors are uniquely positioned to offer advice about the quality of their client’s data quality and the systems that generate it.
  • Presenting Actionable Advice

    Participants learn and practice how to present advice that makes a difference.