Why Trusted Advisor Means an Intelligent Friend

trusted advisor means intelligent friend

As accountants, we’ve probably heard the term “trusted advisor” countless times.

Business is a lonely place

But do we truly understand what it means for our clients? Running a small business is often a lonely endeavour. Most business owners have no one to turn to for advice or support, making our role as accountants more critical than ever. By offering a safe space for business owners to share their hopes, fears, and dreams, we can provide a valuable service as their “intelligent friend.”

Find out more about why trusted advisor means an intelligent friend.

Unique challenge

Business owners face unique challenges that their employed friends may not understand.

Admitting weakness or failure to other self-employed friends is difficult, and sharing concerns with family members can cause unnecessary worry. This is where accountants come in – by providing a non-judgmental and supportive environment, we can help entrepreneurs navigate the complexities of running a business.

de-risking business

However, there’s a common belief that small business owners may not be willing to pay for this type of service.

To overcome this misconception, we must demonstrate the value we bring and help our clients understand how our skills as accountants can significantly impact their success.

De-risking decision-making

Our analytical and critical thinking abilities, coupled with our understanding of numbers, make us the perfect allies for business owners. By asking probing questions and offering informed advice, we can help demystify the language of business – a skill that Warren Buffet famously emphasised as crucial for entrepreneurs. With our expertise, we can assist in de-risking decision-making and help business owners overcome their fear of failure.


Failure to implement (FTI) is often the result of fear and uncertainty. By helping entrepreneurs understand the financial implications of their decisions, we can alleviate their concerns and guide them in making informed choices. By tracking their progress, we can ensure they stay on course to achieve their goals and provide reassurance when needed.

To ensure that small business owners recognise and are willing to pay for the value we provide, we must structure our “intelligent friend” service in the right way.

Here are a few tips on how to do just that:

Speak their language

Communicate the benefits of our services in terms that resonate with business owners. Focus on outcomes like improved cash flow, increased profitability, and time savings rather than complex accounting jargon.

Demonstrate the value

Show clients how our expertise can help them make better decisions, reduce risks, and achieve their goals. Offer specific examples of how our services have positively impacted other businesses.

Build trust

Establish a rapport with clients by being genuinely interested in their success. Offer a safe space for them to discuss their concerns, and be a supportive and empathetic listener.

Leverage our skills

Use our analytical and critical thinking abilities to offer insightful advice and guidance. Help clients understand the financial implications of their decisions and how our expertise can make a difference in their businesses.

Be proactive

Regularly check in with clients to discuss their progress and address any concerns. Offer tailored advice based on their unique circumstances and goals.

By offering an “intelligent friend” service structured in this manner, small business owners will appreciate the value accountants bring and be more likely to invest in our services.

This not only helps them succeed but also ensures that we are finally paid what we’re worth

Being a trusted advisor means an intelligent friend to small business owners. By providing a safe space to discuss their concerns, leveraging our expertise, and demonstrating the value we bring, we can help entrepreneurs overcome their fears and achieve success. It’s time to embrace our role as trusted advisors and offer the support and guidance our clients need to thrive.

About Clarity

Clarity® is the end-to-end business advisory suite for accounting firms.

We help accountants thrive, by realising the  full potential of their team, their firm and their clients.

Clarity brings meaning to the word “advisory”. Our multi-award winning platform, education systems, and consulting team give you the structure, tools and plans to create, market, sell and deliver business advisory services; and the confidence to make it happen.

We enable you to introduce and create a profitable, repeatable and scalable business advisory service for your firm. One that increases revenue in excess of 40% and profitability by over 125%.

Significant value

Using Clarity adds significant value to small business clients. Value they clearly understand and want to pay for.

Why not book a call, so we can schedule a strategy session with you to create a customised implementation plan? We will then work with you to execute your plan.

And download our free report “The 7 Reasons Why Business Advisory isn’t Working” here.


Clarity has created a calculator to show you how you can improve the profit potential in your accounting firm.

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Want to find out more? Book a call with our team to find out if Clarity is a good fit for your team, clients and accounting firm.

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