why accountants fail at consulting

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by gary bolinger

most all cpas in public practice talk about transitioning away from traditional compliance services to offer more advisory services.

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when i have talked to firms in the past few years and i ask about percent of total firm revenues in a&a, tax and advisory, the percentage for a&a and tax constitutes a significant majority of total fees. but advisory alone is usually 10 percent or less.

even then, those advisory consulting fees are generally closely tied to some aspect of compliance. so, i’m not sure that i would really say that’s advisory. so, with all the talk – for maybe the last 20 years – about the need to grow advisory revenues, why are the revenues so low in relation to compliance services?