Tolley recently spoke to tax professionals at firms who have already embraced the trend towards offering advisory services and discussed some of the challenges they face when offering higher-value advisory services and what is needed to overcome them. An interesting aspect that emerged from the report is that the more interesting advisory work may attract new talent to your business.

Some respondents in the Tolley tax thought leadership report expressed concerns that moving into advisory services could mean loading tax professionals with additional responsibilities, potentially risking a pushback from staff comfortable with the status quo.

However, Glenn Collins, head of policy, technical and strategic engagement at the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, said, "When you're looking at our great profession, we start with people who know they're engaged in lifelong learning, and this is all part of that lifelong learning process."

Bespoke advisory work can attract new talent

Adrian Young, tax partner at HURST, believes that growing your advisory business could also attract fresh talent. New talent who may otherwise be deterred from entering the profession due to the repetitive nature of certain compliance work might be more attracted to advisory services.

"When it comes to advisory work, it's only ever going to be tailored and bespoke and specific, so it's never going to be a commodity." He added, "I've always felt that if we wanted to develop as a practice, you need to bring in this interesting work because the young, bright things who are coming into the industry, they want this kind of work."

Compliance work can be mundane, but advisory work can be of great interest.

Download Tolley's new report: Advicepower! The tax accountants turning to advisory services

As people develop, they want more interesting work

When asked how they grew their advisory business and the challenges they faced, Young explains their growth as really coming from two sides.

"We are a medium-sized firm based in the northwest of England, principally in Manchester and Stockport, and we have about 100 people across all lines of services. We originally started as a fairly traditional accountancy audit firm, but our specialist advisory teams have really grown in the last six or seven years to be a significant part of the business.

The impetus really came from two sides. The first is client requirements. As our clients gradually become larger and more sophisticated, they tend to have greater advisory requirements. And then internally, as people develop, they want more interesting work.

Compliance and audit is the critical part of what we do, but it can sometimes be mundane. So, to make the business an attractive place to work, you have to make sure you have a pipeline of interesting work coming in."

Finding the right talent can be challenging

Whilst new talent might be attracted to advisory business, Adam Brodie, Finerva's co-founder and CEO, warns that finding the right people is not always easy. "One piece of advice I would have liked to have known early on is it is really difficult to find good people, particularly when it comes to advisors," said Brodie. "In the tax advisor space, it probably took us about nine months to find our current lead for tax advisory. So the challenge of growth in advisory is finding good people and retaining them as well."

"You need to bring the right people on board, people that have got some level of experience, or be prepared to invest in the people already there to train them up to be able to provide the advisory services," said Young.

By embracing the change to advisory services, you could draw fresh talent to your business or help retain existing talent who wants more exciting work. Although it might be tricky to find the right people, advisory services could attract a bigger pool to choose from.

For more insight from expert tax professionals who embraced the change, please read the full report.