126 How to Implement Advisory Services with Twyla Verhelst, Leader of the Accounting Professionals Program at Freshbooks


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Twyla Verhelst is the co-founder of Eighty Twenty, an Advisory Accounting Firm. We discuss her journey of implementing Advisory Services, long before it was known as Advisory Services. We discuss the difference between what the client needs, and what the business owner needs, what questions to ask that lead to deeper insights to support Advisory Services, and how to get started simply and without overwhelm.

What we cover:

How to get started building your Advisory Services

Rather than make assumptions about what your clients need, ask questions up front:

  1. Why did you start this business? A passion-project, or because you quit your job and you need this to feed your family?
  2. What keeps you up at night?
  3. Where is your business headed? Where do you want to see your business headed, in 6 months, 12 months, 5 years? But even now in Covid-times, how about 90 days?

What patterns emerge from asking those questions of your clients?

Cashflow cashflow cashflow.

While 5 and 10 year scenario planning is incredibly useful, short-term cashflow planning is the most important thing. If not done well, it makes the 5-year plan moot.


What Twyla learned along the way:

  • Don’t provide metrics they see no value in
  • They may not pay you for information they don’t see value in or that matters to them
  • Present information that is digestible to them
  • How you see and understand information is not the same as how they see it
  • Understand what matters to them - and what helps them make better business decisions
  • Avoid accounting jargon and don’t be intimidating with tossing around fancy terms

Twyla’s advice for those wanting to get started

Start with one:

  • One client - don’t do it for everyone out of the gates
  • One service - don’t offer everything all at once

Come back to :

  • what it is that you are trying to do for your client
  • what happens if you don’t tell them
  • what impact will it have if I can help them

Connect with Twyla:


Other Relevant Episodes:

053, Adding Advisory Services and the Power of Niching Down

121, Switching to Advisory Services using Profit First, with Rob Foncannon, CPA

Software mentions:


Do you want your own Roadmap to Advisory Services?

If you want to implement Advisory Services in your accounting practice, but you need something of a Roadmap so you know what path to travel, and don’t want to waste time and energy wandering in the dark, Check out my roadmap to Advisory Services.

In this 30-day intensive1:1 program, we will work together hand-in-glove to get you from wanting Advisory Services, to actually Doing Advisory Services.

The end result is you have your first 2 advisory service clients, engagement letter signed.

We work together until you have that result, and you can have it inside 30 days.

If you’re curious, check out the Coaching Options tab on my website, SheThinksBigCoaching.com

Free 5-day email course - Better Pricing Strategies for CPAs

Get here

Want some help in your CPA firm, but not sure where to start?

Schedule a free discovery call with me:


Want to find out what options you might have for working together?

More about 1:1 coaching, roadmaps, and DIY courses here:


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