Pitcher Partners launches subscription model for its services

27 May 2020 Consultancy.com.au 4 min. read
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National professional services group Pitcher Partners has launched a subscription model for its services, covering both its accounting and advisory offerings.

The new proposition allows companies – Pitcher Partners works for mainly mid-market clients in all sectors – to hire an accountant or consultant on a recurring basis, but just for the number of hours that is needed.

This approach provides clients with much needed flexibility amid the complex workforce planning equation they need to crack in order to navigate the covid-19 induced downturn, said Jarrod Morris, a partner at Pitcher Partners in Adelaide.

“With a number of companies likely having put staff into hibernation, standing them down or worst case, having made redundancies, there will be reluctance in rehiring staff, certainly in any full-time capacity. This opens the door for companies to explore the many and varied benefits of flexible and cost effective staffing.”

Further, it removes some of the client anxiety around fees. “A catch up, or phone call typically results in a bill. We have removed this anxiety by introducing full transparency upfront – fixed billing on a subscription basis, making it easier for clients to engage with their accountant and consultant on a regular basis.”

Pitcher Partners launches subscription model for its services

The new offering, developed in collaboration with Adelaide-based Pitch Labs, has subscriptions packages for consulting services including strategic planning, commercialisation, business case development, scenario analysis and financial management. In the accounting sphere, bookkeeping, accounting advisory, compliance and reporting have been bundled into packages.

The ‘as a service’ offering is supported by a technology layer which provides clients insights in the topic they have subscribed for. Clients can for instance “interact with their data in real time” said Jarrod, which can speed up and improve decision making.

The offering’s sweet spot is at clients that are facing a growth agenda, said Jarrod, because “our model is that we grow with our clients in a controlled manner.”

Consulting as a service?

Moving into subscription model is a growing global trend in the professional services industry, as advisors seek to add more predictable and recurring revenues to their typically volatile stream of income. Most of the initiatives build on portfolio extensions into the world of technology (license fees for tools and platforms, IT managed services), outsourcing (business support for outsourced services), venturing (joint investment with corporate venturing arms of corporates) and joint ventures.

McKinsey & Company is one of the most cited top consulting groups that has successfully been able to capitalise on the ‘subscription economy’. The globe’s largest strategy consulting firm has over the past decade developed over 50 solutions on a subscription model, launched a number of venture / equity funds (inhouse and externally) and struck commercial consulting partnerships with Fortune 1000 companies. Similarly, arch-rival BCG has a commercial tech consulting joint venture with Air France / KLM.

Bundling traditional accounting and consulting services into ready-to-go packages is less common, given it is more complex and it requires deep client relationships to be successful. But “rather than sit back and wait for disruption across our industry”, Pitcher Partners has embraced the move as an opportunity said Jarrod, in what is a relatively pioneering development in Australia’s market.

Having launched last week, Pitcher Partners’ subscription model has already enjoyed interest from a number of clients. The Office of the South Australian Chief Entrepreneur engaged Pitcher Partners to interview the scale up eco-system across South Australia in response to Covid-19 and provide a series of recommendations back to the government.

Other bids being worked on include a brand and technology studio, an apparel technology company and an alternative energy derivates trading company. “We are also having some very exciting conversations with venture capitalists about supporting their portfolio companies,” said Jarrod.