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Posted: 19 August 2015
Is your accountant famous for adding value?

Is your accountant famous for adding value?

Issue 0033

Virtually every accountancy business in Australia does income tax returns. Some accountancy businesses claim to be “famous” for tax, however, how do you differentiate accountants in a crowded market place?

The beginning of a new financial year is an appropriate time for a small/medium enterprise business to stop, reflect and take stock of where your business is going. Are you receiving the right advice to help you add-value to your business?

There are a lot of changes occurring in the business world, including “digital disruption” which is affecting many businesses such as banks, accountants, lawyers, retail, property management, etc.

One of the concerns about which you should be thinking is this: Is your accountant assisting you to add-value to your business?

Taxation return preparation doesn’t add any value to your business. One way some accountants are trying to develop a range of services that will add-value to their small/medium enterprise clients is by adding products known as “business advisory services”.

What does “business advisory services” include?

  • Cashflow Management
  • Business Planning
  • Succession Planning

“Business advisory services” also include:

Debtors’ Management

Helping businesses to better manage debtors so that the money that’s tied up in the debtors’ system can be released to use in the business.

According to Dun & Bradstreet, the average debtors’ days outstanding in Australia is currently 51.8 days. That’s over 80% longer than the traditional 30-day trading period.

Your accountant should be able to assist you to introduce strategies to reduce debtors’ days outstanding.

Chief Financial Officer Services

Some accountants are now becoming a virtual Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for their small/medium enterprise clients.

Large businesses have CFOs working on a full-time basis, so do some small businesses, who are finding that this type of service could considerably add to their business’ performance.

The reason for this is that the same problems that affect large businesses also apply to small businesses. This is the reason large businesses have CFOs. In your probability, you won’t need a CFO on a full-time basis, however, there’s some time each week which I’m certain you can utilise the services of a skilled accountant working as your CFO. Perhaps you should have a discussion with your accountant relative to this, to see whether they’re able to supply that service.

Cost Management

In the CCH survey of small businesses conducted a couple of years ago, your peers within the small business community identified that assistance with cost control is one of the major issues confronting small/medium enterprise operators.

Is your accountant assisting you in analysis of your operation of costs?

Personal Property Securities Register Due Diligence System

Do you realise that every business in Australia could be caught up with a major problem through the Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR)?

If you’re dealing with another business and that business goes into a liquidation event, then you could be caught up. You will have to either repay money that’s deemed to be a preferential payment to you or lose assets you’ve stored at someone else’s premises or rented to someone.

For a very small charge, you can protect yourself from the PPSR. Has your accountant discussed this with you? Have you had a due diligence review within your business to see what changes you will need to implement within your systems, so you will not have to worry unduly about this problem?

Identification of Grants

Do you know that the Australian Federal, State and Territory governments combined make available about $5B per annum worth of grants, incentives and special loans for businesses, primarily small/medium enterprise businesses?

Is your accountant assisting you to obtain some of this funding?

After all, you’re paying your share of it, because all taxpayers are contributing to this pool of money to be made available to some businesses.

Strategic Management Advice

Are you concerned about corporate governance or how your business is going in the future? Are you considering appointing an external director or person to your Board of Directors or Board of Advice? Are you thinking about appointing an external, independent person as Chair of your company?

These are all areas an accountant, offering business advisory services, can discuss with you.

Assistance in Raising Capital

Another important area for many businesses is that, as they grow, they get sick of having to borrow money from the bank and mortgage a house yet again.

There’s an opportunity to raise capital from Business Angels and, whilst this involves selling shares in your business to external people, it can be very beneficial in the overall scheme of things and help you to avoid going to more personal debt. Your accountant should be able to assist you in getting prepared to raise capital from Business Angel investors.

These are some of the issues that confront businesses in 2015/16.

Accountants can assist

These are issues that we believe your accountant should be discussing with you and offering you a service, to assist you to grow and add-value to your business.

Accountants who subscribe to ESS BIZTOOLS receive material, papers, templates and articles on all of these subjects and much more, so they can then assist their small/medium enterprise clients to add-value.

In the first instance, our suggestion is you discuss these issues with your accountant and see whether your current accountant is able to supply these types of services for you.

If your accountant is unable to supply those services and you would like to receive details of accountants, in your location, who are able to supply those services, we invite you to utilise the "Find an Accountant/Adviser" directory.  Simply enter in your postcode and the Find an Accountant/Adviser directory will identify accountants located in or near your postcode, who are able to supply a range of business advisory services, including the types of services mentioned in this article.

A complimentary copy of paper on the types of services that accountants can provide as CFOs is available below.  

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