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Shifting gears: accountants' strategic value

Flex your accounting muscle to add value and boost the growth and success of your entrepreneur clients.


Entrepreneurs and small businesses are so important – creating jobs and contributing to the GDP. As accountants, we should consider how we can provide our entrepreneur clients with a truly valuable service that supports their growth, rather than just ticking compliance boxes.


1.      Make the numbers count

Ask yourself who you are preparing the numbers for. Does reporting purely to meet accounting standards give your entrepreneurs the information that can help them in their day-to-day business? Probably not. For most entrepreneurs, the most useful information is an accurate, easy-to-understand snapshot of their cash flow every month. Instead of fixating on compliance, help your entrepreneurs navigate only the very necessary red tape and then spend your time giving them visibility of and helping them optimise the metrics that matter.


2.      Tackle lumpy income streams

As part of this optimisation process consider whether your clients can package their services as a monthly subscription. As consumers, we’re used to paying monthly for so many things. Why not your client’s service as well, whatever sector they are in? (This could apply to your accounting services too, for that matter.) A subscription can be a win-win – your client smooths their income throughout the year and their customer doesn’t get the shock of hefty once-off fees.


3.      Unlock the budget

Shifting from running a business off a bank account to introducing a formal budget process can unlock growth for entrepreneurs. And this is where our training and experience come to the fore. Sure, entrepreneurs know their business inside out, but we know what the impact of macroeconomic factors, for instance increasing interest rates, will have on their business. Budgets offer forward-facing roadmaps of how to achieve a strategic vision allowing the entrepreneur to measure their progress, course correct and avoid pitfalls.


4.      Share your IT know-how

You have probably amassed a lot of knowledge about which IT does and doesn't work well for entrepreneurs. This could include how existing software is used and how your clients are buying digital services – are they turning to the cloud and reducing their capex or are they buying outright? I'd suggest it's not an overreach in our roles as strategic business advisors to weigh in on IT choices with recommendations for optimising spend and services. This will save your clients money, improve their business processes, and come the next tax deadline, reduce paper receipts and incomplete data.


Compounding value

You can monetise some of these suggestions, creating an extra revenue stream for your practice. And because no two businesses are the same, it will be up to your knowledge of your client and their ambitions, to match the right value-adds with the right entrepreneur. But all of these suggestions transform you from a box-ticking number cruncher into a trusted adviser and real business partner, contributing to the startup’s growth. This will definitely pay dividends in the long run for you in terms of client retention and your business growth.




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