There are only about 50 days left in the last quarter of 2022/23.
Realistically, these 50 days are the last opportunity for accountants to offer “Business Enhancing Services” that their SME clients are going to need until this time next year. For many SMEs, that is going to be too late!
That is why we believe that LAUNCHING ADVISORY SERVICES should be a high priority for accountants. Here are just some of the reasons why:
- According to a Thomson Reuters White Paper titled Leading Australian SMEs in 2023s Changing Economy, all businesses, no matter what sector, need to keep moving, adjust and adapt to changing market conditions. If that movement doesn’t happen in the right way and time, business may be negatively impacted. This white paper summarised the position very clearly: “The New Mantra for SMEs Should Be: ‘The Past Has No Future’.”
- Nearly 12 months ago, CommBank’s Accounting Market Pulse claimed that the only limitation accountants saw was the “worsening talent shortage”. Back then, most firms saw endless opportunities in areas such as cybersecurity, environmental, social and corporate governance consulting, digital transformation, and they expected the areas of highest demand to be corporate financing and business advisory services, also discussed in one of the previous editions of Accountants Minute. If you are a regular reader of Accountants Minute, you will know we, at ESS BIZTOOLS, have been harping on about the potential for Business Advisory Services for three or four years. Those services are also starting to be called ‘Business Enhancing Services.’
- Australian Accounting Industry Guru, Andrew Geddes, joint founder of Financial Management Research Centre (FMRC), University of New England and for 10 years Chair of Greencross Ltd a top 200 ASX company, discussed “The Challenges for Accountants in 2022” making the following observations:
- Accountants need to ask the question – what do your SME clients need?
- Have your clients got a business plan?
- What is happening in their industry sector – is it positive or negative?
- Are your clients being disrupted in their business – if so, what are they planning to do?
- What makes your SME clients different?
- Are your SME clients valuable to their customers – if so, in what ways?
- What are the things for your clients to nail in the next 3 months?
- Thomson Reuters White Paper also stated that accountants should assist SMEs to identify pricing strategies and drive business growth in 2023.
- “Accountants are in a unique position to assist small and medium-sized businesses to recalibrate their business strategies to meet the challenges of a ‘post lockdown world,’” so says Terry Kramer, Faculty Director of the Anderson School of Management at UCLA.
- Debtors’ management is a crucial service with which SMEs need assistance. According to a previous Accountants Minute article, Australia was awarded the dubious title of “Longest debtors’ days outstanding in the world” in November 2016, with an average debtors’ days outstanding of 56.4 days. The then Australian Small Business Ombudsman, Kate Carnell, described this as the “Silent Killer of Modern Business.” We all know that there really has been little, if any, improvement in SMEs Debtors Days Outstanding.
- Accountants, like any other business, continually need to be promoting and marketing their business to attract new clients. Offering advisory services provides accountants with the opportunity to nurture a new group of clients on an ongoing basis. As Brad Smart, author of “Selling the Message” and communication consultant, noted in an Accountants Minute article, accountants need to fill up the “hopper” with clients and potentials by keeping their marketing on point.
- It has been 25 years since “The Accountants Boot Camp” was held in Australia, and in their supporting material, they stated, “The growth in your clients comes from you (their accountant) adding value for them in a myriad of new ways.” Paul Dunn, Chairman of Results Accountants Systems, then indicated, “Very few businesses we know actually want an accountant. But there are thousands upon thousands of businesses searching for ways to run better businesses. THERE IS NO ONE BETTER POSITIONED THAN YOU TO HELP THAT COME ABOUT”.
The Accountants Boot Camp definitely promoted the concept of accountants communicating and marketing services beyond taxation. From this event 25 years ago, ESS BIZTOOLS was created to supply a range of practical tools to assist accountants to provide professional services for their SME clients.
The problem is that, 25 years later, most accountants cannot truly claim to have become their clients’ Commercial Business Advisors. The good news is it is not too late to start the journey.
Our ESS BIZTOOLS product package in 2023 cuts through many of those labour-intensive tasks that are a deterrent to getting started, and provide developed plans for:
- 52 week Business Enhancement System: daily, weekly, monthly
- Virtual Chief Financial Officer Services
- Business Journey Analysis – “1 INCH WIDE AND A MILE DEEP”
- Business Plan Preparation
- Predictive Accounting Reports: budgets, key drivers, cash flow forecasts, projected balance sheets
Then there are the Special Product Packages, which include:
- Research and Development System
- Raising Capital for SMEs: Section 708 of the Corporations Act Capital Raising, Early-Stage Innovation Company Capital Raising, Crowdsourced Funding Equity Raising
- Corporate Governance: Leadership Team, Board of Advice, Board of Directors
- Risk Management
- Succession Planning
- Key Performance Indicators and Data Analysis
- Debtors Management
- Customers Analysis and Support
- Competitors Monitoring
- Buying a Business
- Selling a Business
- Scaling Up
- Promotional and marketing material, including a monthly newsletter for subscribers to badge and send to clients – BUSINESS PLUS.
Andrew Geddes clearly identified the urgency of providing “Business Enhancing Services” to SME clients and having the talent resources available to be able to deliver those services when he said, “You’ve Got to Start it Now – This Afternoon! Because your greatest challenge at the moment is getting good people to work with.” Andrew added, “Partners in accountancy firms are saying there are not enough young accountants. But, there are enough of them, they’ve just chosen not to work in the accounting profession because they’ve been asked to do compliance work only and to maintain 80% productivity which has caused people to say – I’m not sure I want to work in that environment.”
Andrew believes that partners need to look at what they have previously asked people to do that’s led to low morale, and instead, start taking younger accountants out on client visits as part of a business focus so they can discover the outcomes that their stakeholders really want.
With the clock ticking in the last quarter of 2022/23, now is the time for accountants to commit to offering “Business Enhancing Services.” These services are essential to help SMEs adapt and adjust to changing market conditions and to drive business growth in 2023. Accountants are in a unique position to assist small and medium-sized businesses to recalibrate their business strategies to meet the challenges of a “post-lockdown world.”
We, at ESS BIZTOOLS, offer a range of practical tools and product packages to help you, as an accountant, to deliver an enhanced range of commercial services to your SME clients. With the talent shortage in the accounting industry, it is more important than ever for accountants to offer advisory services to attract and retain young accountants and give them greater challenges.
If you are an accountant looking to offer “Business Enhancing Services” to your SME clients, visit our website at www.essbiztools.com.au to learn more about our product packages and practical tools. And if you’d like a one-on-one Zoom meeting to analyse how these services could help your firm to deliver and benefit from BUSINESS ADVISORY SERVICES, please contact us on 1800 232 088 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to become a trusted advisor and a Commercial Business Advisor to your SME clients. Start offering “Business Enhancing Services” now to help your SME clients adapt and adjust to the changing market conditions and to drive both their, and your, business growth in 2023. Remember, “The Past Has No Future”, and with only 50 days left in the final quarter of FY23, the time to act is now.