In recent weeks three accounting industry consultants have commented on why “systems” are important for the effective delivery of Business Advisory Services.
Mark Holton, Director, Smithink, indicated that “Most accounting firms do not have systems for the delivery of Business Advisory Services – it tends to be a one-off job”.
Mark suggested, that the preparation of a Budget or Cashflow Forecast was an ideal opportunity for accountants to suggest to a client that a “Quarterly Business Review Meeting” should then be introduced so that an analysis of the actual financial performance against the Budget and Cashflow Forecast estimates could be submitted to the meeting to enable an in-depth review of actual performance and, if necessary, to make changes to the Budgets”. “The partner of the accountancy firm could facilitate these Quarterly Business Review Meetings”.
Amanda Gascoigne, an experienced Chartered Accountant, who is now a Consultant to small accounting firms commented that “If you’ve got the systems, you’ll get the extra work, but you must be prepared to be reactive to what your clients are seeking”.
Andrew Geddes, the joint founder of the Financial Management Research Centre at the University of New England and Chair for 10 years of Greencross Ltd, a company that grew to be a Top 200 ASX company from a start-up business in Townsville 30 years ago, indicated that the “scaling up” process was the key system that had been introduced to Greencross about 15 years ago when he convinced the Managing Director and Founder of Greencross, Dr Glen Richards, to invite his leadership team to accompany Geddes to the USA to spend three weeks gaining a full understanding of the “scaling up” system.
Andrew Geddes indicated that he believes that the “scaling up” process should be implemented by accountants to assist in the development of younger accountants by giving them the opportunity to work with experienced accountants directly with senior executives of client organisations so they developed the all-important skills of dealing directly with decision-makers and gain a greater appreciation of what the accountant’s role is, so as to help with retention and attraction strategies by accounting firms.
ESS BIZTOOLS has been very conscious of the need to develop appropriate systems for each of the 32 product packages that have been introduced to the “Business Advisory Services Package” for use by Accountants, Bookkeepers, Business Advisors and Chief Financial Officers advising SMEs. The key document that has been developed in each of the product packages is the “Procedure Control Form”.
The CommBank “Accountants Market Pulse” report has indicated that 95% of the accounting firms from around Australia that they interviewed are committed to the concept of diversifying their product offerings over the next 2 years. These firms also identified that “Business Advisory Services” was the highest rating new service activity for the next 12 months.
To successfully introduce these new services, firms should ensure that they have utilised packages which place a high priority on the implementation of appropriate systems to ensure that the work is performed in a professional manner and that opportunities are identified as to other allied services that could be supplied to that client or to a group of similar clients.
This is how that systemisation of “Business Advisory Services” can be very rewarding for the professional firm, whilst supplying interesting and challenging work for younger accountants and adding value to a client’s business.
Want to know more? – Why not visit our new ESS BIZTOOLS’ website to review our product packages (click here) and take advantage of the “Black Friday/End of Lockdowns – 50% Discount” available on all of the ESS BIZTOOLS’ product packages, until 6th December 2021?
Peter Towers | Managing Director | ESS BIZTOOLS