Advisory Services & Business Funding Are Important Products for SMEs

Accountant's Minute 242

“Business Advisory Services” – highlighted by the Commonwealth Bank’s “Accountants Market Pulse” report has been the activity identified by a group of accountants as being their main priority for the next 6 to 12 months – What is happening in your firm?

Mark Holton, Director, Smithink Pty Ltd, is a keynote speaker in our next COVID-19 Survival Panel webinar on Friday 31st July at 12-noon AEST.  Mark will be continuing his overview of Business Advisory Services in a COVID-19 World that he commenced in his presentation on 3rd July.  It’s worth revisiting some of the key comments that Mark Holton, a very experienced accountant, had to say at that time.

During the COVID-19 crisis many firms are offering “Business Advisory Services” including:

  • business continuity planning
  • cashflow management
  • strategic advice in a variety of business and funding disciplines
  • stress testing clients' businesses

Mark indicated that many firms look at advisory as something to be done with compliance services.  Mark said he thinks this has to change.

“Business Advisory Services is a separate work process for clients and should be delivered as a standalone product unless the client requests that exactly the same team delivers advisory services with the compliance work".

Mark also emphasised that it was very important that accountants continue to supply these types of services when the current crisis has ended.

Mark suggested that accountants need to be implementing a new approach to advisory:

  • Promote your advisory services proactively to clients – do not wait for others to do it.
  • Track advisory services separately on your Profit and Loss and integrate into Workflow Management – in other words, don’t just do advisory when you run out of compliance work. It should be a high priority work allocation that is performed throughout the year.
  • Develop budgets for advisory services with key KPI metrics and be accountable to them.
  • Look forward not backwards! – Advisory services look towards tomorrow, not yesterday (leave that for your compliance team).
  • Do not give away these services for little or nothing – take the leap, value your services and bill accordingly.
  • You need a Business Advisory Implementation Plan in place and follow and commit to it!

What are some of the Business Advisory Services that you could offer?

  • Financial Health Checks
  • Business Valuations
  • Pre-Lending Assessments
  • Board of Advice Meetings
  • Review of Debtor and Creditor Balances
  • Managing Cashflow
  • Managing Inventory
  • Managing Work in Progress
  • Performance to Various KPIs

In this week’s webinar Mark will continue to summarise strategies for accountants to follow up on the Commonwealth Bank’s “Accountants Market Pulse” prediction that “Business Advisory Services” will be the “practice area expected to be in most demand in the next 6 to 12 months by discussing further issues relative to accounting firms implementing “Business Advisory Services”.

Peter Towers, Managing Director of ESS BIZTOOLS will comment on the fund raising opportunities that are available for SMEs.

Whilst the Australian government has announced that the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Loans will be increased to $1 million, potential loans repayable over a 5 year period and will be available for application until 30th June 2021, many businesses may find that they do not satisfy the bank's requirements for these loans to be offered to them.

Some of your clients may be interested in capital raising opportunities that they could utilise including:

  • Raising capital as a Crowd Sourced Funding Equity Raising Company
  • Raising capital as an Early Stage Innovation Company
  • Raising up to $2 million in a 12 month period by utilising Section 708 of the Corporations Act

The Australian government has announced that the new “Australian Business Growth Fund” will be operational later this year and some businesses could be interested in making an application for business capital from this new government entity that is to have a private enterprise Board of Directors.

You can register for the next free "COVID-19 Survival Panel" webinar for accountants to be held on Friday, 31st July 2020 by clicking here.

In last week’s webinar Nigel Abbott, Director, Fundsition, outlined the benefits that a company could acquire from raising up to $5 million, in a 12 month period, as a Crowd Sourced Funding Equity Raising Company.

Nigel indicated that one of the real benefits of Crowd Sourced Funding Equity Raising was that small companies could promote their capital raising activity to their “fans” which would include customers, suppliers, team members and convert many of these “fans” into shareholders within their company.

Last week Peter Towers also presented on Business Advisory Services and supported Mark Holton’s comments that this was a very important area for accountants to be implementing and that now is the time to establish a standalone advisory services team within accountancy firms so that clients could benefit from the ongoing access that they would have to a skilled business advisory service delivery organisation within an accountancy firm.

You can access the recording of last week’s "COVID-19 Survival Panel" webinar for accountants by clicking here.

If you would like to read the PowerPoint slides that we used by Nigel Abbott and Peter Towers in their presentations, please click here.

Would you like to know more about the services provided by ESS BIZTOOLS to assist accountants to get started or to expand the development of Business Advisory Services for the benefit of your clients?  We invite you to register for a free no obligation 30 day guest trial of ESS BIZTOOLS by clicking here.

If you would prefer an exclusive webinar presentation on the challenges confronting accountants relative to Business Advisory Services and how you could get started on delivering services to your clients, please contact us for a free webinar booking for you and your colleagues whereby you will be able to ask questions about the various services packages included within ESS BIZTOOLS.

You can also obtain additional information by going to ESS BIZTOOLS' website è Survival In Difficult Times è Learn More.

We look forward to hearing from you relative to the free no obligation 30 day trial of ESS BIZTOOLS or booking a free no obligation webinar to discuss the challenges of offering Business Advisory Services and how you could utilise the products developed by ESS BIZTOOLS.

You might like to read a testimonial that one of our happy subscribers has provided.

Angelo Coco

“I've been familiar with Peter since the mid-80s when he was operating his accounting practice.  The tools and papers prepared by ESS are so helpful.  Instead of trying to create my own, they are already there, ready to go, and they just work.

Some of the tools I've referred to and used in serving my clients over one hundred times.

I recommend the ESS tool kit to other practitioners at any opportunity I get."

Angelo Coco - Chartered Accountant & Owner, Family Business Support

A reminder…. ESS BIZTOOLS and our Affiliates are presenting this special webinar series “COVID-19 Survival Panel” each Friday at 12-noon AEST until 30th September 2020.  If you'd like to register in advance for upcoming webinars please click here.

If you'd like to view the recordings for the past fifteen webinars (click here) and scroll down to the COVID-19 Survival Panel section.

If you would like to contact us about any aspect of ESS BIZTOOLS' or ESS BIZGRANTS' products and services, please do not hesitate to contact us:

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Stay safe!

Have a great day!

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Episode 242 - Advisory Services & Business Funding Are Important Products for SMEs

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Advisory Services & Business Funding Are Important Products for SMEs