Grants - Are You Proactively Alerting Your Clients

Accountant's Minute 217

Grants are a great introduction to value-added services that accountants can provide to small businesses and medium-sized enterprises.

Recent reports by:

  • Commonwealth Bank – “Accounting Market Pulse Report”
  • Australian Financial Review – “Top 100 Accounting Firm Report”
  • Xero – “Automation Will Force Accountants to Reinvent Their Role”

have all identified the significant trend now in play that some accountants have started to move into business advisory services.  These reports all indicate that this will be a growing trend over the next few years.

Identifying government grants which might be suitable for individual small businesses and medium-sized enterprise clients is a great way for an accountancy firm to get started on offering business advisory services.

Why?  By assisting in the identification of grants, accountants can generate additional services because a significant number of the grant programs support projects being undertaken for the benefit of businesses.

These projects can be performed by accountants who are proactively involved in offering a broader range of professional services.

Unfortunately, at this stage most accountants ignore grants to their own disadvantage. 

If you make a commitment to actively seek government grants for your clients, this will be a significant point of differentiation between you and your competitors.

For many of the available grants an accounting firm, committed to undertaking business advisory services, will be able to submit proposals for the work.  As in most cases you would be submitting proposals for work to be undertaken by your clients and, as long as your quote is reasonable when compared to any other quotes that the client might have to obtain, you will have a very good chance of obtaining the work as most government agencies are keen to encourage small businesses and medium-sized enterprises to develop a good working relationship with their accountant.

The consulting projects that you might be able to perform for a client with funding from a government agency include:

  • Business Plans
  • Budgets, Cashflow Forecasts and Projected Balance Sheets (3 way forecasts)
  • Cashflow Review
  • Corporate Governance/Board of Directors Meeting Guidance
  • Leadership Team Development
  • Development of Key Performance Indicators that suits your client’s business
  • Training of your client’s team in understanding Financial Reports/Key Performance Indicators
  • Project management for large grants e.g. Accelerating Commercialisation
  • Business Management Training
  • Technology Reviews

Obviously, you might not, at this stage, elect to offer some of these services and that is your decision, but also there could be some other services that your firm can offer to undertake on behalf of a client that a governed agency will approve under a grant funding arrangement.

ESS BIZTOOLS' system contains articles on hundreds of Federal Government, State and Territory Government Grants to assist our subscribing accountants to have a resource available to send to clients.

ESS BIZGRANTS is a web-based system.  You enter your clients profile, which would include key information including:

  • Type of business entity – e.g. company, sole trader, partnership
  • Age of business
  • Number of employees
  • Is the business registered for GST?
  • Location of the business
  • Industry Code for the business (Tax Office Code)

ESS BIZGRANTS then identifies the grants that could apply to this particular business.  The system then invites the user to answer some supplementary questions relative to an individual grant. 

The user can link to the article that we have prepared on that grant so as to familiarise themselves with the grant aims and conditions. 

A separate form gives guidance to the completion of a grant application for the individual grants.

Once the user has selected the grants for which they think the client might be interested, ESS BIZGRANTS then produces a Grant Report which can be sent to the client.  The report includes a synopsis on the selected grants, is branded with the accountant's firm name and is addressed to the client.

In summary, by being proactive in the identification of grants, you can give your accountancy firm a firm start in the delivery of business advisory services.  

This would be a great time for you to make a resolution to deliver a broader range of services in 2020.

We would like to assist you to get started on this journey of supplying a broader range of professional services.  We are offering a “Black Friday/Cyber Monday Promotion” which, if you accept our offer, will reduce your cost to get started on the preparation to offer a broader range of services during 2020.

From Black Friday (29 November) to Cyber Monday (2 December), if you subscribe for any of our products including ESS BIZGRANTS you will receive a 33.1/3% discount.

We are continuing the celebration from Tuesday 3 December to Friday 6 December with a 25% discount.

Please visit our websites:

  • ESS BIZGRANTS - where you can trial one or two of your clients on the grant identification program. ESS BIZGRANTS can be subscribed to as a standalone product or as part of the ESS BIZTOOLS' Gold Subscription.  For this promotional offer -
  • ESS BIZTOOLS - where you can review the “Learn More” articles on the 23 product packages that are contained within ESS BIZTOOLS.

We are presenting a series of special free webinars to celebrate the Black Friday/Cyber Monday Promotion:

  • Black Friday Special Free Webinar for accountants and business operators – Friday, 29 November 2019 “Getting Ready for 2020 – Running a Better Business" at 11.00am AEST (12.00pm AEDT) – to register click here.
  • "Accountants Have a Great New Opportunity to Provide Value-Added Services" - Tuesday, 3 December 2019 at 11.30am AEST (12.30pm AEDT) – to register click here.
  • "Another Source of Equity Capital for SMEs!" - Wednesday, 4 December 2019 for business operators but accountants are most welcome to attend at 11.30am AEST (12.30pm AEDT) – to register click here.
  • "Grants - Are You Proactively Alerting Your Clients?" – Thursday, 5 December at 12.30pm AEST (1.30pm AEDT) – to register click here.

If you are interested in these webinars but are unable to attend at these times you can still access the recordings which will be available on our website the next day - click here.

If you have any questions on any aspect of the services provided by ESS BIZTOOLS or ESS BIZGRANTS, please do not hesitate to contact us:

Have a great day!

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Episode 217 - Grants - Are You Proactively Alerting Your Clients

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Grants - Are You Proactively Alerting Your Clients

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