Accountant's Minute

In the various surveys that have been conducted, small/medium enterprises have indicated one item in common – they would like their accountants to give them advice on government grants for which they might be eligible.Government grants, special loans and incentives amount to around $5B per annum in Australia, from the Federal, State and Territory governments. All businesses are contributing...
There’s a challenge for accountants to be proactive, to assist SMEs in what could be called a “left field” service – assistance in raising capital.There’s a lot of talk at present involving: • the “Innovation Statement” by the Australian government a few days ago • Business Angels • Crowd Funding • Venture Capital Funds indicating they have raised additional investment...
There are many ways to get started with offering business advisory services.Within ESS BIZTOOLS, we suggest that you have a small seminar for a number of clients and then have one-on-one meetings with your key clients, to talk to them relative to the future development activities they would like to see in their business. A unique way is to participate in a “Global Business Camp”....
I get telephone calls from accountants around Australia at times asking me this question: “What if we are challenged on our skills for a CFO role?”My advice to them is as follows…Respond in a positive manner! Sure, your firm has traditionally specialised in income tax, however, tell your clients that you’ve evaluated the various small/medium enterprise surveys that have been undertaken...
There are opportunities in many small/medium enterprise businesses for accountancy businesses that are prepared to offer virtual CFO services.What services are required? A wide range, similar to the type of activities that a CFO would undertake in a public company.Taxation is not the top priority with a CFO in a public company, so why is it for an accountancy business that is supplying a wider...
This is an interesting question because, in many businesses around Australia within industries other than accounting, many operators are trying to score a 10/10 rating from their customers and/or clients on their customer service.What rating would you receive?How would your clients rate you on: • Debtors' Management? • Cashflow Management? • Personal Property Securities Register Due...
A number of commentators are suggesting that accountants should be delivering a wider range of commercial services – I’m definitely one of those people.However, rather than just putting words to the concept, we’ve developed a whole range of products to assist accountants to offer an outstanding service to your clients.In the first instance, we believe it’s necessary for you to identify...
Clients’ expectations are changing. This has been verified by surveys undertaken by CCH and MYOB. These surveys have indicated that clients are looking for a wider range of non-compliance services, including:• management of costs• management monitoring• business plans• assistance in raising capital or loan funds• future planning• business analysis and interpretation• raising...
I had some accountants ring me of late, who indicated that they’re a bit uncertain on how to approach their clients to advise them that they’re now in a position to offer business advisory services. This uncertainty is because the accountancy businesses have traditionally only supplied income tax and associated matters.I can understand that this does cause some concern for some of you. Here...

Accountants need to diversify

There are many issues confronting accountancy businesses in Australia at present, including: “Digital disruption” The introduction of Standard Business Reporting (SBR) by the ATO Competition from accountancy firms that have commenced outsourcing work to overseas countries Ongoing effect of technology development in the cloud General competition from other accountants who have already...

Outsourcing will affect most accountants

A few weeks ago, Smithink conducted a very interesting workshop in Melbourne, on the effects of outsourcing on Australian accountancy businesses. As an accountant, whether you agree or disagree with the concept of outsourcing work to countries such as India, the Philippines and Vietnam, there’s no doubt that outsourcing is going to directly and indirectly affect the vast majority of...
Accountants are facing increased competition from a range of sources, including outsourcing. A conference in Melbourne on the 27th July 2015, organised by Smithink, heard that all types of work is now being undertaken in the Philippines, India and Vietnam, for companies, trusts, superannuation funds and individuals. The work is being undertaken by qualified accountants working in...
I’ve conducted many surveys of small/medium enterprise operators on what they want to obtain from their business operations. When I’ve discussed with them what they think about their accountants, a common response has been: “I want my accountant to know more about my business than just the Profit & Loss account.” What do they mean by this statement? I believe they mean that they...
At the ATSA conference in October 2014 in Melbourne, Geoff Leeper, the Second Commissioner of the ATO made this infamous statement: “There’s a market for accountants to offer cashflow management advice.” What did Mr Leeper mean in this comment? After all, he made this comment as part of his overview of the effect of the introduction of Standard Business Reporting (SBR) by the ATO, which...

The accountancy market is changing

Has your firm developed strategies for: Digital Disruption – Deloitte has forecast a 32% change for accountancy businesses. Should your firm be replenishing revenue streams? Standard Business Reporting (SBR) – the ATO has forecast a minimum of $500M per annum “red tape reduction” and all of this is predicted to come from accountancy fees. Cashflow Management – in October 2014, the...
Over the years, there have been a number of reports as to whether small/medium enterprise operators really understand financial accounts. Today, with cloud technology and the numerous accounting software packages that are available, there’s really no excuse as to why SME operators don’t have an understanding as to what their financial accounts are revealing. I believe that this is an...