The evolving accounting world test optiontime With technology allowing accountants to take on more advisory work, what services should accounting firms be integrating into their business to better service SMEs?

source url The role of a tax accountant has been continuously changed over the course of the last 50 years and it is currently going through yet another change with the introduction of cloud accounting. Originally, the accountant was typically involved in every intricate detail of their clients, and the kids of clients’ lives.  This slowly started to change as industries like financial planning were born and separated the multiple hats worn by accountants.  The removal of this ‘proactive’ part of the accountant’s role left a lot of the industry just focusing on the compliance and reactive services relating to their clients personal affairs. Since then, clients have typically been left with a void between where the accountant stops helping and other industries start in terms of the advisory/proactive space of the accounting industry.  In the last 6 years, the industry has been experiencing a shift into the technology space of accounting with accountants moving to automated bookkeeping solutions for small business owners.  The shift in this space has seen the creation of new accounting sub-industries such as cloud integrators who specialise in streamlining and automating small business owners’ internal systems. These include point of sale solutions, mobile job management software, debt collections and many more.  With these systems speaking straight into your bookkeeping solution, the ability for the clients to have up-to-date data in a time frame where the data is actually still relevant becomes much easier.

follow site What this real time data has created for accountants is the ability to take on more advisory work for their clients while still performing their key compliance roles.  Services are typically starting from tax structuring and business plan advise all the way through to a board/virtual CFO offering which means the accountant is being involved heavily in your business at each step of the way. Some of the leading accounting firms in Australia have departmentalised a lot of these functions internally so that small business owners have the ability to have all of their accounting requirements looked after under one location, even though they might be dealing with different specialists in each of the key areas.   Typically these key areas would include the tax accountant, a bookkeeper, a cloud integrator and then one or more related services like Insurance broking, mortgage broking or financial planning.  Having all of these services operating in sync for the client makes not only their overall experience more enjoyable, but their ability to make educated decisions on the future of their business that much easier and quicker.

binГѓВ¤re optionen handeln tipps Firms that have not yet embraced this new world of accounting that is fast becoming the norm, risk being left behind as the younger generation of both accountants and clients embrace this new way of servicing clients.  From the young accounting profession, the ability for them to branch out on their own and service a handful of clients from their home or café down the road is now a real option.  On the other hand, the younger generation of small business owners have access to information at their fingertips through simple google searches, leaving them questioning why would they wait for their accountants to advise them on certain topics if they only have 1 or 2 touch points a year.

enter Further to the above, firms that are slower to embrace the above will find it more and more difficult to keep existing staff and also bring new staff into the firm due to the strong push of the new generation accountants to have flexible work arrangements given the cloud infrastructure.  We are seeing more and more of a push for staff to be able to change their work environment, have flexible hours and also the ability for working from home around school hours or other family commitments.  With the older accounting infrastructure and the heavy requirement on paper, this was always a hard process due to client data being taken in and out of the office.  With new technology and programs like drop box, google docs, how now and other online storage packages, the security of client data is never an issue and staff working from home can easily process their work from their laptop regardless of where it is plugged in. Another big push coming from clients is around the proactive business planning and the multiple opportunities that can be taken from this.  The confusing part is finding out what you are well equipped to advise the client on and what you need to engage the services of a specialist for.  The main requirement from clients in this current market is understanding their business and what the figures mean.  Don’t over complicate this, most SMEs run a very straight forward business in terms of its financial affairs.  All a good business needs to know is:

  1. Is my business model profitable? To figure this out, a simple break-even budget should be done.  From this, you can gauge the level of sales that need to be achieved in order for them to cover all costs (including their wage).  From here, the only question is whether or not that level of sales is achievable or not.  If it isn’t, then you have issues.  Obviously there are more and more layers to dig down from this in terms of pricing and cost cutting etc, but if the model is flawed, then these might only be masking the problem.
  1. What will my cashflow look like? A profitable business still has a period without money, so you need to be able to tell them when that is going to happen. There are some great add-ons in the market like Float or Crunch Boards that can make this a simple process for you & help the client understand their business immensely. If you are not already using one of these, then I suggest you start to look into them.

opzioni digitali capire i grafici Nathan Hood, Founding Partner, Carbon Group

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