A smooth transition

source The shift to providing business advisory services may not be as hard as some accountants expect

go here It’s no secret that cloud technology and increased automation are changing the accounting profession. While compliance work will always exist, the role that the accountant plays in compliance is changing and processes are evolving.

migliori strategie di opzioni binarie The time accountants spend preparing and processing a tax return, a BAS or a set of financial statements is constantly being reduced.

hütchen strategie binäre optionen Under the traditional time-based billing model, still used in many accounting firms today, this clearly means revenues are at risk, but accountants don’t need to be told this. What’s less clear is what they need to do now.

follow link With numerous comments from the ATO spruiking automation, as well as countless media reports on the subject and industry commentators screaming for change, it’s easy to see how accountants may feel overwhelmed.

bdswiss de anmelden But as Sam Allert, managing director Australia and New Zealand at Reckon says, there really is no need to be worried. It’s Mr Allert’s belief that a lot of accountants are actually already providing some business advisory services.

get link “They’ve just been charging under an old ‘compliance’ model,” he says. “In essence my view is this: accountants have always been called the trusted adviser but they’ve been charging by the hour and to justify their charges they’ve been saying, ‘Well, I’ve lodged your tax return and I’ve done this set of financial statements’. But in actual fact it wasn’t just to lodge it that someone was going to an accountant, they were going for business advice.”

http://oscarmariobeteta.com/?niosa=analisi-tecnica-mercato-forex-software-online&125=a9 According to Mr Allert, the trick accountants must learn is to be better at sitting down with their clients, understanding what their clients want for the year ahead and coming up with a cost budget that will include the lodgement of compliance like tax and financial statements.

“It will also include monthly or quarterly or annual meet-ups – whatever they agree with that particular client – which will also include general advice sessions, business strategy sessions and these sorts of catch-ups.”

Obviously, Mr Allert says, any change to the accountant/client dynamic must be handled with due care but practitioners should not see a shift to business advisory as a life- changing, or career defining, shift. “I don’t want to make it sound so easy, but think about it, accountants are the trusted advisers – they’re not the trusted compliance processors so that’s just a thing they do but they have been trusted advisers for many years.”

http://hautplantade.com/?pemeb=opzioni-binarie-volume&084=70 A long-held belief

“This discussion has been going on for as long as I have been helping the profession, which is 21 years,” says Rob Nixon, CEO of Panalitix.

According to Mr Nixon, business advisory has in fact always been a part of what accountants should be
doing but recent developments in technology have forced the issue to a head.

“The belief has been there from the profession, the belief has been there from commentators like myself, and not just in Australia but around the world, and the professional bodies as well. But now it’s crunch time because the compliance work with the advent of cloud technology is getting commoditised more and more every day.”

Far from crippling the profession, this change to compliance activities is just what the profession needed, according to Mr Nixon, who notes accountants have been “crying poor” for more people because of the traditional, labour-intensive delivery model. What technology is doing, he says, is creating capacity for more higher-value work. One common argument against this type of thinking is that not everyone in the firm has the ability to offer business advisory services.

In the past young accountants often cut their teeth, so to speak, on compliance work, progressing from simple tax returns to more complex compliance activities before being considered ready for business advisory, but Mr Nixon says technology can change this. “Stay close to the numbers,” he says. “If you don’t stay close to the numbers then you’ll need grey hair or no hair, as in age and wisdom, to deliver the service, but if you stay close to the numbers then you can actually ‘productise’ that delivery for other people in the firm, much younger people, less experienced people [who] can actually deliver it.”

Staying close to the numbers, Mr Nixon says, means utilising technology to shift through the large amounts of business data to extract the right numbers that can help you to provide value to clients. “Now with real-time data and the fact that the accountants have access to that, and can consolidate it through the likes of Panalitix, they’ve got alerts happening and can say well, ‘How can I help my client?’, ‘Which client needs my help the most right now?’, rather than waiting for that client to call them when they’re really in trouble.”

“Your days are numbered as a compliance accountant if you’re not going to add value because the machine will do a lot of the work for you,” Mr Nixon says.

go Be prepared

While business advisory may well not be a new thing, Mr Nixon says accountants must still prepare themselves and their business for the new technology-driven advisory era. For example, he believes firms need to focus on creating real capacity before approaching clients with new services.

“Technology is driving part of it but they need to actively drive capacity as well so that they’ve got real free time.

“What happens if they go to all of their clients and have the conversation and present a business performance review? They’ll pick up lots of business, they can’t help but pick up lots of business, but if they haven’t got a systemised approach creating excess capacity they’ll never be able to deliver it and they’ll be in the same mess they’re in right now,” he says.

Capacity, he says, is key, but you need to create it in the right way. “You must create capacity but not by hiring more people. Don’t hire more people, focus on internal efficiencies, focus on cloud accounting, focus on workflow so that you’ve got time every day to capitalise on these opportunities.”

Another aspect that needs consideration, according to Mr Nixon, is pricing. “The whole pricing model has to change,” he says.

According to Mr Nixon, cloud accounting has enabled firms to be much more efficient but many firms are yet to adjust their billing model accordingly.

“Either the price goes down with the efficiencies or more work gets done for the client that they should have been charged for in the first place,” he says. “They do more free work, or the team members fill the available time and don’t realise the capacity properly.”

To demonstrate his point, Mr Nixon points to the accounting industry in New Zealand, which he says has not coped well with the transition to business advisory.

“In New Zealand, the profession has gone backwards by a rate of knots in terms of profit per partner because of cloud accounting pushing change but the profession hasn’t changed enough.

“It’s not just ‘Let’s get involved in business advisory’. You can say that but if you don’t have the capacity
to deliver the right type of solutions and the right pricing structure, then you’re just going to shoot yourself in the foot, [and] you’ll end up being more of a labour hire business than you currently are,” he explains.

opzioni digitali simulazioni Take it slow

Joss Milner, co-founder and director of Cash Flow Story says while technology can often assist accountants to move further into business advisory, it can also be at the heart of the fear around the shift. Mr Milner says business advisory software can often be too complex and ultimately intimidating, and he should know – he has been one of the key influencers in the space since the early 1990s.

Back then he was part of a team distributing financial modelling software called Goalfix to finance directors and CFOs when someone suggested they target accountants.

“Andre Van Zyl was the one who actually said we should sell this to accountants because they can do work on their clients … effectively that was the first product ever outside of the space of doing traditional compliance work,” he says.

“We really broke the market open in terms of creating this kind of newspace called advisory
through ‘what-ifing’-type tools.” Seeing the potential, Mr Milner, along with a few business partners, set to work on developing a new product which was in effect a communication tool connecting a business with their bank and an accountant.

That product, as Mr Milner says, eventually distributed through MYOB here in Australia was called
Profit Optimiser. While a success, Mr Milner says he knew it wasn’t perfect for accountants.

“For a long time there was only ever one product in the market place, which was Profit Optimiser, but even at the time while we felt accountants could use it, it was a banking product. It was comprehensive, it did a lot of stuff and it was relatively complex and my opinion was it was too complex in the main for most accountants’ clients.”

While some accountants did very well using the software, because they had the right type of clients, a lot of accountants couldn’t implement it successfully, says Mr Milner. “A lot of effort and time went into training and in general it was a moderate success in terms of usage”.

Mr Milner said he and his business partners watched Profit Optimiser’s usage, seeing firms buying the product but never really getting into it. They also watched other products come into the space with similar results.

After a while Mr Milner said he realised there were many products competing for a small group of accountants but no product that could really service them all.

“There’s a triangle. If you look at your classic pyramid, everyone is at the top of the pyramid, all these
products that have come in, some of them are great some of them are less good, they’ve all gone for the space that Profit Optimiser is in.

We felt there was a massive gap in the market and that the gap was for something that everyone could use on any client anytime.

“We gave ourselves the challenge… ‘Could we develop something that could be the starting point of the journey?’,” he says. In response, Cash Flow Story was developed. It is a very basic advisory tool to help accountants start their journey.

“Our mantra was to not compete with any of the other products that are out there. We felt was there was a gap no one was addressing. “Our thinking was maybe 5-10 per cent of the profession embraced advisory but 90 per cent are yet to. How do you help them on a journey, where do they start?” he explains. Mr Milner says most products out there are just too complex for many accountants’ needs.

“What we try to do is put something at the beginning, and say, ‘If you want to start we’ve got something simple’. “Whether or not they end with what we’ve got or move into the next area is entirely up to their
client base, so what we have developed is powerful enough to take them on a pretty long journey.” Mr Milner acknowledges Cash Flow Story doesn’t have all the functionality that some accountants
are looking for but says that is by design. The product has been specifically made to cater for those wanting a little help getting into advisory.

“Our whole approach was to say let’s not make a product with 1,200 features [of] which everyone wants five, let’s make a product with eight features, of which everyone wants five or six. “We developed product for everyone to use on every client. “We only take an extract of some of the key numbers which makes the whole process really simple because what we discovered over the 10-year journey is that one of the biggest barriers to usage was the fact that the accounts were too complicated,” Mr Milner says.

Through its simplicity, Mr Milner says Cash Flow Story is helping accountants take the first steps
to a more formal business advisory offering.

“Our philosophy was let’s do stuff they do want to know about, that every business wants to know about.” A philosophy, he says, accountants can follow in their own journey.

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