Who AccountsPLUS are NOT a good fit for

I know that AccountsPLUS is not going to be a good fit for everyone.

Over the years, I have worked with many different colleagues and with many different clients.  As I review my experiences, I realise that there are some types of clients who don’t benefit from my approach.  Equally, I get more enjoyment and satisfaction out of working with some clients more than others.

I feel that we offer less value if you fit the following criteria….

You believe that your accounts are a necessary evil

You think that your accounts are just something you have to do for the taxman or the bank or the Companies Registration Office.

How I think

Your accounts should be a voice of your business.

I like to understand, and to help the client to understand, why they are getting the results that they are getting.  I believe that your accounts contain useful information which should be analysed to drive understanding and improvements

You believe that you have a straightforward and easy to manage business

There are some businesses where the owner will have a very good understanding of what is going on and will not need accounts information to tell them what they think is obvious.

How I think

I don’t believe that there are many of those types of businesses.  If that is true, then I agree. You do not need the experience and skills that I can bring.

But I also believe that, from time to time, even those businesses hit rocky times and can benefit from external insights and help.

Your main focus is on minimising your tax bill

That is the only thing that counts to you.

How I think

I prefer to focus on the amount of after tax profits that you keep.

You can make 40K in profits and maybe pay 8K in taxes keeping 32K.

Or you could improve your business to make 60K in profit and maybe pay 13K in taxes while keeping 47K.

I would prefer to be in the second case, where I have 15k more of after tax income.

You think your business is already doing as well as it possibly can

You are running a tight business and you know what is going on and why.

Nothing is perfect and there is point in striving for perfection.

You think that you just have to work hard and no accounts will change that.

How I think

I haven’t come across a business that could not be improved in some way.

I am always looking for an improvement opportunity – something that will help increase sales or profits.

You don’t see any benefits in planning

Plans don’t always work out anyway.  There are too many variables at play and planning is essentially sticking your thumb in the air.  You just think “why bother?”

How I think

I like to quote Verne Harnish, who in his book “Scaling Up” says “A fundamental responsibility of leaders is prediction.”  Your accountant can help you see make those predictions by creating planning models that helps you see the effects of events both inside and outside the business.

I also believe that the process of planning and then comparing your actual results to your plans helps to develop your understanding of your business.

Preparing plans can provide early warning of upcoming problems that can be avoided by increasing your awareness of what to watch for and by helping you spot indicators that are off.

You keep basic records and you don’t like technology

You keep the basic documentation and believe that it’s the accountant’s job to take those documents, organise them and use them to prepare your accounts.   You believe that the accountant should use his/her software to sort it all out. You don’t want to be worrying about software licenses, updates, hardware or backups.

How I think

There is cheap and easy to use software available now that makes it much easier to organise your information.  My time as an accountant can be better used analysing that information to help clients to manage their business.

You are looking for the lowest price accountant

For you, preparing the accounts is a simple job and you want it done as cheaply as possible.  You think you will get the same result from any accountant so why pay more

How I think

I know I am not the cheapest, but I also know that I am far from the most expensive.

I help clients improve profitability by having better information and better management tools.  I help clients save money on taxes through better tax planning.  I give clients peace of mind by improving their overall control of the business.  My clients tell me that the benefits they receive are worth multiples of the fees that they pay.

You don’t see your accountant as part of your management team.

You think of your accountant as an outsider who does a very specific job.  You don’t involve your accountant in any of your management decisions.  The accountant’s job is to summarise it all at the end of the year and do your tax returns.

How I think

One of the key roles of the business owner is to make decisions.  He/she needs quantitative information to make the right calls. Your accountant can provide that information and should be included as a key advisor.

Accounts are something you get done at the last minute

You don’t worry about your accounts until your deadline is approaching.  Then you gather everything and send it off to the accountant. By the time, you get your accounts the period covered is long past and there is nothing you can do about it anyway.

How I think

Your year end accounts should just be a matter of taking the management information that you have and using it to complete your filings.

You should be analysing your information as early as possible so that you time to identify and take appropriate action.

To paraphrase Verne Harnish -” your year-end accounts should confirm what you already know about your business”.  There should be no surprises.

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