A business minded accountant can make all the difference to a small business, especially one who has personal experience of running an SME and of dealing with the types of issues small business owners face. New start ups often employ a bookkeeper to handle their numbers – in the early days this could be Auntie Flo who used to work as a Purchase Ledger Clerk or a friend who’s “good with numbers” and knows their way around a spreadsheet.
But as a business grows, owners may turn to well known, often large accountancy firms, sometimes on recommendation or just because they appear at the top of the list when doing a search on Google. Whilst such firms may be perfectly reputable and reasonably efficient, it’s worth thinking at this stage about what you want from your accountant. If you’re looking for a smart looking set of accounts at the end of the financial year, fine, but is this really the best you can do for your business? And is the senior accountant you met at the outset really the person who’s preparing your accounts, or are they being passed to a trainee because they are far too busy looking after their bigger clients in terms of revenue? What do you think?
Often such accountancy firms set SMEs up with packages which don’t really suit the SME, the way they are working and the way they want to work. Sometimes, High Street accountants don’t keep up with the times and the fact that business moves a lot quicker these days – never was it more important to know at the earliest opportunity what’s profitable and what’s not!
Here at Wessex, we’ve worked with many small businesses who have had experiences along the above lines. Part of our mission is to help reduce the failure rate of SMEs in the south west – with that in mind, we first look at the information businesses have been working with – sometimes the quality of the information is poor, other times there’s too much detail. We use a helicopter approach to come in and help, looking at both overall strategy and finer detail and quickly pinpoint the most profitable areas a business should be focusing on. As a small business ourselves, we understand the issues business owners face on a daily basis whether it be cash flow, controlling labour costs, rising overheads or even working all hours! What’s more, we’re genuinely interested in seeing small businesses succeed.
Do you worry your accountant may not be a “best fit” for your business?
If you think your small or medium sized business could benefit from a different approach, which takes into account your strategy and processes and delivers management accounts with friendly support and advice from real business people working for a fellow SME, give us a call on 01935 385929 or get in touch here.