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Feb 8, 2016

There’s a significant range of services an accountancy business, that is committed to offering commercial services, in addition to taxation, can offer to their clients.

Small/medium enterprises have the same problems that a big business has, yet the vast majority of small/medium enterprises don’t have an accountant on staff or available on a regular basis during the year.

I suspect that a lot of this goes back to the original “business plan”, prepared for a small/medium enterprise. On too many occasions, accountancy fees are stated at $2,000 to $5,000. On many occasions, accountants supply these estimates, which only relate to the preparation of a set of annual accounts and an income tax return. Where is the value add?

If accountants talked about supplying “real accountancy services”, the cost estimates for the range of services the small/medium enterprises are indicating they require, would surely be in the vicinity of $20,000 to $30,000.

There’s no doubt that accountants will have to “sell” these services to their clients. However, bear in mind that, survey after survey has indicated that clients are looking for these types of services, which would include:
• cost management
• using benchmarks to understand the industry
• budgets
• establishment of realistic Key Performance Indicators and ratios for the business
• cashflow forecasts
• business plans
• departmentalised management financial accounts on a monthly basis
• working capital control for those key areas of:
- debtors
- stock
- work in progress
• risk management for those very important items including:
- insurance
• systems for employing staff
• if a client is buying a business, a due diligence review on the business that they’re considering
• identifying government grants that might be suitable for this particular business
• succession planning
• if a client wants to operate a company, advice on Corporate Governance and advice on an investment readiness strategy for that client
• attendance at a monthly Board of Directors’ or Board of Advice meeting, to assist a small/medium enterprise to have a clear understanding of what the financial accounts are saying
• last but not least, in a commercial range of products for small/medium enterprises – the preparation of the business’ income tax returns.

Survey after survey has indicated that small/medium enterprises want more financial services supplied to them by someone. Surely, that someone should be the firm’s accountant!

With business advisory services emerging as the new growth area for accountants in 2016, NOW is the time to prepare your accountancy business to be able to offer these services.

ESS BIZTOOLS has a full range of pre-prepared, ready-to-use product modules, which will be enhanced by the release of the ESS BASIP Training Programme for each product, from 1st March 2016.

ESS BIZTOOLS is presenting a special webinar on Tuesday 16th February 2016 at 12.30pm AEST (1.30pm AEDT), featuring “Business Advisory Services – Products – Ready for You to Use”. You’re invited to register to attend this webinar, free of charge, which will give you a great introduction to getting ready to offer business advisory services. Click here to register to attend.

A complimentary copy of our article “Succession Planning”, which is part of the Business Advisory Services Products, is available, free of charge. This complimentary article is attached with this transcript.

Offering a range of commercial services will enable accountants to offer significant challenges to your employed accountants by giving them the opportunity to do “real accounting work”, thus assisting in staff retention in the face of the expected competition from other industries wishing to employ accountants during 2016.


Peter Towers
+61 7 4724 1118 | 1800 232 088 |