If you’ve ever tried going to the gym to get fit, chances are you’ve used a personal trainer for help and guidance.
Maybe you’ve had a leak at home, so you’ve called a plumber to come round and sort it out.
In our personal lives we are constantly looking for help from trained professionals and making sure the things we need doing are done right.
So why should this be any different with your business? A report by the ICAEW found that only 20% of sole traders had used an accountant with 25% of small to medium sized business in the UK not utilising the expertise.
It’s no surprise when you look at how accountants used to work.
Accountants are much more than bean counters
Back in the day, your accountant would turn up each year with a quiver and paper ledger to ‘do your accounts’.
This then moved into the yearly cycle of sending over receipts, bank statements and the occasional clothes hanger that got caught up in the mess for your accountant to sort. This would result in an email back with how much money needs to be paid in taxes and a large bill for your accountant’s time.
It was often a slow service and offered little value.
Change is upon on
No wonder businesses didn’t want to use an accountant. Who wants to keep looking at the past when it can’t be changed? Why not focus on the present and positively impact the future.
Luckily, that’s now how a lot of accountants work.
Accountants are no longer entering receipts into their ‘systems’. They are working with small business owners to utilise new technology. Which now means taking a picture of receipts and for the information to be automatically entered into your accounting software.
No more guesswork and late payments. Accountants are no longer looking at last year’s finances, we’re changing your business performance for the better.
Here’s 3 ways other than saving you money that accountants can help.
#1 Get more time back
Hate the fact you’re sat there at 10pm on Sunday evening entering receipts and sending out invoices?
Whilst the family has gone to bed, you’re sat there entering receipts & invoices onto the computer. Realising you’ve lost a few receipts along the way.
Does that all too common nightmare sound familiar?
It’s an accountant’s job to know what is happening in the world of small business finance. Everyday there is a new technology released that can help a small business.
Take Receipt bank for example. It’s a data recognition software that can be downloaded as an app which means when you get a receipt, a quick snap and all the information is uploaded into your account’s software.
Apps and technology companies like Receipt Bank have dedicated offerings for accountants which is largely built around training. This means your accountant is getting the latest updates on technology that can help your business.
All of a sudden, every time you get a receipt or invoice… you’re quickly loading up the receipt bank app, snapping a picture and that’s it. No need to enter the information, the technology is doing that.
Your accountant is then building workflows between the software’s meaning this information is always being updated.
Your accounts, on the go and up to date.
All of a sudden, those 2-3 hours a week you spend entering information from receipts is given back to you. Now you can finally read the kids a bedtime story or watch the Soaps with your partner.
#2 Clear cashflow, less worry
Did you know that a profitable business can collapse?
Cashflow is what keeps businesses running and it also one of the biggest worries for small business owners.
From late payments to out of date bank information. There are a variety of reasons why a business cashflow is messier than a teenager’s bedroom.
Ultimately an accountant armed with Chaser, Fluidly, Xero and bank feeds could be the difference between your business moving forward or sinking.
Chaser is an app that will chase up your out of date invoices taking the time and stress out of late payments. Reducing debtor days.
Xero and bank feeds will give the accountant a constant stream of real time information to work with.
This then means they can build cashflow projections using Fluidly, based on the real time data.
No longer looking at the past and hoping you’ll make it through the next couple of months. Accountants are taking real-time data and using this to build cashflow models.
Meaning if you’re heading towards an iceberg, they can steer you clear, way ahead of time. Or maybe you need to spend some money on bringing in new staff. Your accountant will be able to offer advice on whether you can afford this long term or not.
Tools like Fluidly are also built with you, the small business owner in mind. Which means your accountant can begin to show and help you understand cashflow. Helping reduce your worry about paying those bills.
Let your accountant steer the ship with an up to date map, rather than waking up to cold sweats in the middle of night worrying about the latest bill that needs to be paid.
#3 Future proofing your business
Did you know that 45% of small businesses fail within their first 5 years of trading?
This is usually due to easily avoidable mistakes that are made.
People start businesses based on a passion and something they know inside and out, not because they understand cashflow or legislation.
So, it’s understandable why businesses fail… they don’t have the extensive knowledge.
That’s where an accountant comes in.
The new age accountant is armed with technology to help reduce your debtor days, improve your cashflow visibility and stop you working late into Sunday evening typing out receipts.
Businesses should be built with longevity in mind. Implementing effective internal systems & processes are a large part of an accountants offering. Helping your business sail through the good times and easily navigate the bad.
Accountants are there to sort your businesses finances and control measures out, meaning you have more time to do what you love.
Most businesses struggle to evolve because they don’t have the time to work on their business. They are too caught up ‘in’ their business.
An accountant will offer clarity and restore order.
Not all businesses are equal
Not all businesses are destined to earn the same amount of money or follow similar paths. Some are built out of passion and run and a gentle pace.
Where others are looking for market domination and want to expand quickly.
What makes a business successful is having the right processes in place to ensure they can reach their goals. Whether that be to run more effectively or reduce the time it takes to complete administrative tasks.
Accountants are now armed with the knowledge and tools to future proof your business and give you some time back in order for you to finally take that holiday!
Bidwell accountancy is a cloud-based practice. With the goal of helping small businesses run more effectively and efficiently.
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