Can accountants and entrepreneurs be on the same wavelength?
Reading an article in the ACCA magazine recently, this was the subject of a discussion paper “A new breed of adviser for the modern-day enterprise” where our professional body discusses the pace of change in business today and how the accountancy professionals being trained now require a broader range of skills to support the growing numbers of entrepreneurs the country is relying on for its future prosperity.
This seems to be easier said than done for many accountants. Unfortunately, the fundamental issue is that many finance professionals simply can’t see the “big picture” and by nature are often risk averse. It is the “glass half empty” scenario where they will tell you what you can’t do rather than what you can. This can be the source of great frustration to a business owner, who has had enough passion to start their business but quite often loses momentum because of the sheer number of “hats” that need to be worn in the early days of a start-up. With bank managers no longer able to provide this traditional sounding board service, the role of the accountant to give more general advice has become even more important.
In particular for the owners of SME’s, there is a very real need for their finance professional to understand their business in every sense and take account of other processes and factors impacting on them such as technological advances, HR issues, funding requirements, etc.
Happily, we recognised this at Ad Valorem many years ago and pride ourselves on the broad range of services that we can offer our clients, not just accountancy and tax advice. In fact many of the “accounts” meetings we have don’t focus on the accounts for very long at all – the conversation generally turns to other areas of the business, and in most cases, if we can’t help, we know someone who can!
Our dedicated team of advisers and business professionals undoubtedly speak their own language in their specialist fields, but they also know how to speak to our entrepreneurial clients in a way that can really make a difference to a client’s success or failure.