It’s time to tell the truth. How much do you actually know about your business finances (and don’t be embarrassed)?
You are not alone. When we meet our clients often they admit they don’t really understand their accounts.
We’re not all great at maths. If your business isn’t in finance, it’s understandable that you would want to delegate accountancy to a safe pair of hands and get on with doing the stuff you are passionate about in your business.
As a profession accountancy can seem a dark art from the outside and it could often be said that is suits many accountants to keep it this way. We have often seen a fear amongst people in the profession when it comes to giving their clients information about their business and then educating business owners about their numbers. Maybe business owners will start to be less reliant on their accountants? Maybe accountants will lose business?!
We take a different view. Our clients are people who want to understand what’s going on in their business 365 days and 52 weeks of the year. We can have better, more productive relationships with clients who have a thorough understanding of their business numbers. We can give them advice and support to take informed decisions that drive the business forward, faster.
If you think you’re not great at ‘finance’, that’s not a problem. It’s our job to break things down in a way that’s easy for you to understand.
We use the latest online accounting tools such as Xero and Receipt Bank that allow both the accountant and business owner to share the accounting information about a business in real time. These cloud software tools really help us to take the mystery out of maths and the fear out of financials.
Some business owners feel embarrassed to admit that they don’t understand their own numbers after years, maybe decades, in business. There’s no reason that they should feel uncomfortable. Why should you understand something if it’s never been properly explained to you?
Many people get confused by accounting terminology and are afraid to ask questions they think might be perceived as ‘stupid’. We believe there is no such thing as a stupid question.
We ask all our clients to be upfront about how much or how little they understand their accounts. In the same way we will ask lots of questions about their business. We don’t know everything about our client’s businesses initially, so we need to listen and learn so that we are in the best possible position to suggest innovative ideas and processes to make improvements, save the business money and increase turnover and profits.
Part of the reason for having an accountant is to help you understand your finances. It’s not just about meeting your obligations under company law and HMRC regulations.
What should be included in gross profit? What is a fixed asset? What do all of the figures on a balance sheet mean? What is your break even target? What difference would a 1% improvement on gross profit make to your business? What is the difference between cash and profits? Who is your most profitable customer?
We want you to gain from the value that is in the answers to all these questions. We want to work with all our clients, not simply report on the profit they have made and the tax they must pay once a year. Any business serious about growing and moving forward needs to have a detailed understanding of their numbers on a regular monthly or at least quarterly basis. Also, we believe you should be looking forward, forecasting the future so you can anticipate problems or opportunities before the arise.
When you leave a meeting at Spark we intend that you will have understood everything that has been said. So why not arrange to meet us and see what we could do for your business?