Our clients need us to help them understand the numbers in their business – bank balances, financial numbers, cash flow and forecasting. They also need someone they can trust to talk strategy with and bounce ideas off. So how can we best help our clients?
Data beyond the numbers
Most business owners are very good at running their business, but the admin/accounting/human sides can be very intimidating. Being able to put a report in front of an owner or stakeholder that breaks down how their business is doing, allowing them to make more timely decisions, is critical to the success of companies, especially now. The stereotype of accountants being number pushers or bean counters barely scratches the surface. We can automate most of that nowadays.
Everybody wants information yesterday nowadays and that is scary to business owners. I am now involved in advisory services where I am talking to, meeting with, or providing information weekly and sometimes more often. When companies are big enough, that likely isn’t needed as they will have their own people, but I did have a business owner say once that if their accountant (year-end and tax) checked in with them even quarterly, they would pay double the annual fee because of that service.
Is your data accurate?
Real-time data is great, but the accuracy of this data is most important. Data that has any gaps can almost be worse than not having data. The “traditional public accounting” role has evolved from an annual discussion to more sporadic phone calls which can be quick-hitting questions, technology questions, etc. The need to understand the data increases as well.
A sneak peek into the future…
We need to stay up to date with accounting rules and regulations, which now include technology and online security. Research into non-financial measures and how they impact business will also be critical to success.
Every industry seems to be seeing the need for more timely, reliable information “yesterday”. Businesses are going to have to allow technology to help them, or overhead costs are going to make it nearly impossible for them to compete and still make a profit. Essentially, those who embrace technology, put themselves in a strong position. It’s an inevitable and essential part of modern day business models, failure to accept that could well be detrimental.
About Jeremy Hubick
Jeremy Hubick CPA CMA is a seasoned business professional and a Senior Manager at Virtus Group – a firm of chartered accountants and business advisors. A graduate of the University of Regina, Jeremy is fully committed to the sustained business growth of his clients and the implementation of digital technology. Jeremy believes that transparency is a key metric to long-term growth and survival; it allows business stakeholders to make informed choices about their trajectory, putting them firmly in the driving seat of their business.