Bev Betteridge, the Founder, Owner and CFO of The Corner Office, shares her thoughts on the Dext report: The Future Needs of Canadian SMBs.
Start with cash flow
SMBs are now laser focused on how they generate and manage cash in their businesses. Cash flow management services are increasing in demand; not only to manage the cash they have for working capital, but also to demonstrate to financial institutions they have the ability to service debt.
Cash flow management and forecasting has never really been part, or at least prioritised, in conventional accounting. But the global lockdown and arising economic situation has really demonstrated that owners and businesses need help in this area. For us, it’s a service we think firms need to take another look at and expand the new demand for support.
Understand your audience
The report’s insights show that we should pursue the niche position we have in our market. We provide solely management accounting, and those decision support services ‘inside’ the business are of great benefit. Right now, this is more important than ever to help SMBs manage their resources and ‘re-start’ in a post lockdown world.
It does, however, challenge our thinking when targeting clients. The analysis shows that the more interested targets are younger with less established businesses. As an accountant, when you know who is interested in what type of service, you can tailor your services to suit their needs. Ultimately, firms can be far more dynamic and proactive when they understand who they are targeting.
It’s also worth mentioning the opportunity presented by new technology. As accountants, we now have the ability to take our knowledge on cloud-based accounting systems and help organisations grow. We can implement and manage these technologies for our clients – a new responsibility that accountants everywhere should look to embrace.
It is no surprise that entrepreneurs between 18-34 are a key target market for accounts running a technology savvy practice. We will continue to focus our marketing efforts on attracting those SMBs. But this is also true when attracting professionals to join our firm.
People that have a deftness to technology are invaluable for businesses that want to progress. This is also applicable to accounting firms. These professionals are attracted to a more automated delivery model where more time can be spent on ‘thought delivery’ and communication with the client. We don’t want to miss out on great people; those who generate and deliver the information they want – when they want it.
There’s a new type of accountant that integrates technology into their service and when this happens, it only benefits their relationship with the client. Looking forward, accountants must – if they haven’t already – adopt and demonstrate a digital approach; those that don’t risk falling behind.
About Bev Betteridge
Bev Betteridge is the Founder, Owner and CFO of The Corner Office – an expert finance and accounting firm. With years of experience in several of Saskatchewan’s major industries, and a Certification in Risk Management from Canadian Institute of Internal Audit, Bev started The Corner Office to learn about and support local small businesses – a passion that translates into what The Corner office is all about.