Having an accounting service on hand is a valuable resource for SMEs, but they may not realise just how valuable.
At a very basic level, businesses use accounting services for their end of year accounts and not much else, but, as Mike Keeling, Operations Director at One Click Group points out, this is a failure to maximise the benefits that accounting services can offer.
“This kind of professional support can offer SMEs much more than simply meeting their set accounting obligations. In fact, it’s a form of outsourced business advice and support.”
The Perils of Plate-spinning
Typically, business owners find themselves taking on multiple roles, and, if they are not careful, having to do a substantial amount of fire-fighting.
“What starts out as a pretty pure concept can soon be muddied by practicalities and unforeseen difficulties. Among these are issues such as cash flow and obstacles to growth such as funding.”
There is also the risk that the business owner will decide they must do everything themselves to save on costs, which is when it can feel like spinning plates
“An aversion to spend on the business can be a false economy, because by not paying for external expertise, you end up running to stand still, and put yourself in a position where clear, decisive decision-making gets harder and harder to do”
One of the multiple roles SME business owners may be forced to take on is that of finance director, but it is not an easy role to assume.
“This is about specialist accounting knowledge and knowing how to set up and run systems. It means understanding tax planning and bookkeeping. Alongside all the other things that come with running and growing a business, this can be a big ask.”
Evolving Roles and Services
Traditionally, the business advisor has a wider role than that of the accountant, but increasingly the boundaries are blurring.
“While the part accounting plays has normally focused on reporting, year-end accounts and tax planning, it now involves support in aspects of business strategy and being altogether more proactive”
This is a form of added value, not based strictly on professional qualifications additional to those concerned with accounting, but rather to do with a change in mindset, and in how to offer accounting services to SMEs.
A new model of accounting support involves a fixed fee service. Instead of charging by the hour, it comes as a monthly fee, dependent on the size of the client’s business and what kind of support they require.
While it includes monthly and quarterly returns and year-end accounts as would be expected of any standard accounting support, it also offers unlimited accounting help and advice and access to specialist accounting software, for a fixed fee.
“This offers the SME client reassurance but also affordability, with ready support on hand, whenever they need it,” Mike concludes. “This brings an extra element of infrastructure to bought-in accounting services, and can help relieve some of the pressures that many business owners find themselves under.”
To discover more about how value added accountancy services could boost your business, please call One Click Group on 0345 557 1287.
Alternatively, click here to read One Click Group’s Complete Guide to Fixed Fee Accounting Services for Small Businesses.