“Many small business would rather face an angry barbarian horde than tackle their cash flow statement.”
Nicole Fende, The Numbers Whisperer®
So what do we do? Most people have a pre-conceived idea of what Accountants offer. Only Tax and Accounting services, right? Well sort of…. Here at Integra Business Accountants, we like to get to know you before we tailor a plan to suit your business needs.
Let’s look at an example of your average Accountant and a Small Business.
Jo owns a Fish and Chip shop. His wife Judy ‘does’ the books and they drop them off at the Accountants once a year. About 6 weeks later they may get the Tax returns in the mail with a covering letter of what they need to pay. Or, if they are lucky, an invite to meet with the Accountant so he can present the letter telling them what to pay. But we think there should be so much more to it than that… and there is!
Come with me on a journey….
Jo and Judy make an appointment to meet a Senior Accountant who specialises in Business Advice at Integra. The first 20 minutes are complimentary! It’s a ‘meet and greet’ and an opportunity to see if Integra and Jo and Judy fit well together. This may lead onto an Alignment meeting. Two Integra Accountants go and visit Jo and Judy at Jo’s Fish & Chip shop. We prefer two so we can provide the highest level of service.
We look at their systems and processes
We ask questions about cashflow, loans, what plant needs upgrading next and how does Judy like her current accounting system. We review last year’s Financial Statements and explain anything they are unsure of. Anything, that assists us to get to know Jo and Judy’s business better.
Back at the office the Accountants put their heads together and come up with a plan on what Jo and Judy need from their accountant. That is then prioritised and two options are offered to Jo and Judy for their consideration. There are different prices for standard services, this depends on what Jo and Judy need.
We assess how to make their business more efficient
Initially, there would be some one-off services to make their business more efficient and effective. Making sure the business structure is correct for asset protection against creditors is paramount.
As Jo and Judy are a partnership, it may be more effective to restructure them into a Family Trust with a Corporate Trustee. Tailoring a plan to suit their individual needs includes covering the positives and negatives such as Capital Gains Tax, Stamp Duty and succession planning. We would also suggest reviewing systems and suggest new technology to streamline processes that will save time and money going forward.
We give them options
It may suit Jo and Judy to consider our ‘Do it yourself’ option, in which we would suggest Judy does the bookkeeping and Integra just review the figures each quarter before Judy lodges her BAS. The process may identify poor loan structures, so, an appropriate introduction to a Mortgage Broker may help them secure a better finance deal. It may also include helping Judy set up the business portal so Judy saves time and money lodging her own BAS. Importantly, the ‘Do it yourself’ option would include addressing Jo’s questions… the ones he’s always wanted to ask his accountant.
Jo and Judy may prefer the ‘Do it with you’ option. This may include offering set up and training on XERO, MYOB or Reckon so that Judy saves time and her books are more accurate. It may include checking the Payment Summaries that Judy prepares before she issues them to the employees. More importantly, it would include checking and reviewing a budget that we would encourage and help Jo and Judy to set up. This would assist their cashflow and allocation of funds for asset replacement, taxes and loan repayments. (And of course, holidays).
A third option for Jo and Judy to consider may be the ‘Do it for you‘ option. This covers preparing the end of year financial statements and tax return. But there will be no surprises. In May each year, a compulsory tax planning review is held with Jo, Judy and their Business Advisory Accountant to estimate the annual tax and how to structure the business to minimise tax. Jo is ecstatic. He has always wanted to understand the numbers better within his business.
Now that Judy has the books up to date on XERO, Jo can print monthly reports and compare them to budget. A consistent savings plan means every week money is being saved for tax. (GST and Income Tax). Jo is starting to see that he has more control over his business numbers than he thought possible.
They want to know more
Jo and Judy want to know more. Integra invite them along to one of their seminars. (We have four per year covering different topics specifically for business). This one is on Marketing. “How to increase sales and win customers.” Jo wants to know more. He asks the price for a monthly package fee which includes quarterly meetings with his Business Accountants. These meetings review the last three months trading, identify weak spots, provide solutions and determine the focus for the next quarter in order to take the business to the next level.
They want to do more
Jo wants to open another two shops in neighbouring suburbs. Integra assists him in preparing a Business Plan to take to the bank for finance. Integra’s input includes Benchmarking data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Cashflow schedules detailing Income and Expenditure for the next three years, a Capital Outlay schedule, Plant and Equipment needs and financing arrangements, Business Structure, and details of the experience that Jo and Judy both bring to the business.
Any additional information required for the Business Plan such as shop layouts, staffing and demographics, number of customers and competition are outsourced to Integra’s hub of contacts that provide accurate reports.
Jo gets his loan funding and opens two more shops. Integra work with Judy to provide a means of systemising the accounting records, so that each shop can be identified and tracked.
Jo is approached by Fred who wants to buy in on his enterprise and Jo agrees to the proposal. Integra’s Business Advisory Accountants, Jo, Judy, Fred and Fred’s wife, Fran, all meet in the boardroom at Integra to discuss the terms of the agreement before arranging an appointment to meet with their Lawyer who will prepare a legal business agreement. Integra’s valuation of the business is paramount to the discussions and a new structure is implemented to protect all parties’ and personal assets.
It is agreed that the bookkeeping will be outsourced and Integra recommends three bookkeepers for Judy and Fran to meet. They decide on hiring Beth and Integra Business Accountants regularly talk to Beth to answer any queries she may have regarding the processing of the books and reporting back to the business owners at their monthly meetings.
Jo, Judy, Fred and Fran have never been happier!
All this, from a chat to get to know you and an opportunity to truly understand your business…..
Integra is dedicated to partnering with you
Giving you peace of mind and making your success our business.
If you would like to know more or need help building a compass for your business please call the office Integra Business Accountants can help get you started.
P: 08 9527 3071 or email