Are the labels we give to accountants stopping businesses from reaching their true potential?
What’s the difference between an accountant who provides compliance services, advisory services or tailored advice to help you grown your business and get to where you want to be. Mark Telford explains why ‘we don’t do advisory’.
I sigh when I read an article or receive a marketing e-mail or a sales call asking if we provide ‘advisory services’.
To any normal person, what does ‘advisory services’ mean?
If I said we provide accountancy, tax and payroll services, you’d know what I was talking about.
If I said we offer business advice, business support and business growth services, you’d have a pretty good idea what I meant.
But ‘advisory services’…
So no, we don’t do them
Nor are we what is sometimes referred to in a disparaging way a ‘compliance firm’.
We do provide compliance services.
But what we really do is “we work with ambitious business owners to help them achieve their goals”.
What does that mean and what does the work we do actually look like? Well whatever support and advice you need in order to help you get from where you are to where you want to go.
That will usually mean preparing your accounts, tax returns and doing the payroll. On top of this we provide business support and advice, which will vary depending on what you need help with. It might be simple (or complex) tax queries, help with obtaining business finance, questions about retirement or succession planning or helping you grow or develop your business.
What this work actually looks like will vary from business to business. We take the effort to understand what it is you do, what you’re trying to achieve and what you need help with. We then work on the services you need.
It’s about you, not us.
We won’t try and sell you ‘management accounts’ because we use some software that produces some pretty flashy looking reports.
But we will work out what effect a 1% increase in your gross margin will have, what your break-even point is each month or prepare a profit and cash flow forecasts, or maybe a sit down face to face meeting once a quarter to set goals and actions, if it’s what you need to help you in your business.
So no, we don’t provide ‘advisory’ services.
But we do help our clients achieve their goals.