How can the right Accountant help you?

How can the right Accountant help you

What do you want out of your business?

This is probably one of the most personal blogs that I have written.  I have been walking the walk recently and delivering some of our new services on my own business. This week I was asked what I wanted from my business; my answer was quite simple – to work 4 days per week and to earn £x per year.  So then I was asked why four days a week? 

Quite frankly, to be able to enjoy time and travel with my family – before the kids get to that stage that it is too embarrassing to spend time with their parents!  So, what then did I need to do to deliver what I wanted?  From this I could specify the number of clients we needed, the average fee and the number of staff I needed to bring into the business to deliver these fees.

How do I know all this?

I have a business plan in place.  Have I always had a business plan in place?  Honestly, not a proper one. I had set revenue targets and knew what I needed to make each month but not a full in-depth road map to show me how to get what I want out of the business.

So what changed?

Quite frankly I was close to burn-out.  When you ask people who have made significant change in their lives, often they’ll say there was a trigger that helped them really take stock etc. Sometimes we get complacent on the hamster wheel of life. Personally, I felt comfortable growing the business at a steady pace, earning an income that enabled great holidays, paid the mortgage, and do all the things that we wanted to do. Then Covid-19 hit. I do not need to elaborate on this any further other than to say the past 12 months have been tough. The best analogy of it is:

“We are all in the same storm but not the same boats”.

For me, I simply got to the point that I could not see the wood for the trees. I was seeing less of my children and not getting to do all the things I wanted to do. I was constantly drawn into work and what the business wanted; the business was controlling me rather than delivering what I needed for my family.

Something had to change, I started the business to give me flexibility and that flexibility had gone.

So, I spent an afternoon session taking stock, looking at what I wanted, what the business needed to do to achieve this.  Once I had identified the end point, I could work backwards mapping out how this was going to be delivered. It gave me clarity in how to get to where I wanted the business to be with action points along the way.

As a result I now have a clear plan on what I need to focus on. Instead of procrastinating and worrying about all the things I need to do, energy is now spent on taking action on steps towards resolving the key issues in the business.  Financially I can see where the business is so instead of worrying at night about ‘if’s and what’s’, I have a clear picture of where we are against plan and can quickly take action if needed.

How can Spotlight’s services help with this?

We can help you produce a business plan, setting out the roadmap to where you want to be.  The key information from this needs to be what you want out of your business?  What does it need to deliver to you?  Why do you do what you want to do? 

I always point clients in the direction of this Simon Sinek video.

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result”
Albert Einstein.

This roadmap is not a 12-month financial budget based on what the business did last year, it is identifying the end point and working backwards.  To get a different result something must change.

While deep diving into your business, our tax consultancy service takes into consideration all your current affairs, what is in your business plan and applies all the tax legislation to see where you and your business may benefit.

Once you have your business plan and have the results from our tax consultancy, we can then produce a 12-month forecast for the business which sets out the financial journey over the next year.

From this, management accounts are produced monthly or quarterly comparing actual results to budget highlighting any deviations from the original plan.  These are issued with a commentary video to explain the what the figures mean. Enabling you to take action to get back on course, as well as understanding what your tax liabilities are.

We offer a quarterly meeting service, giving clear accountability for the actions within your plan. As a business owner, it is down to you to deliver on these action plans but having accountability sessions provides you with a prompt to get these things done.

What is the benefit of all these services?

Speaking from my experience over the past few months, I have clarity on where the business needs to go, focus on the key things I need to change, accountability to make sure I am doing these things, insight into where the business is and, if I need to make changes, a plan to get back on track.  I also know what the trigger points are to employ more resource so staff are not working under pressure and service levels do not drop.  Quite frankly I can sleep much better at night as I feel a lot less overwhelmed.

There is an investment in the cost of these services but sometimes, as a business owner, it takes a fresh pair of eyes from outside your business to help get you back on track and keep you accountable to stay there. 

If you are interested in any of these services or learning more about how we can help please get in touch and contact us today!

Carrie Stokes Chartered Accountant

Carrie Stokes Chartered Accountant

I work with directors of limited companies in Shropshire, Staffordshire and the West Midlands giving them a clear and up to date financial picture of their business that they understand. Looking at the numbers, what they mean and how they can be improved to grow their business.

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