Here’s a question I’ve been asked by potential clients – “Do I still need you if I already have a bookkeeper or tax accountant?”
And the answer is – “Only if you want to be in touch with and in control of your business’ financial future.”
So, if you are a female entrepreneur then the answer would be YES ;)
It can be difficult, when financials are not your favourite business area to place importance on setting up, tracking and analysing all those numbers. One of my favourite parts of my role is working with business owners who go from burying their head in the sand about their financials to feeling empowered about how to use them to their advantage.
So what are the key points I want you to consider with your business?
- Set up: it can be tempting to just throw all your receipts in a box and send out your invoices from a word template (it’s ok, I am well aware some of you are still doing this). And it’s actually fine to do this if you are informed about the options that are out there and know what results you are going to be getting…and not getting. Part of my role is giving businesses options about different ways to track their financials and what data that is going to allow them to collect and use. There is no cookie cutter approach here – I customise the data to suit your specific business.
- Budgeting: this is one of the things I think is so important for businesses, if you haven’t read about why I think budgeting is liberating rather than restrictive you can read my blog here. If you don’t know where your money is coming from and going to it is going to be exceptionally difficult to create financial freedom.
- Forecasting: this follows on from budgeting and it is such a powerful tool when you are looking at goals and growth in your business. We all know the importance of goal setting and forecasting and that it will really help you create achievable goals. Forecasting also helps to track when payments are to be made and your invoices will be received. This will help you avoid being short when a bill is due and help you to be better prepared for those periods when the cash isn’t flowing as freely ie Christmas
- Financial Literacy: sure you can just track what you have done and send it all to your accountant at BAS or Tax time but without understanding where those numbers come from and how to analyse the big picture you are missing a crucial step in your business planning. Imagine how you would feel if you were able to understand what the financial statements were telling you about the profitability and growth of your business.
- Pricing Strategy: Most women I come across struggle to work out how much they need to charge for their services. Do you know if what you are charging is enough? The worst time to find out that you aren’t is at the end of the financial year when your tax accountant tells you you’ve made a loss.
- Financial Analysis: Whilst a bookkeeper enters all the data and ensures the ongoing financial records are properly maintained, my role is to verify this data, and then to generate reports, which can provide information on past performance, business trends, pricing strategies, opportunity for growth and offer advice on future financial elements of your business.
Typically you would wait for the end of financial year to see your tax accountant and if there is something going wrong, it will be 12 months before this is highlighted.
As you can see, I work hand in hand with the bookkeeper and tax accountant. If you don’t have a bookkeeper and do your own bookkeeping then this is where my role becomes very important to provide the support and supervision through the course of the year.
There are many different facets to accounting, without all those “numbers” you really don’t have a business.
So rather than spend the most minimal amount of effort on them create a love of financials through using them to your advantage and having the greatest understanding of them that you can.