Does your accountant give you the financial leadership you and your agency need to thrive?
Most agency owners don’t expect enough from their accountants.
Perhaps you think, “Well, just as long as all the paperwork is filed to the HMRC, what more can I need?” The answer is quite a lot actually.
I’ve worked exclusively with agencies since 2015, and so I know that the leadership you get from your finance team really can be the difference between a business that delivers on your dreams and one that doesn’t.
That’s because the real power of accountancy for small businesses is not only knowing what your numbers are but understanding what those numbers mean. It really can be the key to growing your business to its full potential.
Every month, you’re probably grappling with questions like this inside your business:
“Can I afford to hire a new staff member?”
“Will I have enough cash in 6 months to pay my bills?”
“Is my pricing too low?”
“Can my team buy that new piece of equipment?”
But without an understanding of what your numbers actually mean, then chances are you’re making these decisions blindly. That’s when unexpected financial stresses can start cropping up.
Some clients, however, come to me and say, “We don’t need all these extra insights – we’ve never paid attention to them before and we’re in profit now.” But time and time again we show that when a profitable business starts to pay attention to these numbers, they realise how much money they’ve been leaving on the table.
Financial leadership grows your profit & reduces your workload
Bringing in good financial leadership to your agency, therefore, really can be a game-changer. It’s the difference between agencies that forever tread water and those that really fly. It also can have a huge impact not only on your profitability but your stress levels and job satisfaction too. That’s because when you understand your numbers, you become a better business leader.
Unfortunately, for most agency owners numbers aren’t their strong point. And if you’re only getting the bare minimum of input from your accountant, it can make your business goals unattainable.
So what does good financial leadership actually look like? Here are some of the things you should look for when hiring your next accountant:
You can ask them anything
A lot of clients find their accountants difficult to approach or even outright arrogant or patronising. Your accountant should never make you feel awkward or stupid for asking a question, and you should never be afraid to approach them with any concern.
They show you which numbers really matter
Be honest – is the only number you ever really pay attention to in your business the balance in your bank account?
If it is, you’re not alone – I hear this from new clients all the time. Unfortunately, that number doesn’t really tell you a huge amount about how your business is actually doing though. The problem with this is that unless you know how healthy your business is now, you can’t gauge when it’s ok to relax and when you need to take things up a gear.
We always take the time to help you get to grips with the most important numbers in your business and what they mean.
That way you can monitor exactly how you’re doing month to month, or even week by week.
You’re given practical action steps
Ok, so you know what the numbers are telling you, but if what they’re telling you is that you’ve got cash flow issues or are blowing all your budgets, you need to know what to do about it.
You feel empowered to make decisions with confidence
As a CEO you’re making decisions every single day. Sometimes they’re exciting decisions about new hires, new offices, and new opportunities, other times it will be more difficult decisions like letting staff go. As a business owner myself, I know this is a huge responsibility for an agency owner – it’s stressful, confusing, and isolating. A good accountant however will ask you the right questions and present you with the implications of each scenario, to help you make the right decision.
You’re a human, not just a number
Let’s face it, talking about money is awkward and vulnerable, and some of the conversations I have with my clients they’d never dream of sharing with anyone else!
That’s why a good accountant understands that they’re not just dealing with a business, they’re dealing with a person, and each financial win or loss also has a human impact.
So when our clients celebrate we celebrate with them, and when they suffer a setback we’re not just there with practical solutions. A good accountant really listens and supports you too. That means sometimes there’s light-heartedness and sometimes there are tears – but it’s all welcome!
I hope you can see that good financial leadership really is a game-changer when it comes to running a successful agency. The problem is so few accountants offer this kind of support. I realised early on that’s exactly what small businesses needed, and so that’s what makes de Jong Phillips different because we want you to feel empowered by your numbers. If you’d like to learn more about how we can support you, book a call with us today.