Small Biz Matters – #193 Providing the small business community with educational content and advocacy since 2014
with Alexi Boyd, broadcaster, advocate and small business owner.
Date: 26 January 2021
Have you ever wondered what your accountant and bookkeeper really thinks? How about tapping into that wealth of expertise to gain an understanding of the transition between 2020 to 2021 and the potential impact on your small business?
Last week I was lucky enough to be invited by ReceiptBank to moderate a panel of such experts; tapping into the knowledge, experience and opinions from three giants of the accounting and bookkeeping world. With hundreds of small businesses between them, this panel brought with them not only a diagnosis on 2020 but a prognosis for 2021.
2021 is sure to be an important year for businesses as they look to bounce back and maintain consistent growth. But for this to be possible, these businesses will need brilliant business-minded accountants supporting them.
Stuart Brandman from 542 Partners, Rebecca Laut from The Business Organiser & Kaia Kaldoja - from BlueRock Books, discussed the ongoing challenges for their industry in 2021, and how cloud accounting technology can help support businesses prepare for success.
Let’s have a listen to what they have to say, and what we can learn from their expertise.
Q1 – Reflecting on 2020, do you believe the challenges the accounting industry faced in 2020 going to bleed into 2021?
Rebecca - advisory has played a major role in growth of the industry. It is a combination of services and depends on the types of businesses we work with. Particularly what at stage of their business their clients are at the time. Some will be growth phase if they were expanding whereas others are in the process of contracting, or even closing . Either way, 2020 has brought with it a more advisory focus.
Stuart – Chat about the stimulus and its impact on clients and practices. Thanks to this major change to legislation we are all playing catchup with timetables and getting back to an even playing field on compliance and challenges. What do you mean by an even playing field? Keeping on top of billable hours - practical tips around how to make
Our roles are busy enough. Finding the space to grow and keep track.
Kaia – expanding on their points and bringing it back around to technology and implementation. How does tech help us to keep on top of advisory and our OWN business growth. We have to remember we too are businesses needing to focus on ourselves!
All - Discussion - What role has tech played in the development of your business in 2020?
Q2 – So speaking of Advisory services, what does that mean from a practical perspective?
Rebecca - what does advisory mean practically? Being a partner to the business, showing interest, being supportive. Genuinely human and knowing the differences between businesses. BUT we don’t take enough time to look at our OWN businesses.
Kaia – Planning your own business should be number 1. Setting up for success. Is it crucial to use the tech products before suggesting your clients. It becomes about people power and some practices might not have the time or staffing to action this.
Stuart – how do you implement change in your own business? How has the format changed? And now we can commoditise it. Tech joining with expertise. And that is a challenge to combining your use and skill with tech and then conveying the message to your clients
All - Discussion - So if the concept of Advisory has evolved because of 2020, did tech evolve fast enough to keep up? In terms of advisory what app in your stack could you not live without?
Q3 - Implementation of tech - how do we find the time to transition to use it better and switch to advisory.
Stuart - what are some practical ways to translate the tech and advisory and compliance?
Firstly ask yourself WHY you’re implementing the technology? What is going to enhance the message? THEN look at the best option. Then look at your team & clients likelihood of using it.
Kaia – practical tips for implementing tech with clients. The client needs to be able to USE it. Get the team on board - set up a competition! Don’t forget your clients needs to know how to use it soo!
Rebecca – If you’re listening as owner of a a smaller firm, what do you suggest in terms of implementation?
All - Discussion - Do bigger firms implement tech better because they have the manpower to access, learn and deal with change management?
To find out more go to their website: www.jimmyhalfpenny.com.au
About our Guests:
Rebecca Laut - Director at The Business Organiser
Rebecca is a cloud software specialist who supports businesses in the design and implementation of cloud technology platforms. Rebecca's work is focused on improving businesses overall efficiency and increasing insight across their financial performance. Recently Rebecca led the technology component of PwC’s Outsourced Finance Solution before moving on to build out a new tech advisory offering in her family business The Business Organiser. In her previous roles with global accounting platform Xero, Rebecca was at the forefront of technology disruption having exposure to global markets and fast-paced growth when the organisation went from start-up to international tech darling.
Kaia Kaldoja - Director at BlueRock Books
Kaia joined BlueRock in 2018 as their superhero Head of Bookkeeping, but her origin story is a little different to most superheroes – she got her first taste of the bookkeeping life by helping her parents painstakingly enter stock orders one by one into an ancient point-of-sale system. This is where Kaia’s love of all things process automation and cloud system integration came from. Kaia gets really excited about new software and cutting edge business technologies that make life easier for clients.
Stuart Brandman - Director at 542 Partners
Having worked in large mid-tier accounting firms for nearly ten years, prior to founding 542 Partners, Stu has worked with a range of businesses in financial accounting, advisory, taxation and business planning matters. Stu specialises in providing virtual CFO services and real business solutions and advice to his clients. From implementing the appropriate accounting software, providing accounting and business advice and conducting strategy sessions, Stu has an impressive skill set.