Let’s get one thing straight before I start, this isn’t an accountant bashing session, but merely an opportunity to offer different perspectives. Your accountant has a vital and important role in your business.
First and foremost your accountant should be looking after the financial wellbeing of the company. Making sure you are trading in a responsible manor. Paying taxes on time and of course making sure they are using every tax allowance and scheme open to your business.
Times are a changing
With the government’s requirements for tax to go digital most companies have moved to a software–based accounting system. This has made a company’s ability to manage their day–to–day accounting really easy. I can, at the click of a button, look at P&L, cashflow and VAT reports that are accurate up to the last banking day. Services that only a few years ago would require your accountants to produce.
You can at the drop of a hat discuss any issues you have based on real time information. Both with your fellow directors, owners and your accountant. Knowledge is power, but who and how are you using that power?
Accountants need to live in their client’s shoes.
So at most I speak to my accountants assistant one or twice a quarter for VAT submissions and my account maybe twice a year. Of which one is a meeting to go through and complete the previous year’s accounts.
Imagine your accountant does this for 100 plus clients. It is impossible that they can really put themselves in your shoes. They are relying on the data they see in your accounts software. They are not living your day–to–day. They don’t understand your client base, or industry for that matter.
So, when they give advice it is based on what they see, and here is where I have a problem.
Marketing departments create sales strategies and programs aimed at increasing sales through promotions and advertising.
So why do accountants think that marketing is one of the first things to cut when sales decrease?
The answer is simple, the majority of accountants don’t understand marketing. As a general rule most small to mid accounting firms don’t engage in marketing. A recent article in the daily telegraph puts this perfectly.
Many excellent professional-services organisations have no idea of what they don’t know, and so a poor understanding of marketing and business development could be leading to overly negative advice being given to clients.
Marketing through COVID
Firms have cut or frozen their marketing budgets in response to the recession based on their accountant’s advice, but haven’t switched to more cost-effective forms of lead generation. Many firms are showing “no interest” in winning new business. So what’s more important, batten down or get new clients?
The smaller you go the longer it takes
It has been proven that when trading through a recession. Companies who did little or no marketing took twice as long to recover sales after. Up to 2 years longer in fact. Here is an earlier blog on this subject.
Accountants are no doubt currently acting as advisers to many clients who count on them for advice. That advise has to be objective based on what is best for their client. To be a good accountant you have to understand the ‘value’ in marketing.
“I am consistently fascinated how so many excellent professional-services organisations see marketing, management development and organisational development, or even wider business strategy and business development, as being so readily within their undoubted intellectual grasp that they have no idea of what they don’t know.”
Jeremy Thorn –