What do accountants actually do?
One big thing we do is prepare accounts ( and tax returns) but in many ways that’s the tip of the iceberg – i.e. the bit that everyone sees. Yes, we’re trained to do all of the presentational things – make sure that we obey all of the accounting rules, Companies House rules and so on but the hidden bits – and unfortunately the bits most don’t look for – are the most exciting.
Yes – I did use the word exciting and I know that’s something of an oxymoron but its about how what we do can help businesses move forward.
By doing monthly accounts, business owners get to see how things are going during the year and still have time to do something about their results for the year before it ends. So it allows them time to plan their investment spend to make maximum use of tax allowances, organise making their tax bill lower and keeping things on track generally. Even better is they get to spend a little time with me so we can talk about how their business is going and to discuss options, ideas and possibilities. In one case we’ve helped to identify a different perspective of profitability and as the year goes on, will help to identify ways in which the business could develop differently. Some of our customers simply know that it keeps them in control of their businesses. In another case, it helped to identify a business that was under performing in its first year and that they needed to put stronger cash controls in place
Sometimes, these accounts are called management accounts because they provide the right information to help managers manage and in today’s increasingly supervised borrowing world, bank managers are asking for them again to let them keep an eye on their overdraft and loan based investments.
So, here’s a question, if you DON’T have management accounts, what would you do with them if you DID have them?