Throughout the 4 years meeting with accountants, industry bodies and even training Xero salespeople about the importance of the accountant in helping their clients obtain funding (and the opportunity this provides), one question as an ex-lawyer/ turned non-tech female in tech has constantly pervaded my mind:
“Should I be telling accountants how to do their job?”
Yes Keri Gohman! (Chief Platform business Officer, Xero) "Access to capital is one of the top 3 problems SMEs face and need advice about." Yes Edward Berk! "There is no community of people better placed to help the SMEs of the UK than the accountants in this very room. " Yes Anil Stocker, (Founder MarketInvoice) "Most SMEs don’t have tools to undertake analysis of the cost of credit controls nor decipher the opaque language and determine the true cost of a funding solution."
Accountants have the opportunity to engage in a discussion with their clients about what their vision is for their business and how they are going to get there. It’s not advisory. It is just helping people with their business.
So a clear concise action plan appeared to emerge.
By this point I was on my feet clapping. (I was still sitting quietly) But then I paused. It’s all very well to say this. To say “accountants - go get educated on SME funding.” Evaluate the options. Help your clients.
To navigate this market we all need advice...
At the risk of sounding quattro fromage (very cheesy) this is why I am passionate about what I do. We have fleshed out this action plan to assist accountants take advantage of this opportunity to help their clients with a crucial element of their business.
My dad was an oyster farmer. He worked from 4am on the farm. Then went to school as a teacher in a suit and tie, then when back up the river until 7pm.
I wish my dads accountant stepped in. Asked him a question about where he was trying to get to and how was he going to get there. Spoken about the seasonality, his debtors, his debt solution. Just helped him to work smarter - not harder.
"If you solve this problem of funding they will always remember you. If you help with their problem on day one, small businesses become mighty businesses." Anil Stocker.
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