24 Oct 2023

The hidden benefits of business advice

At Monahans we see the financial benefits that our client’s gain from our services, but there is much more to accountancy and business support than just efficient tax returns. Our role is to ensure that clients are receiving the best possible service so that they feel comfortable and reassured that we have their business’ best interests at heart.

We pride ourselves on being friendly and approachable because we know how difficult it can be to reach out for support in the first place. Below, we cover some of the lesser-known benefits that business owners can gain from using accountancy and business services.

Gaining an expert listener
Business advisors and accountants are not just there to put clients’ fully formed ideas into action, in fact much of their value comes from working alongside clients as they consider all options; acting as a sounding board and allowing clients to bounce initial concepts or thoughts off them.

We often find that clients may just need to talk at someone and will resolve the issue themselves simply by conveying it out loud. The benefit of speaking to an expert of course, is that they know the right questions to ask, to help clients to reach their decision. For instance: “Have you thought about X?” or “What is your reasoning behind X?”– encouraging them to see the bigger picture and consider all aspects of their decision.

As professionals, accountants and business advisors’ only purpose is to consider the facts and give informed guidance, rather than telling clients what they want to hear, as friends and family may be inclined to do. In other words, by having that professional separation, they can more easily ‘tell it how it is’, allowing them to deliver honest and constructive feedback, even when it won’t be popular.

Transparency is key when approaching business planning, so it’s crucial that clients are able to trust the opinion of their accountant or business advisor and can rely on them to keep them abreast with anything that might impact their business, whether it be positive or negative. By doing so, the client will have the best chance of planning ahead and mitigating the potential impact of any upcoming changes.

Reassurance when you need it most
At Monahans, our job is to ensure that clients don’t have to lie awake at night worrying about things. Business finances can be complex, time consuming and stressful, particularly if times are tight or tax deadlines are looming. Our clients often cite the emotional reassurance that they receive from knowing that an expert is just at the end of the phone and is working with their best interests in mind, not to mention keeping track of important deadlines so that they don’t have to.

When clients are facing something complicated, such as an HMRC investigation, a huge amount of comfort can be drawn from seeing how ‘normal’ and ‘everyday’ their accountant or business adviser is finding the process. The team at Monahans has a huge amount of experience in helping a range of clients, and as a result have dealt with a plethora of scenarios. In other words, little fazes them. And for a client, watching an expert deal with these situations' day in day out can be exceptionally reassuring, calming their nerves and helping them to realise that it isn’t something to be anxious about.

Having a cheerleader on your side
The emotional energy that goes into setting up business isn’t often spoken about. For a business owner it requires a huge amount of time, sacrifice, belief and enthusiasm to keep things moving forward – it is a labour of love.

As a result, there will be points where a client is understandably exhausted from putting all of their effort into the business and not necessarily seeing the quick gains they are hoping for. This is where an accountant and business advisor can be crucial in providing energy and momentum to help them to keep progressing forward, as well as reassurance and encouragement – acting as a cheerleader for them and their business, when they need it most.

Regaining control
Clients who seek support will also improve their financial understanding of the business and in turn gain more power and agency over their finances. By speaking to business advisor or accountant sooner and more frequently, clients can regain a ‘feeling of control’ by having a better grasp of their business’ inner workings. The process of facing any issues head on, with an expert able to help them to navigate the stormy waters, can often leave clients with a sense of accomplishment and relief that they have been able to handle whatever the situation is. Ultimately, we are here to help clients to feel financially independent, rather than doing everything for them.

Often times the financial issues that individuals and businesses face are exacerbated by ignoring that there is an issue, until it’s too late to do anything about it. More often than not, there are options available but these narrow as time goes on. For example, speaking to HMRC to create payment plans for taxes due if you are having trouble paying is much better than falling behind on taxes due and incurring additional amounts in fines and interest.

As a business owner it can be easy to get tunnel vision and convince yourself that nothing can be done to alleviate the scenario, and therefore decide not to ignore it. But ignorance isn’t helpful for anyone; the more that a client knows about the range of options available, the earlier they can decide what to do, and the better the outcome will likely be.

Thinking ahead
With a million things to juggle, clients can easily get caught up in the everyday running of a business. This is of course understandable, but it’s also critical that they always keep one eye on the future.

Accountants and business advisors are able to take a step back and use their oversight to help clients make decisions now, that will benefit them in the next five years, not just this month. For example, if a client is looking to sell their business or an asset in two years’ time, there may be steps to take now, that will make the process smoother and more profitable in the long run. These experts can not only take a holistic view of a client’s finances, but also have up to date knowledge of developments on the horizon that might impact the choices that clients make, whether that be shifting tax policies or changing supply chain regulations, allowing clients to get out ahead of whatever is coming their way.

If you would like to speak to a friendly approachable accountant or business advisor, please do get in touch with myself or one of the team today, we’d love to hear from you.

Clare Bowen