17 Jan 2024

Hidden work of accountants: How business advisors and accountants keep the country running.

The perception of accountants as numbers-orientated people solely focused on data and figures, is changing. However, people may not realise just how much of an accountant’s role goes beyond that of account management and tax returns.

Behind the scenes, accountants and business advisors are helping to keep the world spinning. So many of the institutions and organisations that make up the backbone of the country’s economy, and society, are kept afloat as a result of sound business advice and support.

And at Monahans, we see this in action every day. A significant proportion of our team’s work goes into consultative support, and much of their value comes from acting as an expert sounding board – helping clients to navigate the tax and finance landscape, and choosing options best suited to their needs.

The essential work that accountants and business advisors are carrying out in the background isn’t always obvious, so we wanted to pull back the curtain on just a few key areas.

Keeping key services running
Every key institution involved with keeping the country, and its infrastructure, running effectively, can only do so by remaining profitable and financially sound. Even if building wealth is not the primary objective. So, behind every successful business or organisation, no matter what size, you will find a strong financial strategy, team or individual.

Whilst we can’t cover all of these sectors, we provide a snapshot of a few key areas below.

Healthcare – Within the NHS there is still a huge amount of uncertainty ahead. GMS contract amendments regarding staff pay rises within the NHS are still unclear and the healthcare sector is currently in limbo over the outcome of several issues, including what government investment in Primary Care Networks will look like past March 2024.

To help to future proof their services, it is key that GP practices build-up as much financial resilience as possible. To do this, healthcare practices need to be treated like a commercial business with income, expenses and profit.

For practice managers trying to navigate challenges within the NHS, having someone to guide them through the process is invaluable. At Monahans, our dedicated team of specialist medical accountants are driven to empower the profession to become more business focused as it strives to meet the challenges that the NHS financial landscape demands.

Charity – In a world where every penny counts, charities have a significant responsibility to manage their finances effectively to maximise their impact on society. Much like any organisation, charities need an accountant to help them to manage their finances, comply with regulations, adhere to tax formalities and achieve overall stability. Charities are also subject to specific financial regulations, which can often require a helping hand from a professional accountant.

Farming – In the world of agriculture, consultative support is just as vital as technical knowhow. At Monahans, much of the team’s work centres on helping farming families to navigate legislation changes and talking through any issues that they may be facing. The nature of farming often adds levels of complexity to traditional financial planning, so having an appreciation of the full picture is crucial.

Because the agricultural industry is so contingent on weather cycles and seasons, planning ahead is vital. Where possible we aim to pre-empt any issues before they occur, but we also seek to do so on a realistic scale – after all, clients need to be able to continue to run the business on a day-to-day basis.

Self-employed workers and small businesses – As the Chancellor nodded to in the Autumn Statement, these workers are the lifeblood of the UK, particularly during the pandemic. These individuals already have a huge amount to juggle with day-to-day operational requirements, even without the admin and paperwork that comes with the running of a business of any size, which is where financial guidance becomes invaluable.

This is clear in recent research conducted by Sage which showed that 91% of small businesses rated accountants as an important part of their business’ operations. 92% of small to mid-sized businesses also reported using the service of an accountant, with half (49%) using their services at least weekly.

Business finances can be complex, time consuming and stressful, particularly if times are tight or tax deadlines are looming. At Monahans, our job is to ensure that clients don’t have to lie awake at night worrying. 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.

The practical and bespoke support that accountants can offer to these key industries is clear, but it isn’t just about being financially better off. Our clients are incredible at what that do but that doesn’t necessarily mean that finances are one of their strengths. They have other priorities, so by shouldering some of the workload we can allow them to focus on what they do best.

The value of an accountant does not just lie in what they can do on a business’s behalf but also in how they can empower individuals within a business. Helping them to regain control of their finances, and ensure that their money is working for them, rather than the other way around.

Accountants and business advisors can empower individuals, whether that be GP practice managers, charity finance leads or pub landlords, to learn to manage elements of their finances themselves, such as running month reports, or understanding what forecasts mean.

Whilst unpredictability is inevitable, accountants can help key businesses and organisations to get out ahead of whatever is coming their way, take command of their finances and, most importantly, enable them to continue to deliver invaluable services to the UK.

If you ever need support, guidance or to discuss your options, get in touch with our expert team today here. You can download our PDF on the hidden work of accounts here.

Clare Bowen