Category Archives for "Accountant’s Minute"

Improving Employment Prospects

The Federal government has launched a 12-month pilot program, Training for Employment Scholarship, in the outer metropolitan and regional areas. This program is developed to assist the employment and training of young people by providing incentives to employers to take on new workers.

Do your clients need skills development?

The Federal government’s Industry Skills Fund is supporting businesses, from micro-businesses (less than 4 employees) through to large businesses (200+ employees), to undertake specific training to improve the skills capabilities of the business’ employees that will contribute to an improvement in the business’ performance.

Grants that are available are as follows:
• Micro-businesses (0-4 full-time equivalent employees) – 75%
• Small businesses (5-19 full-time equivalent employees) – 66%
• Medium businesses (20-199 full-time equivalent employees) – 50%
• Large businesses (200+ full-time equivalent employees) – 25%

Do your clients know about your new services?

Some small/medium enterprises doubt whether their current accountants can deliver the new services they are seeking, so they can add value to their businesses.

I’m reminded of a comment made by a partner of an accountancy firm, whilst making a presentation at a Smithink 2020 Conference at the Gold Coast a few years ago. The partner indicated that he was reviewing a draft set of financial accounts and noticed that the business had spent $26,000 on “business consultancy”. Knowing that his firm had not charged the client for any type of business consulting – definitely not an amount of $26,000 – he rang the client and enquired what the expenditure was for. The client indicated that he’d hired a business coach and he was very happy with his services. The partner said to him, “Did you know that we could have supplied these types of services?”

Who is your salesperson?

A prominent American Business Angel, speaking at a capital raising seminar in Melbourne some years ago, said, “Many businesses ignore professional selling at their peril.”

“Businesses need to be able to identify who their salespeople are.”

As accountancy businesses evolve from just taxation into a wider range of business activities, to assist small/medium enterprises to add-value, there will need to be a greater emphasis on the development of professional selling skills within accountancy businesses.

Today, we do something different

“Kaizen” is Japanese for “change for the better” or “continuous improvement” in business activities. This could be beneficial to accountants when you consider the problems of “digital disruption” and Standard Business Reporting (SBR).

Kaizen is a business philosophy of continuous cost reduction, reducing quality problems and waste and delivery time reduction through rapid team-based improvement activities.

Time Management

We all have 24 hours in a day. What we do with that time and how effectively we deal with our 24-hour allocation can have a significant bearing on our work performance, health, satisfaction and personal relationships. There’s no doubt that some people manage their allocated time better than others. Some time management suggestions include:

Profit Protection

Retail businesses in particular can save thousands of dollars by employing a full-time or part-time profit protection officer. Businesses need to be able to rely on the integrity of their targeted gross profit percentage and then measure variables from that targeted percentage if they’re going to effectively manage their businesses.

“If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you”

This is a sign that recently appeared on the wall of the gymnasium of which I’m a member. I first thought the manager was probably having a go at me because I’m slightly overweight. However, the more I thought about it, it’s obvious that the sign is a challenge to all the people who visit the gym.

Then I thought about the accountancy profession. We’re indeed living in times that are continually challenging us.


Benchmarking is a comparison of a business’ operating Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and financial ratios with best practice and average performance data relating to similar businesses.

The utilisation of benchmarking tool is an integral part of an accountant supplying a business advisory service to his/her business clients. It’s very difficult for small businesses to find authentic data against which to compare their performance to that of their peers, as this information is generally not known or released.