Category Archives for "Accountant’s Minute"

Accountants and Business Advisors – Crowd-Sourced Funding – Heralds a New Era for SMEs!

On 29 September 2017, small/medium companies of any age, size or industry will be able to raise capital from “Retail Investors” as well as “Sophisticated Investors” of up to $5 million per annum.

Smaller companies that have a business with prospects will be able to present their vision and strategies to potential investors, so that they can raise capital to expand their businesses or reorganise their finances by paying off debts. Programs like “Shark Tank” have alerted the SME community that there is nothing wrong with growing companies seeking to raise capital from investors who may end up owing 25 to 40% of the company in exchange for much needed capital.

Whilst company directors need to be comfortable with this process and not be paranoid about owing 100% of the company – the benefits of raising capital can be immense – funding for the business to bring to market a new product, process or service – capital for business expansion – or saving interest by paying out “family/friends” loans or paying off credit cards that have been used to finance the business operations.

Most directors of small/medium companies will need assistance from accountants/business advisors to prepare the company for the capital raising process.


Accountants, are you adding value to company directors?

Accountants, are you adding value to company directors?

With Crowd-Sourced Funding Equity Raising, available from 29th September 2017, now is an appropriate time to consider how accountants can help mentor small/medium enterprises for the challenges that company directorship presents.

The Australian government expects thousands of companies to take the opportunity to raise capital from the public over the next twelve months.

In the first phase (at least) of Crowd-Sourced Funding Equity Raising, the eligible entities will be unlisted public companies with a requirement of three directors.

Whilst many small/medium enterprise operators are company directors, the vast majority of them have never had the responsibility of stewardship of money invested in their companies by people who many of them will not know.

Crowd-Sourced Funding Equity Raising and Early Stage Innovation Companies offer businesses tremendous opportunities to add value, but also brings a whole new group of directors potentially into the full glare of public and governmental scrutiny.

ASIC and other government agencies will be closely observing this significant opportunity being given to small business – too many mistakes and the legislation will undoubtedly be tightened to make the whole process far more difficult for smaller companies to raise capital.

What can accountants do to assist company directors, from a small/medium enterprise background, master this process? Offer support to directors by presenting seminars on the “Role of a Director in Small/Medium Business” including encouraging directors to develop an “elevator pitch” on their company’s ambitions and why investors should want to join them in their business.


Consultants Training to Deliver Business Advisory Services

Consultants’ training to deliver business advisory services is very important if you’re going to meet the challenge of being able to deliver outstanding new products and services for your clients ‘beyond taxation’.

There is an old saying – ‘There is no gain without pain’.  This is very true when it comes to examining how you’re going to go about delivering business advisory services.

The subject that I want to talk to you about today is the training material that is available within the ESS BIZTOOLS’ Gold Package to assist you to prepare your team to be able to deliver a vast range of very interesting corporate and commercial products that your clients want you to produce for them.

To start the ‘journey beyond taxation’, our recommendation is that firstly you appoint a facilitator for this process.  This could be a partner, a manager or an external consultant.  The team that is going to be involved in the delivery of business advisory services; your accountants; your marketing people (if you have them) would then meet once a week for three months for 1-2 hours to work their way through the training material to prepare them for this challenge of performing, what is often called, ‘chief financial officer services’.

Where do we start?  The first couple of modules are basic introduction; the team training introduction to your team as to what business advisory services is all about.  They then move into leadership, because understanding leadership principles is very important for your accounting team as they undertake this wider range of professional responsibilities.

Part of this process will be the identification of industry “champions”.  Those accountants within your team who are going to know a bit more about a particular industry that is one of the key industries of your clients. 

Accountants, Do You Want to Offer Consultancy Services?

Accountants, do you want to offer consultancy services?  ESS BIZTOOLS’ Gold Package includes a range of courses for accountants relating to business advisory services for small/medium enterprises.

Small/medium enterprises are seeking consultants who can advise them on a range of commercial matters to assist those small/medium businesses to add value to their businesses.  They’re not just seeking advice on income tax which they view as being a contribution to the Federal government.  It doesn’t add value to their businesses.

The ESS BIZTOOLS’ Gold Package includes:

  • A range of courses to assist consultants, including the initial training material – 11 modules which will equip your team to be able to deliver an outstanding range of consultancy services.


  • We then have the material which will assist you to be able to offer consultancy services to assist companies to raise capital.  It’s become a very topical subject at present because Crowd-Sourced Funding commences on the 29th September 2017.  Early Stage Innovation Companies are available for young companies with new ideas, new products, new services to be able to raise capital.  We also have Section 708 of the Corporations Act which enables companies to raise up to $2M from a maximum of 20 investors each year.


  • Another course for consultants is Leadership.  Leadership training is very important to prepare the team to be able to understand the wider range of responsibilities they will have in delivering a “virtual” Chief Financial Officer service and other courses to your clients.


  • Corporate Governance – mentoring for company directors is a course to assist in the understanding of the responsibilities and the duties that company directors perform in administering companies in Australia.  This is a course that you could undertake and then deliver to your clients.


  • Client Mentoring & Coaching – twelve packages to assist in “educating” your client, who has probably grown used to most accountants only offering a taxation service.  The education process is to inform your clients that you’re able to assist them in getting ready to raise capital, preparing Business Plans, preparing Budgets & Cashflow Forecasts, undertaking risk management assessments, such as a Personal Property Securities Register Review, Succession Planning and Debtors’ Management to reduce debtors’ days outstanding and many other functions.


Accountants, How to Create Value-Add for your Clients

Accountants, how to create value-add for your clients is undoubtedly one of the biggest questions you need to answer at the beginning of the 2017/18 financial year.

We suggest that, in the first instance, you develop a plan; a plan for how you’re going to deliver business advisory services’ products to your clients.  In the beginning, you’re going to have to concentrate on team training to get your team prepared for this new challenge; some new work beyond taxation compliance work.

Who are your clients?  What industries do 80% of the clients’ fees that you receive belong to?  What services do those industries require?  What services have your clients asked you to perform for them over the years?  Have you classified your clients into “A”, “B” and “C” class clients?  “A” class clients are the ones that you should be able to rollout a wide range of value-adding services.

Let’s look at some of the services that you could supply to your clients to help them to add value to their businesses:

  • Debtors’ Review – the preparation of a Debtors’ System Manual will significantly contribute to reducing debtors’ days outstanding to help rid Australia of this very dubious title of having the “longest debtors’ days outstanding in the world”.
  • Personal Property Securities Register Due Diligence Review – this could potentially save your clients thousands of dollars, if not business failure, because they have not registered a particular customer on the Personal Property Securities Register. It’s well worth you looking at this.
  • Business Plans – will help businesses to plan where they want to go to in the future and then to be able to assist in the execution of those plans so that the added-value components of the business plan are able to be implemented.
  • Business Expansion or Payout of Loans – there is a very significant opportunity just around the corner. That is to introduce your clients to the concept of Crowd-Sourced Funding.  Crowd-Sourced Funding applies to any type of company, irrespective of the age or industry in which that company is operating.  A reminder that the first capital raising can commence from the 29th September 2017.  Have you surveyed your clients?  Have you conducted a seminar or are you potentially running the risk that some of your clients, who are interested in crowd-sourced funding, are going to go and talk to someone else because they think that you’re only interested in taxation?
  • Government Grants – this is another product that you could look at – identifying government grants. Obtaining a government grant could save your clients thousands of dollars in the implementation of business improvement strategies within their business.  Grants such as Accelerating Commercialisation, which is up to $1M, Business Improvement Grant – $20,000 but it can be used to undertake virtually any type of activity which will improve the business’ performance.  If your clients are in the mining industry or the equipment businesses that are associated with the mining industry, there is the METS Ignite grants which are there for collaborative projects.  Two, three or four businesses could come together to develop a new product or service for the benefit of the mining industry or the mining equipment industry or technology industries.  Grants of up to $3M are available. 




Accountants, You Need More Than Marketing Gimmicks in a Business Advisory Services’ Package

Accountants, you need more than marketing gimmicks in a Business Advisory Services’ Package.  Whilst marketing and selling skills are important attributes for accountants who are looking to diversify their

practices by offering a wider range of services, they are not the only skills that are required if you are going to successfully launch your accountancy or consultancy business into business advisory services.

Firms need skills for the development of this next generation of product tools which you can confidently take to your clients and indicate to them that you have developed the expertise to enable your accountancy team to be able to deliver a range of high-level commercial services which will assist your small/medium enterprise

clients to add value.

So where to do you start?  In the first place, there has to be adequate preparation.  Work through with the team to make sure they understand the ramifications of what developing business advisory services is all about; that is team training.  Part of the preparation is leadership and in the material we supply, there is a complete package to assist you to get the team ready.

One of the key requirements is to develop, within your accountancy team, industry “champions”.  In the first

instance, you need to clearly understand from which industries your major clients are coming – the clients that contribute 80% of your fee income.  Identify the industries that they’re from and, I think, one of the key

requirements is to make sure you develop, within your accounting team, industry “champions” for each of those industries.

Then you need to decide the products that you’re going to offer.  Things like:

  • Chief Financial Officer Services
  • Risk Management
  • Succession Planning
  • How to Raise Capital:
  • Crowd-Sourced Funding – which commences on the 29th September 2017
  • Early Stage Innovation Companies
  • Debtors’ Management and Debtors’ Systems – so we can rid Australia of the very unwelcome title of having the “longest debtors’ days outstanding in the world”
  • Business Plans
  • Budgets & Cashflow Forecasts
  • Directors’ Mentoring – so that directors have a clearer understanding of corporate governance
  • Identification of government grants suitable for your individual clients

This is the key work that, we believe, you need to undertake if you’re going to be able to successfully

develop business advisory services.



Accountants, Government Grants Assist in the Delivery of Business Advisory Services for your Clients

Hello, I’m Peter Towers, Managing Director of ESS BIZTOOLS and ESS BASIP.  Welcome to Accountants Minute.

Accountants; government grants assist in the delivery of business advisory services for your clients.  

There are hundreds of grants, incentives and special loans payable each year by the Federal, State and

Territory governments.  The vast majority of these grants are targeted at, what I assume is, your key client group – small/medium enterprises.

Many of these grants relate to the delivery of business advisory services to your clients so, as far as I’m concerned, they are closely inter-related. 

Grants can help your clients undertake projects that, in normal circumstances, they may have been reluctant to do, but if the government is paying 50% of the cost, they would probably look at it a little differently.




Accountants, Small/Medium Enterprises Want “Valued-Added” Services

Hello, I’m Peter Towers, Managing Director of ESS BIZTOOLS and ESS BASIP.  Welcome to Accountants Minute.

Accountants, small/medium enterprises want value added services.  Services that your clients can applaud and say, “thank you very much”.  Do your clients thank you for the services that you provide? 

We’re at the start of a new financial year.  What are your resolutions for 2017/18 when it comes to supplying “value-added” services to your clients?

I’d like to have a discussion with you this morning in relation to the different characteristics of the services that you might provide, or that you might consider providing, to your clients.



Accountants, There Are Plenty of Challenges in 2017/18

Hello, I’m Peter Towers, Managing Director of ESS BIZTOOLS and ESS BASIP.  Welcome to Accountants Minute.

Accountants, there are plenty of challenges in 2017/18 and you probably don’t need me to tell you that.

Firstly however, happy new financial year!  I trust that 2017/18 will be a great year for your accountancy business, everyone who works in your firm and all your clients.


Accountants, Business Plans are “Real Accountants’ Work”

Welcome to Accountants Minute.  I’m Peter Towers, Managing Director of ESS BIZTOOLS, ESS BASIP and ESS BIZGRANTS.

Accountants, business plans are “real accountants’ work”, and that’s what I want to talk to you about today.  “Real accountants’ work”.

The majority of small/medium enterprises want more information, more commercial information, and more business information from their principal advisers… their accountants.

The majority of SMEs crave for this additional information, but you will have to be proactive in marketing and communicating to your clients that you are able to offer business advisory services if, indeed, you offer business advisory services or you’re planning to do so; don’t expect your clients to know that you are performing these tasks unless you tell them and market your services to them.

Business plan preparation is ideal work for accounting firms.  It will give you a far better idea of what’s going on in your client’s business and far more information will come your way than what you ever received for the preparation of an annual set of accounts and income tax returns.