Q1. Which accounting system should I use to make my business ‘flow’better?
Xero. Or any cloud-based accounting system that your accountant can access, work on in real time, and that saves time and money. This will enable your accountant to advise you better. We recommend Xero for clients and have been using it for many years. The only exception is for larger, more complex businesses that have spent considerable time and money on developing their systems. We can assist in the selection and implementation of a suitable accounting system.
Q2. How much should I pay for accounting /consulting services per year?
Industry averages for the payment of consultants including accountants, lawyers, and other professionals, run at around 3% of turnover. So, if your turnover is $1,000,000, on average you could expect to pay around $30,000 for all your consulting services, of which accounting is only part. At Scott Partners we believe in simplifying and streamlining our services, so you pay less for tax and account preparation and more on the value-added services like business planning and monitoring, and business valuations. We tailor an annual fixed fee quote for all clients, with fees ranging from $600 - $30,000. For most businesses, a fee of around $2,000 per month is enough to meet all accounting and business advice needs.
Q3. What should I be getting for my money?
At the very minimum, you should get your tax return prepared and lodged. If you are operating as a company, trust or partnership structure, you must also get annual accounts prepared. The cost for tax returns and accounts depends on complexity, but is usually between $1,200 and $6,000. Other connected tax returns (say, for the owners) can add a little to this, so that you may be looking at around $1,800 to $10,000 for annual accounting work. At Scott Partners we offer all this, plus BAS, bookkeeping, and payroll. The costs for these services vary greatly, but we always provide you with a fixed fee quote in advance. Other consulting work, such as business valuation and benchmarking, cashflow and profit analysis, business improvement advice, business planning, and quarterly review, ranges from $600 for a simple service, up to around $14,000 per year for the full suite of services. A free business needs analysis ensures that any solution we recommend creates minimal disruption to your business.
Q4. How can I create a simple business plan which is easy to implement?
We use the Valuation Improvement Business Advisor (VIBA) methodology for preparing a business plan. We provide a detailed online questionnaire to complete and then take you through a half-day Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) workshop. We then suggest some agreed strategies for you to follow over the next 12 months to keep you on track. A simple business plan should provide you with direction and guidance on the first 12 months. This is our ‘Better Business’ program – available for around $3,500 - $4,500.
Q5. Which advisors should I have on my team to best grow my business?
You should have a very close relationship with your accountant, who can act as a sounding board for ideas and give you timely advice on how your business is performing against expectations. You can also consider including influential employees or family members, or even an independent chairman, to watch over the process. Advisors such as marketers, lawyers, finance experts and Human Resource experts should be utilised as needed.