Hit by a bus. Family emergency. Fallen off the face of the earth. Whatever the circumstances, the fear is the same: what do you do if you’ve put all your trust in an Accountant and they disappear?
This is one of the most common fears we come across when we meet new clients - and a very valid one. Your business is a huge part of you. If you’re going to trust someone to come in and take responsibility for part of it, you want to be sure you can rely on them.
The fear of your Accountant pulling a great disappearing act (for whatever reason) may be completely rational as the result of a bad experience. For that, we’re truly sorry. No business owner deserves to have their trust broken. On the other hand, some of the anxiety may be a result of not knowing how it all works. Will you be working with one person, or a team? Is there a contingency plan in place if your person can’t do the job? How does important financial stuff get handled?
Unfortunately, we can’t magic our wands and change the past by going back and removing the hurt of a bad experience. We wish we could. But we can positively impact your future experiences by alleviating the anxiety of the unknown. We’re all human, and human experiences affect our work sometimes - whether it be a sickness, a holiday, a global pandemic or the loss of a loved one. The important thing to know is that we have systems in place to ensure your business isn’t affected.
If you’re thinking about working with us and getting some help, here’s how it goes:
Things that will happen:
- You’ll have access to a whole team.
Currently we’re a team of four. Though you’ll have “your people” - a smaller team dedicated to your business - you’ll get to know us all, and have access to the support, skills and knowledge of the whole team. We keep comprehensive training manuals for all clients and operations, so any member of the team can be up to speed pretty fast and complete tasks for you.
And don’t worry, you will get to know us all! In usual times, we’re all in the same office, meaning you’ll see the same faces if ever you need or want to pop in. You’ll never pick up the phone and hear an unfamiliar voice.
- You’ll have two people trained on your accounts, dedicated to your business
This means there will always be someone who knows you and your business as backup if the other isn’t available. If there’s a family emergency, a booked holiday or illness, there’ll always be someone to answer questions and get things done.
If you’re a really big company needing extra hands on deck, it’s more likely you’ll have three people trained on your accounts. Not to mention, the whole team is Xero trained, so any of the team can help with a Xero question or issue.
- Your details will be secure
When you work with us, your financial and operational data is stored and accessed in Xero and its third party apps. This means your data is backed up and protected in the cloud, and you hold the control over it. No one has access to your data unless you invite them into your Xero account.
All our clients’ contact details are held in Karbon, a secure CRM system, and all emails are linked from this system. This has two benefits - your data is safe and accessed by authentication, but it’s collaborative, so granted user access, any member of the team can securely retrieve payroll you’ve sent through if needed.
Things that won’t happen:
- All your login and password details will belong to us
You might be worried we’re going to own all your logins and have all the power to do all the things! That’s not the case. Our systems are collaborative. You’ll have your own logins and control of who you invite to collaborate on your account. You can remove us at any time.
- We’ll have control of your money, so we’ll decide who to pay
For some clients, we manage the whole process of invoicing and chasing payments. Even if you did want us to take this off your hands, you still have complete control over as much of the process as you want. We will ask you which bills you want us to pay, and have the list approved by you before going ahead. We can advise you, but at the end of the day, it’s your money and your choice.
- We’ll contact people on your behalf without you knowing
The same goes for contacting your clients, customers and suppliers. We won’t contact anyone you don’t want us to. If we’re supporting you with credit control, we won’t chase anyone for money until it has been approved by you. Are you sensing a theme yet?
Handing all the financial stuff over to us doesn’t mean handing all your power over to us
There’s no expectation that you have to trust us and hand over everything on day one.
We recently wrote a blog answering the question of how much or how little an Accountant can take off your plate. In it we talk about how our support can range from a simple monthly review of your books, to outsourcing your whole finance department to us. How we help looks different to every client, because each client's business and personal needs are different.
It might be that in the early days you check everything. At six months you might trust us enough to pay your staff for you or help get your invoices paid faster. One day, you might feel happy (and relieved) to give us everything. It’s okay to go at your own pace.
Giving us more responsibility doesn’t mean giving us more power. It just means gaining more time. Gaining more space. Gaining a partner. The power is all yours - even more so.
If you want to start getting some of those fundamental things back - sanity, space, time - drop us a line. Remember, you can always start small.