This is a question people often ask us. The answer is…”It depends!”  So we asked our clients and the business owners in our network what they think.

Here’s what they said about the roles:

  • Coaches get the best from an individual. Their focus is often more on a personal journey or personal development. With their experience the coach will ask questions that explore the situation, the reason and the thinking, whilst the decision remains purely the thoughts of the individual. They often motivate and develop skill sets. The relationship can be short or long term.
  • Consultants are brought in to deliver a specific task on behalf of the business. They are often engaged to deliver in an area of expertise. They’re often responsible for the actual delivery based on a specific area of expertise. The relationship is usually on a term contract.
  • Mentors look to get the best from the individual or business. By using their experience, knowledge and expertise, mentors can fuel additional thoughts often not experienced from pure coaching – for example by prompting thoughts with case study examples.

What role does an accountant play?

An accountant produces financial information in a format that keeps business owners on the right side of the law! However, as discussed in our recent article, many people feel accountants should be doing much more for businesses than simply producing a set of accounts.

In many eyes, an accountant is the number one ‘trusted adviser.’ This title is often gained when an accountant demonstrates their knowledge and shares their expertise to help a business owner understand their finances. A good accountant typically has a deeper knowledge and understanding of the overall business.

An accountant is often much closer to the underpinning financial performance of the business than any other adviser. They are well positioned to explore the business strategy and link this to helping build the business with the support of their financial and business expertise. For this reason, the advice and support an accountant provides is often seen as an holistic approach to the overall business. For example, by ensuring that the foundations of the business (people, operations, systems etc) are created to support sales and growth.

Generally, an accountant will work with a range of clients thereby gaining additional experience to share with others.

When you’re making key decisions about building your business, an accountant is able to support by clearly sharing how any planned activity for the business will impact on the profits, balance sheet liquidity and critical cashflow.

So you can see there are many reasons why you may need an accountant, when considering other advisers!

How we’ve applied the research

Using the results of our research, we have developed a Business Improvement Programme – a blend of mentoring and traditional accountancy support – to help our clients build their business.

This unique 8 step approach delivers all the compliance requirements for your year-end accounts and returns. Plus it adds professional support to help you make the next step in your business.

These steps are based on what the more successful businesses do every year without fail (our other recent research). By following the steps’ natural flow, we can be proactive as we regularly work with you to grow and succeed.

If you would like more proactive support and hear about our Business Improvement Programme, then please click here to read more.

Sage Accountant Partner Logoiris kashflowFreeagent