A very common statement that I hear from small/medium enterprises and from some industry consultants is: “The thing that really upsets me is when a competitor receives a grant that I know nothing about.”  This is the statement that many small/medium enterprises have made.

Identifying grants is a proactive way that accountants can introduce a whole new way of solving business problems to small/medium enterprises, with the government paying 50% (in some cases 75%) of the costs.  This is a great way to introduce business advisory services to your clients.

Some of the grants that can really assist in the transformation of a business include:

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The Federal Parliament has finalized the legislation for Crowd Funding Companies and Early Stage Innovation Companies.  This is a great opportunity for accountants to get ready to service a brand new emerging market.

Crowd Funding Companies are public companies which will have:

  • a maximum investment in assets of $5M;
  • turnover is restricted to $5M per annum; and
  • they will be available to raise capital of up to $5M every twelve months.

The maximum investment for a “retail investor” is $10,000 and there is no restriction of investments by a “sophisticated investor”.  A “sophisticated investor” is a person who has net assets of $2.5M or has a gross income of $250,000+ per annum.

Each company will need to appoint an intermediatory who holds an Australian Financial Services Licence who will act as the “gatekeeper” under the legislation.

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Business plans are like maps for tourists.  If your client doesn’t know where they’re going, how are they going to know when they get there?

Having a business plan enables the business to periodically check where they’re at, as compared to the original forecast contained within the business plan.  If they’re not on target, the business plan gives them the opportunity to make some corrections in what’s happening in their businesses.

Most small businesses would not prepare a business plan on their own.  This is a great opportunity for accountants to establish your worth to your clients beyond taxation.  There’s not much gratitude from clients relative to taxation work, however there is from business plan work.  Don’t hold back.  Every small/medium enterprise needs a business plan.  Your role should be to act as the facilitator.

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The duties of a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) have been fairly well defined in public companies.  I undertook a review of advertisements for CFOs in public companies and identified some of the key aspects of the requirements to perform those duties.  I also was a CFO in a public company some years ago.

Many of the requirements of a CFO in a public company also apply to a small/medium enterprise.

Let’s look at some of these…

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The Personal Property Securities Act (PPSA) and the associated Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR) have a very wide influence on business operations in Australia. Unfortunately, a large number of small/medium enterprise operators appear to not have any direct working knowledge… Continue reading

Thursday, Apr 21, 2016 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM AEST

The Federal government has released the “Innovation Statement”, which provides more opportunities for businesses to raise capital. One of these opportunities are innovation companies, which is going to have special… Continue reading

The Federal Government has finalised the legislation for the two new company-type entities that will operate from 1st July 2016. The legislation for both new company entities is currently in the Senate. 

The new entities are:

Some accountants have contacted me and indicated that they’re a little bit worried about being challenged on their skills to offer business advisory services. 

My response to that: if you’ve undertaken the ESS BIZTOOLS’ preparation package, you don’t need… Continue reading

To be successful, accountants offering a broader range of services have to be part of the “client’s team”. 

In the first instance, you will need to:

Study your client’s Business and Industry
For items such as:

This is certainly going to be a challenge for most accountancy businesses. One of the big questions is: “Where to start?” 

Part of this “start” preparation would include the development of an “elevator pitch”, something that you can talk… Continue reading

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