As an accountant, one of the main skills you likely provide is professional advice to your clients. They often want you to help them manage cash spending and cash flow issues, which can naturally be a vital part of modern business practice. If you are an accountant, though, you might actually struggle to help keep control of your own business costs!
It’s easy in life to give out advice that we do not follow ourselves. While you might be an expert at saving your clients money, what can you do to minimize costs as an accountant?
First and foremost, every good business needs a budget that they can trust and stick to. If you cannot develop a budget that your firm can stick to, then it will be harder to convince clients to stick to your tactics. Make sure you set a clear monthly business budget and work with it to help make sure each month can have its targets met without having to worry too much about any issues with cash flow.
One of the largest costs that you might have is your venue – where are you based? Are you over-extending your budget to be situated in a plush part of town? Make your premises match your present rather than your ambition. Downsizing to a more affordable locale today can help you build up the client base and reputation needed to get over these problems and make your business generally more affordable if you are willing to do so.
One of the best decisions that you could make is to turn to an online platform instead of always staying offline. From getting rid of the landline to going more online with your marketing efforts, you can get more return on investment form using online services. From Voice-Over-Internet-Protocol (VOIP) calls via Skype to using your cell phone, you can vastly reduce expenditure as a business just by going online.
It’s not just about saving the monthly cost of your landline, either. It’s all about using the power of online marketing to help make sure you can get higher quality results in a shorter period of time. Online marketing still takes time to succeed, but you can often speed up the process by a considerable margin by marketing online. This helps you to start handing out information and value-driven advice, giving customers more reasons to trust you without expenditure.
Paper is often one of the biggest costs in an accountancy firm. If you go paperless, you bring this irritation to an end and make it much more affordable and easy to run your business moving forward. From using digital invoices to send to clients through to doing away with those space and time-consuming filing cabinets, you can make the place cleaner, cheaper to run and easier to organize. You’ll spend less and waste far less time, too!
Another useful cost-saving measure is to use technology more. From using online payment processing to remote desktop support, you can use the power of technology to help reduce the need to be on-site all the time to get things done. It can make your more reactive, more efficient and generally more likely to meet the needs of your business. If you want to make things more productive and cost-effective, be sure to start utilizing more technology in-house.
At the same time, you could probably reduce the software licenses you have. Investing in a singular piece of bespoke software that can fit in with every business need is usually much better for you in the long-term. This might cost you more today, but it saves extensive licensing costs and training costs having to get every member of staff up to speed on how to best utilize the software that your office uses at present.
When looking at hardware and furniture, you can get great deals by buying used. Don’t let ego or snobbery hold your firm back; you tell your clients to reduce wasted expenditure all the time, so you should follow your own advice. Make sure that you cut down heavily on the investment into new equipment. Many big name businesses throw out quality stuff in top condition for no good reason; capitalize on that and use refurbished and ‘old’ items.
Another useful skill that you can easily use to help make your business much more likely to succeed is to be more open-minded about bartering. When you start dealing with a specific service or company, try and find a middle ground in terms of the cost. You can usually reduce business costs by being able to perhaps offer your services in exchange for what you need. This can be a good way to reduce how much you spend on items and instead allows you to use your expertise to cut costs.
Following along with the above, you should be much more likely to come out the other side of your business restructuring with money in the bank. As an accountant, you should know full well the problems that can exist in a place of work if there is not enough advice heeded with regards to managing and improving spending.
You are no different, and should be looking to set the right example for all of your clients. If you do that, then you are much more likely to end up with a positive finish that all parties can be happy with. If you are serious about making positive changes to the way that you work, too, you should almost certainly look to make more concessions based on the above ideas.
It’s a hard thing to get right, and often means that you need to spend a lot more time considering the above. If you do, though, you’ll find that cash flow and spending issues can become a thing of the past.