Well, of course there are numbers involved and compliance issues to deal with. For some accountants, that is where it starts and stops. However, we have found that the real value we can often add for clients comes with thought processes and innovative solutions which derive from being able to step back and look at issues and problems with a "helicopter" perspective. Many of our clients are so busy dealing with the day-to-day issues that they find it difficult to see beyond these to gain a clearer perspective.
We have had a number of memorable examples in the last year or so which have greatly assisted clients through very difficult periods.
One particular instance involved a client who came in to advise they were closing a quite substantial business as it had become "too hard", and, basically, they had had enough. They did not believe the business was saleable, and saw a closure as the only possibility.
With some back of the envelope calculations, we thought the closure would cost over $500,000 in losses, redundancies, "forced" sales of stock and equipment and so on. We suggested to the client that as an alternative they could give the business away – or even pay someone, say $200,000, to take it off their hands – and still be better off, both financially and psychologically. This started a discussion about possible "trade" buyers who would find the extra turnover to be of value.
The end result, certainly with a lot of effort and due diligence, was a sale that was a far more rewarding transaction than a closure.
Other examples lie in the areas of technology and automating processes that have a lot of manual interaction. This is an area where "digital disruption" may well make a major difference to the viability of a business going forward. To survive and remain relevant, it is necessary to stay at the forefront and embrace the changes that are coming. The use of Xero cloud based accounting, with its many add-ons, is an excellent example of the opportunities in this area.