While many businesses are concerned about rising costs and tough times ahead, in essence, it’s part of business life and nothing we haven’t faced before. Financial constraints over the coming months are, it seems, inevitable, but being prepared and heading off any unpleasant bumps in the road can make all the difference.
For a small business, having someone with the time to keep a full-time eye on finances isn’t always feasible, but an increasing number of companies are seeing the benefits of outsourcing their accounts, not just to ease the workload but the ensure an expert eye is on the look out for any nasty shocks.
J Sweeney Accountants, which recently moved to new offices in Pitsford, Northamptonshire, has seen demand grow for its outsourced financial directorships for those who don’t have an in-house finance department, as clients recognise the benefits of having a trusted business and financial advisor on hand.
Director James Sweeney said:
“Firstly, we remove the mundane aspects of accountancy from clients, leaving them to concentrate on getting sales or growing their business. Whether it’s chasing customers for payment, making sure invoices are correct or sorting out tax – these are time-consuming things that need doing but businesses can do without.
“There’s also no gap in service when someone is on annual leave or off sick. We’ve got a team that is always looking after our clients’ interests five days a week, with someone always available to deal with anything that might crop up.
“Then, and maybe most importantly, particularly at the moment, we like to think of ourselves as business advisors as much as accountants, to help clients build and grow and develop a strategy for the future. For new and smaller businesses, a service that works with them to not only deliver the full range of accountancy and tax functions, but one that can deal with any issues as they arise is invaluable but there are still not that many accountancy firms offering what we do.
“What we’ll be focusing on in the short term is to get the processes in place to make sure clients are prepared for whatever might happen and don’t suddenly get any nasty shocks if costs suddenly rise.”
The J Sweeney Accountants team boasts combined experience of more than 50 years and offers a full range of services for SMEs, including year-end accounts, tax planning, company formation and business plans. A fixed-fee arrangement is available, which means that clients don’t have to worry how much the bill is going to be as they access advice and guidance from the J Sweeney team.
Some clients work with the outsourced team with the long-term goal of building a business that will, eventually, be in a position to bring its financials in house. Where that happens, J Sweeney Accountants will, where required, assist with recruiting a team, training them on the existing systems and organising a handover when the time is right.
“It takes a while to get to a point where you can have an FD or a finance department in house, so until that is the case, and if that helps a client negotiate difficult times because they have a team of experts behind them, working in their interests, then all the better.
“The cost of employing someone at Finance Director level, with the kind of experience we offer, is ten times what our service costs. A lot of people are worried, costs are rising and there could well be difficult times ahead, so we need to plan now. By helping clients continue to be as efficient and profitable as they can be now, we can help them prepare for rocky periods ahead. We aim to try to bring certainty in an uncertain world.”
Close working relationships are key to the J Sweeney Accountants approach and its new offices in Grange Lane, Pitsford, have not only prepared the practice for planned expansion but provide a scenic setting, overlooking the reservoir, and pleasant environment in which to welcome visiting clients.