[SSB#17] The accountants role in disaster recovery
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Welcome to the 17th edition of my newsletter "Supersonic Business", a fortnightly publication by me, Laura Landmark, with a focus on business growth, value and performance management, in other words, all things that make a business better.
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Sandnes, Norway, Saturday morning, 2nd May 2020 🌄
"Supersonic Business" is sent from me, a Management Accountant, to those that have a leading position in SME's (small/medium businesses), and their accountants. The vision for the newsletter is to share information, tips and tricks to build healthy, thriving businesses from the 'inside out', it is written from the finance and administration perspective.
I hope you enjoy [SSB#17], write to me on email@example.com if you have any feedback or questions.
Two weeks ago I shared Dan Richard's 5 stages of Covid, from a professional's perspective. If you didn't see it, take a look at my last blog, Dan hits the nail on the head, its a classic. Anyway, by Dan's very technical estimation, I reckon we are now somewhere between firefighting and proactivity. Probably nearer to the former than the latter.
It got me thinking what is our role in all of this, us accountants that is? Or from another perspective, what should I expect from my accountant as a small business owner?
Maybe 'expect' is a bit of a strong word, since accountants too are firefighting, and 'expectations' these days are a luxury we cannot afford. So let's say rather, what can we 'hope' for from our accountants to help us navigate through this mess?
Accountants can do more than just calculate the financial losses. They can do more than preparing new budgets, more even than using my super-duper new cash flow forecasting tool (although forecasting is a great place to start!) There is much accountants could do to help companies understand where they stand in all of this mess.
Remember, as you read this, I am also an accountant, and a small business owner, so I have a foot in both camps. Rather than trying to preach to other accountants by saying "you should be doing this or that", I am digging deep to try and figure out what we really can do to help. So please don't take this the wrong way as a finger-wagging exercise, it's not, and I know many accountants are already deep into disaster recovery planning with their clients.
We, accountants, have more to offer, and can play a much broader role than just looking at the numbers. We can be proactive in supporting companies through this. We can help companies establish new systems, solutions and help them effectivise their way of doing things. We can aid discussions and help increase understanding between different interested parties, for example, business owners and the bank, or other stakeholders.
We can also help the business owners themselves get a much greater understanding of their own business model. We can guide in allocating resources and monitoring the activities in the business, for example, the different projects and their likely outcomes. We can help focus our clients on risks and opportunities, and also into building disaster recovery plans for the future, assuming most businesses have gone headline into Covid without a pre-tested business continuity plan.
Accountants can start to provide more non-financial related information to their clients about units, costs, and other business drivers, to help to drill down on what is really going on underneath the financial statements. For that, of course, you need appropriate software so that you can automate the preparation of information in order to spend more time analyzing, and less time manipulating.
We deal with this every day at Mantle, from integrating diverse data sources, to building simple (or complex) forecasting models to ensure you get two eyes on what might happen next. We also consolidate information from different group companies so that you can see performance as a whole, and many other data-related tasks. The purpose of this is that businesses can be more proactive, and make critical decisions quickly.
Accountants can lay down the stepping stones to the future by helping clients as a professional and social support system. A shoulder to cry on, a brain to pick, a level head to provide perspective, there is MUCH we can do.
None of us have all the answers, but we hopefully have some. It is in conversation, curiosity, collaboration, and a firm grip on our current reality that we can help our clients make the wisest decisions.
I have a whole bunch of ideas around what we could and should be looking at now and am happy to arrange a consultation with any accountant or business owner that would like some advice or to take part in a workshop.
We have a workshop scheduled for 15th May where we will go through a five-step disaster recovery plan. There are limited spaces so that we have as much interaction as possible. Find a link here, and sign up. I always find it mind-boggling what comes out of these group sessions, so don't miss out, it will be well worth 2 hours of your time.
"Seeds grow in dark places" - CS Lewis
Contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org or on LinkedIn if you would like to know more about how we use technology to make life in business easier and the way forward clearer.
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Lessons to learn from the coronavirus
A nice succinct article reminding us of what we should, and should not carry on with after Corona is over. It also looks at how to recognize those who shine under the face of adversity (it might not always be who you expect) and how to accommodate those who do not. Not everyone is geared up for crisis management, that's OK, and that doesn't mean they are not valuable in other ways.
Read the full article here
Free Webinar | May 8: How Do We Build a Sustainable Business Going Forward?
Entrepreneur.com are running a series of free webinars related to recovery planning. Here is a link if you want to sign yourselves up (I have!).
They aim to answer questions such as these:-
Where are the greatest opportunities?
What kind of products and services do people need now?
How do I think about pricing differently?
And how do I plan for an unknowable future?
Read the full article here
Business Development Academy
If you are an accountant and looking for business development and training opportunities, I suggest you check out BD Academy. Rob Brown creates a tonne of valuable content to help inspire and guide accountants in these extraordinary times.
check out the link here
Leading through a pandemic: Making difficult judgments in coronavirus times | London Business School
A great you-tube series of videos from London Business School hosting various experts, they make compelling viewing, it is focused on UK Businesses, but relevant anywhere.
They say "We look to our leaders to make the right call – to take the right actions, not get mired in inaction. But how can you do that when you don’t have all the facts, and when you’re faced with a situation unlike anything you’ve seen before?"
Books on the bedside table this week.
This is a really good wake up call about the world we created for ourselves full of diversions and 'happiness' vs freedom and character.
It is quite controversial and will not resonate with everyone, but I think it is really worth a read as it gets you focusing on the things that we should be caring about and thinking differently.
Always end with a thanks!
🙏Thanks to all the wonderful medical professionals the globe over, and their support systems for holding our world together.
Something to watch
Here is Rita and I having a coffee morning chat about what we are up to in Corona times, I get very excited about my short term cash flow forecasting model!
Thanks for reading & see you next time
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