Some news, views and comments about everything and anything, relevant and irreverent.
And what happier note on which to start the new year than the news that Accountants are the most trusted source of business advice. You heard it here first.
A fifth of the businesses surveyed said they are more open and honest with their accountants than their bank managers. Not only that, but nearly one in six claim to be more honest with their accountant than with friends and family … or even spouse.
According to the Sage Omnibus survey, exactly half of respondents believe their accountant provides the most valuable business advice. Maybe not surprisingly, well down the rankings come friends at 4% and family at 2%. However, spare a thought for the solicitors who just manage to get on level terms with the bankers at 2%.
The Accountancy Age report of the survey suggests that the results are indicative of the detachment of business owners from their banks. That could be the case and many would say that the bankers only have themselves to blame for that. However, there is a more serious message here.
We all like league tables that show us sitting at the top, almost quite irrespective of what is being assessed. Being the most trusted adviser, the accountant may well be the first to be taken into confidence by the business client, and we are very pleased with the trust that our clients place in us. But we can’t go it alone. For a business to get the advice it really needs, the various advisers (including solicitor, banker, pension adviser or financial planner) have to be in sync. It’s often described as the circle of advisers, all doing their bit for the client at the hub. Each adviser has a part to play and if any one adviser lags behind it puts the timing of task completion, and maybe even the outcome, at risk.
Those languishing at the foot of the table have to act to improve their standing, and they can only do it themselves. We need them to be back in the mix so that sensible business decisions can be made based on sound advice across the board. It’s a bit like the Edinburgh Derby. We all like to win but where would we be if one team (but to be honest, it’s more likely to be the other team) found itself relegated to a lower league.
So what you maybe expected simply to be a crowing piece on the merits of accountants has become a hope that the bankers have resolved to get back into the fray. I’m looking forward to the return of prosperity into the customary new year greeting.