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Going beyond the numbers

10 June 2014

At Springfords, you will often see us talking about “going beyond the numbers”, but what do we actually mean by this ?  To put it simply, all businesses generate a lot of numerical data (“the numbers”), but a significant part of the key to running a successful business is turning all these data into timely meaningful business information that helps you to run your business effectively.  It is here that Springfords can help!

The “traditional” way of dealing with an accountant would have been to wait until after the year end, at which point all of the information relating to the year would be packaged up and sent off to the accountant who would, in some mysterious fashion, create year end accounts for approval.  This could easily be up to 18 months or more after the start of the year in question before the business owners would have any reliable indication of how the business had performed.

The trouble with this approach to life is that if a problem were to start to develop, by the time the business owners were fully aware of it it could be too late to do anything about it.

At Springfords, we can help to solve this in a number of ways :

Working with you to improve the information produced internally during the year.  Most business owners will at least have some form of “back of the envelope” system to get a feel for how things are going.  We can work with you to develop new systems and procedures designed to fit your circumstances and give better information.  This can be, for example, setting up automated excel spreadsheets to pull the data in and present meaningful summaries, or providing assistance and training to in house staff to improve internal processes.

Outsourced bookkeeping services.  Our team of experienced bookkeepers are available to maintain accurate records for the business.  This can frequently prove cheaper than employing in house staff.

Regular management accounts.  For many of our clients, we assist during the year by preparing periodic management accounts as the year progresses (monthly or quarterly), and meeting with the owners to discuss them.   This allows any brewing issues to be identified much sooner and allows you to react to them faster.

The costs of both of the above can be in part reduced by enabling a quicker year end process for preparation of the year’s accounts.

Preparation of forecasts.  Many of our staff are experts in preparing forecasts for all kinds of businesses.  This can allow you to for example, see what the impact of expanding your business could mean to the numbers, what additional cash might be required, and would make the likelihood of successfully obtaining bank or other funding much higher.  It can also serve as a benchmark to measure the performance of the business over the course of the year.

In all of the above, we are always reviewing new technology and ways of providing these services to you more effectively and cheaply.  For example, we have partnerships with online accounts software providers that can give you access to your accounts information anywhere, even on your phone or tablet (this works very well when used in combination with our outsourced bookkeeping services).  We have an online document portal that allows us to exchange data without relying on email. 

If any of this sounds interesting, why not pop in for a coffee and a chat and see what we can do for you?

For more information contact Paul Hutchison on

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