Scaling up with success

"Driving flawless execution is a vital ingredient of the life-cycle of most businesses," Verne Harnish wrote in Scaling Up. 

How do we accountants assist small businesses or medium sized enterprises to plan and deliver the execution of a business strategy especially for those clients asking, "Can You Help Me Run a Better Business?"

business adviceThere are some key areas that proactive accountants who are prepared to offer more than just compliance services to their small business and medium sized enterprise clients can do to assist in the execution of strategy process:
  • Identifying the key targets for this quarter.
  • Communicating the key targets to team members at all levels within the organisation so that they are all aware of the targets.
  • Assisting in the allocation of accountability of the team members allocated specific responsibilities for tasks.
  • Establishing systems to encourage and then acknowledge team member input for deliberation by the leadership team.
  • Assistance in establishing processes to encourage and then record and acknowledge customer feedback to the business.
  • Preparing information bulletins for team members to assist every member of the team to have a clear understanding of what the business' purpose is.

To get started on this process an accountant offering a Virtual CFO Service would assist in mentoring the leadership team on three key habits of highly successful businesses:

  • Identification of a handful of priorities for each quarter.
  • Implementing systems to assist in the gathering of data on a daily basis so that this can be reviewed weekly and contribute to business decisions being made – daily sales – daily average sale – daily bank balance.
  • Assist in the establishment of an effective meeting schedule including – daily huddle – weekly meetings – monthly management meeting – quarterly meetings which could take the form of the periodic reporting and meeting strategy.

Accountants performing the Virtual CFO role can contribute significant value by assisting in the documentation of systems basically documenting the detailed systems from a notation in the business plan to a completed document that staff can use:

Identification of persons authorised to transact purchasing transactions on behalf of the business including:

  • Receiving quotations
  • Placing orders
  • Account allocation so that the purchases are recorded within the computer systems
  • Goods receipt processes to ensure that the business receives what it has agreed to pay for
  • Checking tax invoices
  • Authorising invoices for payment
  • Payment of tax invoices
  • Creditors' days' outstanding calculation – are individual creditors being paid within the agreed payment terms?


  • Assistance in the drafting of appropriate Credit Application forms for this business
  • Review of Terms of Trade Agreement – is it current?
  • Review of Retention of Title Agreement – is it current?
  • Should these two documents be referred to the business' solicitors for review?
  • Approval of a business applying for credit – documentation of the review process
  • Suggestions for improvements to the "welcome to new customer letter" to be forwarded to a new account customer
  • Personal Property Securities Register System for determination whether a new customer will be registered
  • Prompt preparation and dispatch of tax invoices for customers
  • Review of Debtors' Aged Analysis Report
  • Prompt calculation of Debtors' Aged Analysis


  • Review of engagement processes and making suggestions relative to changes as required
  • Suggestions in relation to the utilisation of the "Buddy system" for the induction of new team members
  • Training program for team members
  • Prompting management on the requirements of Fair Work Australia and making suggestions on the engagement of an expert consultant
  • Prompting management on the necessity to be complying with Workplace Health and Safety regulations and making suggestions on the engagement of an expert consultant
  • Communication with team members
  • Monitoring of hours worked by team members and reporting of team members working beyond the preferred number of work hours set by management

Performance Analysis

  • Assistance to management relative to daily reports from all segments of the business
  • Suggestions relative to the implementation of a weekly performance estimate for each business operation within the business – unless this has already been done – if so monitoring the effectiveness of the weekly performance reports
  • Assistance in the implementation of monthly trading accounts for each department/activity operating within the business and the allocation of key performance indicators for each of those departments/activities 
  • Profit & Loss Account incorporating the trading results from each department/activity
  • Key Performance Indicators on an overall company basis
  • Ongoing advice on the comparison of the business to benchmarking analysis relating to each individual department/activity


  • Assistance in the establishment of Budgets relating to each department/activity operating within the business

Business Finance
Advising the leadership team of ongoing business finance issues relative to the business' relationship with its bank and also identifying other potential financing options including:

  • Capital raising – section 708 of the Corporations Act Capital Raising, Crowd Source Funding Equity Raising, Initial Public Offer capital raising (IPO)
  • Leasing/hire purchase
  • Debtors financing
  • Government grants

Execution of strategies that have been detailed in a Business Plan are a very important process that unfortunately many small businesses and medium sized enterprises do not perform satisfactorily. This is an ideal opportunity for business owners to work with proactive accountancy firms like Collins Hume as part of the extra business advisory services that committed accountants can provide and in so doing we will be "Assisting You to Run a Better Business"!

Collins Hume partners with you to achieve greater business and lifestyle success as your trusted advisers. Call us in Ballina or Byron Bay on 02 6686 3000.