Business advisors and mentors often complain that their small business clients are reluctant to use financial information to solve the challenges faced by their businesses, but when they get to know how to use important financial indicators to understand their businesses better, the use of financial reports and accounts often become indispensable in solving business problems and in many instances, preventing small problems from becoming show-stoppers.
“Many small business clients view accounting as a compliance requirement only and they do not see how the information they get from financial reports can help them to understand their businesses better,” says Jabu Matiko, a seasoned small business support practitioner with over 26 years experience in working with small businesses in South Africa.
Matiko is the Managing Director of small business consulting and training firm Running Business Today and is one of the panelists on the upcoming episode of the Small Business Support Practitioner Webinar Series offered through a partnership between the Small Business Development Agency (SEDA), the Institute of Business Advisors Southern Africa (IBASA) and the Entrepreneurial Planning Institute (EPI).
“When you ask small business clients why they are resisting the use of accounts and financial information, they often say the financial information provided by their accountant is too complex for them to understand and in some cases you soon realise that they don’t know the objectives of financial reports,” says Matiko.
In their training programmes Running Business Today aims to introduce business owners to easy ways of understanding accounts so that they can use financial information as a tool to grow their businesses. As Matiko says: “We introduce ways to understand financial recording and reporting to the small businesses coming on our programmes and how they can read basic information about the health of their businesses; but the most important is to help them in understanding the objective of financial statements, their responsibility to record and use the information to understand the value of accurate financial information when it comes to solving business problems and planning for the future.”
WHAT: CPD Webinar
TOPIC: Helping reluctant clients to use financial reports in solving business problems
WHEN: Tuesday 7 December 2021
TIME: 11h30 to 13h00
WHERE: << BOOK YOUR PLACE HERE >>
Joining Matiko on the webinar will be Kristine Tudhope and Taryn Koen of Upvisor, a small business support organisation from the Eastern Cape. They are both Chartered Accountants who focus on working with small businesses, where they help their clients in using accounting information to grow their businesses.
“Our approach is to focus on the meaningful information our small business clients can use, rather than to send them detailed reports that may intimidate them,” says Tudhope. She believes accountants may go a long way in helping their clients by offering them access to the most important metrics in a dashboard format, rather than intimidating reports.
Koen supports this observation by pointing out that the use of dashboard reports may solve the problem that business owners feel overwhelmed when provided with detailed financial accounts. “We identify, with our clients, which key targets and ratios we need to report on and provide this in a dashboard format to our clients so that they can easily monitor progress and variances,” she says. “And when needed, the detailed supporting information may be used to give the full story.”
During the upcoming webinar, the panelist will share the practical ways they apply to engage their small business clients in the use of financial information to improve their business success.
- To join the upcoming CPD webinar you can << REGISTER HERE >>.
- By attending this episode of the SEDA, IBASA and EPI Small Business Development Practitioner Webinar Series, you will earn credits to count towards your CPD requirements.
- Christoff Oosthuysen is the webinar host, Founding CEO of the Entrepreneurial Planning Institute (EPI) and General Partner at Seed South Capital.