#44 - Working With A Client's Advisors

 This week, the focus is on what happens when a tax accountant and CFO give conflicting advice to a client. Jason Andrew shares SmartBooks Online’s agenda for 2018, and Paul and Dave tell us what they think about botkeeper’s new automated bookkeeping bot.

From The Trenches - Real Life in The Accounting Industry Podcast

Show Notes

Snippets/Audio Grabs:

  • The new website will feature more content for listeners. People can register their email addresses to receive a list of all the links, expanded show notes with time stamps, and long-form articles.
  • All this will be coming out on social media. We want to hear from you!
  • We will have an expert on next week’s show to talk about bitcoin.


01:45 Best on Ground: Link


SMSF Compliance Traps With Bitcoin
‘After everyone stops talking about how wonderful bitcoin is, we actually have to look administratively at how the rubber hits the road.’
Kaplan Crypto Guide: A document by Kaplan Education aimed at accountants talking about all things crypto without any marketing.


CBA App To Red-Flag Spending On Alcohol, Gambling
Push applications to alert you about good and bad spending. Is this a good thing or is Big Brother watching?

Becoming An Advisory Led Firm: What You Will Need To Restructure
A comprehensive article, but is it asking a leopard to change its spots?

10:42 Worst on Ground: Link


Botkeeper Has An Automated Bookkeeping Bot For Your Accounting Needs


Botkeeper is a slick marketing business that does nothing differently but is very expensive.


Accountants Eyed In New Super Fund Launch
“If you choose your superfund based on a marketing gimmick or you think that the brand gets you and your lifestyle, you deserve to lose all your money. It’s all about return on investment.”


21:39 5 in 5 Summary: Link

Jason Andrew is the founder and CEO of SmartBooks Online. We asked him what’s on the agenda for 2018.

  • We’ve got the right team and systems in place. Now we are focused on customer acquisition. To me, this means finding leads, nurturing customers and relationships, generating partnerships – whatever we can do to grow the brand.
  • Last year, we didn’t have the systems in place to onboard lots of new clients at once. We’ve learnt from those experiences and are ready to have another go.
  • We’re already using lots of tech to deliver a better client experience. We are now looking at the different ways we can use instant communications, such as SMS, phone calls, and video to help develop meaningful relationships.
  • My new book is something that’s been on my bucket list for a while. There is a gap in the market around how businesses perceive what accountants can do for small businesses. Content is one way to address that.


26:32 In-Depth Topic: Working With A Client’s Advisors: Link

Dave tells the story of a client who enlisted the help of a virtual CFO, business coach, and advisory board to help grow the business. The recommendations modelled by the CFO involved some investment that would restrict cash flow for a short time. However, the existing tax accountant had some unusual policies around the treatment of owner drawings and asset depreciation. These had the effect of butchering profit. The conservative tax accountant advised the client against the CFO’s growth recommendations as the P&L’s were already looking weak. As a result, the business owner pulled the pin on all growth plans.

This story raises several queries:

  • Is there a role for multiple sets of accounts, such as management accounts and tax accounts?
  • Is this a case of different types of accountants not collaborating well?
  • Is this an example of a compliance accountant trying to do advisory work without understanding it?
  • Should the tax accountant have had the final say?

You can legally have multiple sets of accounts, but which takes precedence? Dave and Paul agree that accountant policies can be used to help extract value in a business, however, they disagree on whether using a single-ledger approach with cloud accounting is easier for preparing stat accounts. They both believe that the tax accountant and CFO should have been working together from the start, but they hold different views on the roles compliance accountants can offer. As to whether either accountant should direct the client toward a particular decision? Not a good idea.