‘ClientSAFE™' Advisors Tool Kit

ClientSAFE™' Advisors Tool Kit is a collection of tools that enables a practitioner to not only discuss but also demonstrate profit and cash flow improvement outcomes to their clients based on selected strategies.

Most SME clients do not have a financial background and therefore have difficulty grasping the concepts that improve profit and cash flow in their business.

Using the ‘ClientSAFE™’ Advisors Tool Kit removes a lot of their confusion and this enables clients to understand very simply how their profit and cash flow can be improved.

If you remove the confusion, a client is more likely to respond to the advice being given and therefore realise the gains being demonstrated by their Accountant.

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User Guide

This comprehensive set of Advisor Tools comes with a detailed User Guide.

The User Guide outlines the philosophy and methods to put each of the concepts diagrams and ready reckoner tools to effective use.

Nothing of course, will replace the face to face consultation experience with your client. The ‘ClientSAFE™’ Advisors Tool Kit is the ‘means to the end’ and not the end in itself, being the  consultation discussion.

 By using a simple and easily understood tool like the ‘ClientSAFE™’ Advisors Tool Kit you will enhance your reputation, build your confidence and  demonstrate leadership in your field with your clients and with your team.

Become pro-active and demonstrate your expertise and therefore you value to your business clients using tools such as the ‘ClientSAFE™’ Advisors Tool Kit. You will become a valued  member of their management team.

Business Concepts

The Entrepreneurial Cycle™

In his ground breaking book ‘The E-Myth – why most small businesses don’t succeed and what to do about it’ Michael Gerber puts forward the proposition that most if not all small businesses are not  started by Entrepreneurs but by ‘Technicians’ having an ‘Entrepreneurial’ seizure.

The Entrepreneurial Cycle™ is a diagrammatical representation of the cycle a business owner travels on their pathway to business success.

By illustrating that pathway to a client and the impact each step in that pathway has on the success of the business, enables an Accountant to position their services in the value-added chain of that  pathway.

Once the client understands this, they are much more likely to engage their Accountant to harvest the possibilities their business offers them.

The Power Wheel™

Fundamentally, every business owner knows that if they want to improve their profit they have to increase their sales which is easier said than done unfortunately.

However if they knew what drives their sales they would be in a much better position to take action. Knowing what to do and not so much about how to do it is the first step in getting results.

The Power Wheel™ is a diagram that shows a client very clearly what the drivers of profitability are. This diagram is very useful in engaging a client in the conversation of how an Accountant can add  value to their business.

Once you demonstrate your expertise in being able to help them achieve improved profitability your clients will be much more likely to involve you in an ongoing basis in their business and not just at year end.

The Cash Flow Propeller™

Every Accountant has heard the expression ‘even a profitable business can go broke’ and this is simply because the business runs out of cash.

Similarly, Accountants are familiar with the expression ‘profit is an opinion but cash is a fact’ and that is why it is important that every client understands the difference and why they are as the saying  goes ‘mutually exclusive’.

The Cash Flow Propeller™ is a simple diagram that illustrates the ‘Operating Cycle’ and allows an Accountant to very simply and very clearly show how cash flow can be not only quantified but also    improved.

By demonstrating your expertise in being able to help them quantify and improve cash flow, your clients are once again much more likely to involve you in an ongoing basis in their business and not just at year end.

Simple concepts, simple diagrams that deliver positive outcomes.

Richard Hinz FCPA

“I have been exploring various options/programs over the past few years so that I can work with my clients to deliver, value added, business advice rather than just tax advice.

My biggest concerns were the astronomical cost of the programs, the excessive amount of time it took to learn the system and finally whether it really was going to deliver value to the client.

I know this is an area that my clients would value but trying to introduce it and explain the value has been my biggest stumbling block.

Kerry’s simple to use process is a great way to get started. It is simple, unobtrusive and very Australian (No “Ra Ra” lets dance and praise the Gods) just simple, honest guides.

I am excited to learn more from Kerry so that I can start being a truly valuable adviser to my clients.”

Richard Hinz FCPA Presidential Accounting, Maudsland, Qld.

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In the same way that diagrams ‘paint the picture’ the Financial Ready Reckoner Tables complete the picture by enabling an Accountant to quickly and easily quantify the financial outcome of any chosen profit or cash flow improvement strategy being discussed.

A simple show and tell exercise using clear Financial Ready Reckoner Tables enables an Accountant to show a client what any chosen strategy will yield in terms of its financial outcome to the business.

The less confusion there is, the more likely a client is to say ‘yes’ to any offer of additional services.

The Profit Discussion

Table 1 - Mark-up vs. Margin

Experience tells that many including the financially literate sometimes become confused when explaining the difference between ‘Mark-up’ and ‘Margin’ in a business.

With the ‘Mark-up Ready Reckoner’ this confusion is removed and clients quickly understand that a 50% mark-up does not yield a 50% margin on goods sold.

Being able to simply and clearly show the difference in what is a simple mathematical equation but appears complicated on the surface, helps build a business owner’s confidence in the expertise of their Accountant and removes the negative thinking associated with agreeing to value added services.

Table 2 - Breakeven Ready Reckoner™

One of the most important numbers a business owner needs to know and their Accountant needs to be able to explain is the level of sales needed to break even in their business.

Sadly most (in both cases) don’t and business owners continue quoting work and setting prices that will more likely exacerbate the problem rather than improve correct the fall in profit.

Business owners (and Accountants) also miss the opportunity to see and understand how profit can be improved by focusing on the break-even sales point of their business just as much as they would on the level of sales itself.

 Using the BEP concept, new opportunity is opened up for Accountants to work more closely with their clients managing and monitoring the BEP of Sales where real value can be added.  

Table 3 - Premium Pricing Ready Reckoner™

A business owner is more likely to consider a drop in price to stimulate sales called ‘a Sale’ than they would consider an increase in prices. The assumption (false in most cases) being that dropping prices will increase sales and therefore (again falsely) improve profit and an increase in prices will decrease sales.

With the ‘Price Increase Ready Reckoner™’ an Accountant can simply and very clearly demonstrate to a client how much they could afford to lose in sales with a price increase before the  current level of profit is affected.

 Armed with this knowledge, options are open for consideration that would otherwise have been ignored.

When an Accountant brings this discussion to the table, their client is more likely to see them as a ‘Business Advisor’ and not just a ‘Tax Accountant’ and therefore capable of adding value to their business and not seen simply as a cost.

Table 4 - Price Discounting Ready Reckoner™

Following on from the argument of ‘Premium Pricing’ it is important for a business owner to know beforehand what increase in sales is needed when prices are dropped to recover lost profit.

In all likelihood a general reduction in prices will not stimulate the additional sales needed to improve yet alone maintain the current level of profitability.

What is needed is the effect that a chosen reduction in pricing e.g. 5% or 10% in terms of additional sales to recover the lost profit.

 With this knowledge a business owner can refine the ‘discounting strategy’ so that the main aim e.g. clear redundant stock; is targeted to the right area of the business and profit is protected as much as possible.

As the Accountant you can have this discussion with a client to clearly demonstrate what the effect on profit any chosen strategy will have before it is implemented. Doing this opens up the discussion for alternatives which is where the most value can be added to maximise business outcomes.

Coral Page  FIPA

“The ready reckoners [sic. financial tables] provided by Kerry are excellent and so practical and easy to use.

Within two days of training I put them to great use with a client who was very nervous about increasing her prices and hadn’t increased them for over two years.

With the ready reckoner [table] I could allay her fears by showing her how many customers she could afford to lose if she introduced a price increase.

By Monday morning, she had emailed her clients notifying them of a price rise. 

The Entrepreneurial cycle will be a great eye opening for clients we have who think they are an entrepreneur but are really only at the Supervisor level.”

Coral Page FIPA Knox Taxation and Business Advisory, Boronia, Vic.

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The Cash Flow Discussion

Most businesses will focus on profit before cash flow and yet it is cash flow or the lack thereof that causes them the most angst.

Without looking at both simultaneously a business owner is only getting half the picture and can very easily send what could for all intents and purposes a profitable business broke.

Being able to show cause and effect in this situation is a very valuable exercise and absolutely necessary if balance is to be maintained.

Table 5 – Debtors Ready Reckoner™

As a general rule, business owners are happy to make the sale and then worry about getting paid later. This kind of thinking in many cases becomes a fatal flaw of management.

 Many would say that a sale is not a sale until the customer has paid, in other words ‘money talks and everything else walks’.

Being in a position to see what effect improved or ignored debtor management practices will have on cash flow is just as important as a price increase or decrease will have on the business.

 Putting an extra $10,000 into a business owner's bank account can have just as powerful (probably more so) effect on the business as an extra $10,000 in profit.

This is a clear value adding exercise any Accountant should be in a position to demonstrate to a client, simply and clearly.

Table 6 – Inventory Ready Reckoner™

Sometimes referred to as the ‘hidden sleeper’ the inventory of a business can be a two edged sword. This is because it can make or break any business and this is why it must be managed very  carefully. Too much inventory can drain cash flow and too little can impede sales.

 Most business owners will see inventory as ‘money in the bank’ but in reality it could just as easily be money that could ‘break’ the bank.

For the most part and with the exception of labour it is one of the least managed parts of a business and conversely can be a source of ready cash both in the form of sales and also in the form  of re-allocation.

Measuring and managing the inventory of a business needs to be just as important an item for business owners as profit itself and this is where the Accountant can add some real value.

Using the Inventory Ready Reckoner™ table an Accountant can quickly and simply show a client how much money can be unlocked with some simple techniques.

Once an Accountant shows a client how to unlock cash from this asset class it will convince the client that there is real value in using their Accountant across all aspects of their business and not just the usual ones.

It is the Accountant’s job to make their client aware of the possibilities to harvest more value from the professional relationship. Anything less is doing your client a disservice.

Table 7 - Creditors Ready Reckoner™

There is a term that many financially literate people do not know and in most circumstances is completely known. This is the expression of ‘creditor strain’.

Just because a supplier is not sending out statements or making a regular follow up on their unpaid invoices does not mean that a business owner is in danger of having what might be a  critical supply being stopped.

 What a business owner needs to be aware of is the ‘level of strain’ they are placing on supplier relations at any point in time and how the ‘strain’ can be managed.

With the ‘Creditors Ready Reckoner™’ you can simply and quickly demonstrate what the ‘level of strain’ is and how much cash it will take to bring the ‘level of strain’ back to a manageable position.

Being ‘forewarned’ is being ‘forearmed’ and Accountants must be able to have that conversation with their clients at a moment’s notice and be able to clearly demonstrate the effect on the business of any change in circumstances.

Kerri Dickman FIPA

“Thanks for the training on the Client Safe Program. It is awesome! So simple yet powerful.

What an excellent way to introduce important concepts to clients, in a visual way that they will understand, and to empower them to make real and effective changes in their businesses.

I can’t wait to use this with my clients.”

Kerri Dickman FIPA Kerri Dickman & Associates, Greenway, ACT.

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