Unlocking Financial Success: The Mindset Your Accountant Won't Discuss

I’ve been in the ‘business of numbers’ since 1984, qualifying as a Chartered Accountant in 1990. 15 years into my career, I started to get a sneaking suspicion that something was missing. 

The conversations I was having with business owners lacked a critical element, and it was affecting their decision making in their businesses, as well as the results I was trying to help them achieve. 

Once I discovered this missing piece, I took it with me as I moved into business advisory, allowing me to complete the conversations I was having with my clients. Everything changed - my clients grew in confidence, they gained valuable insights into their enterprise through the lens of their numbers, and their lives improved. 

That missing piece that was so critical to their success?

It’s a word you’ll likely never hear in an appointment with your accountant. And yet without it, you’re leaving answers - and ultimately money - on the table.

It’s time to talk about mindset.

That’s right. Mindset. The word too woo woo for the financial world. 

And yet, if we don’t get our headspace right when dealing with our business numbers, we’ll never get the whole story. If you feel like there’s something incomplete about your finances, here are the top 5 reframes you can make to get a better perspective on the bigger picture. 

1. From Abdication to Delegation.

Question: have you delegated your finances, or completely abdicated responsibility for them? Here’s the difference:

  • Delegation: handing over a task to a subordinate or subcontractor (like a bookkeeper) whilst still fully understanding the process. You are able to check their work on occasion, you can detect if something is incorrect, and you have the knowledge to find the answer. You see their role as maintaining the data on your behalf. 
  • Abdication: handing over a task to a third party (like an accountant) with no real knowledge, or desire to understand, the process you have handed off. You are unable to check their work, and you are at the mercy of their skills and expertise (also something you have no ability to measure). You see their role as maintaining the data on your behalf. 

Notice how the result is the same - someone else is doing the work - but the intention is radically different?

This is a great example of how our mindset really matters. If you take the time to understand the process - even on a fundamental level - your knowledge will give you the confidence to check data, ask questions and sometimes even disagree. Businesses flourish under confident, informed ownership. 

2. Expert Status

Closely linked to point 1, too quickly do we defer to the expertise of others. This is especially true in our interactions with our accountants and bookkeeping professionals, especially if we don’t consider ourselves as ‘numbers people’. 

However, we need to remember that we are in fact the experts of our own enterprise. No one will ever have the level of expertise that we do when it comes to the businesses we build and run ourselves. Don’t leave that out of the equation when dealing with other service providers - bring it to the table and hold your head high. 

3. Facts, Figures and Feelings

There’s not much room for the warm fuzzies in the accounting world - another reason why I took a different approach. 

Because I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve worked with a business owner and, when going over their numbers, they suddenly cry ‘that can’t be right!’ And usually, they’re right - they just didn’t know why at first. 

There’s a lot to be said for a business owner’s intuition. 

In my experience, it’s not all instinct and it’s not all facts - it’s both, together. The entrepreneur's instincts act like a hound, pointing us in the right direction as we work our way to the bottom of things. Financial savvy and good data management are what bring us the answers we seek.

Don’t ignore your intuition. Educate yourself to use it more effectively.  

4. Who is all this information for?

Tough question: did you hire your bookkeeper to help you understand your numbers, or as an excuse to never look at them again?

I’m sure it seemed like a good idea at the time. Let’s face it: sitting down with your finances, ensuring there’s a place for everything and everything in its place, analysing your incomings and your outgoings - 

That’s no one’s idea of a good time. But we all acknowledge that it needs doing, so we wrangle ourselves a bookkeeper, leave them to it as fast as possible and kick the proverbial can down the road. 

And that can you’re kicking is all your financial data that is potentially not being accurately managed, nor being put to effective use. 

So just who is all your financial data for? 

If your answer is your bookkeeper, your accountant, or the ATO, I would argue that YOU in fact are the most important user of your financial information. 

The data you’re collecting - when organised correctly - can tell you infinite truths about your business at any given moment, empowering you to make big decisions and propel your business forward. This data is gold for making smarter decisions. 

To help you get started, implement an end-of-month routine that is your commitment to regularly update, review and reflect. Make yourself the main beneficiary of the data and the knowledge. 

Then just flick your accountant a copy. After all, it’s your business, not theirs. 

5. Remember: you will always be an essential part of the process. 

Until the day you sell up or retire, you will be an essential part of your business’ success. 

While you’re in those early hustle days, you’re critical to the ‘doing’ getting done. As your organisation grows along with your team, the clarity of data and information organisation becomes more important as you zoom out and make bigger, broader decisions.

But the decisions are still yours to make.

Remain the expert of your enterprise. Educate yourself so you can trust your instincts, knowing you can back them up with facts. Make sure the information is well structured and close at hand to do so. And only hand information and tasks on to others when you fully appreciate the role they play.

Complete clarity creates confidence.

If this resonates with you, and you’d like to work together on developing your mindset around numbers, I can’t wait to get started. Book a FREE 30 minute chat with me and let’s get started: https://betterbusinessdecisions.com.au/ 

Disclaimer: These are yuck and boring but unfortunately a legal requirement for professionals in my industry. So just a reminder, the information contained here is general in nature and you should seek financial and business advice tailored to your own personal circumstances. Which, by no small coincidence, I can help you out with. Head over to my website and book a free 30 minute chat with me: https://betterbusinessdecisions.com.au/ 

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