Emotional Intelligence (EQ) could well be changing the shape of the modern accountant, and how they can work more effectively alongside you. 

One of the easiest ways an accountant can improve your business is by understanding the type of person you are. That way, it's not a one-size-fits-all advisory service, but tailored advice that lets owners play to their strengths while taking steps to minimise their weaknesses. 

Within any business is a treasure chest of clues about how that business might respond faster and more effectively to changes. Having an adviser with a business intelligence philosophy is a bit like having a metal detector to find the precious metal in the ‘chest’.

The ‘detector’ finds not only the opportunities to capitalise on, but also threats to address.

Business Intelligence is a philosophy, not an add-on. It can mean anything from a few well-timed questions to proactively identifying opportunities for improved cash flow, profitability and optimised pricing, monitoring unnecessary risk and undue costs, pointers on systems and technology, benchmarking and monitoring capital positions.

A good accountant should provide a steady stream of business intelligence. And, if they’re not, their clients should be asking; ‘why not?’. There’s really no excuse today for not doing so, particularly given real-time shared cloud-based software like Xero giving the necessary real-time data at a keystroke.

A proactive and keen advisor should be helping clients in the following ways:

  1. Highlight what they want more of... Identifying opportunities for improved cash flow, profitability and optimised pricing, among others
  2. Spot the things they’d rather do without...Monitoring unnecessary risk and undue costs, assessing systems and technology
  3. Check everything’s in its place...Testing pricing models, benchmarking and monitoring profit and cashflow

So how do you know if you’re getting the advice you need, in the way you need?

You’ll know it when your accountant initiates most of the contact, always with a fresh idea or a possible action. And you’ll know it when this advice keeps you focused on the things that really matter, even if you may not have previously known they mattered.

When there are distractions in your business, it's always good to know that you have a partner and advisor who can centre your perspective, and find the balance that you seek day to day.