7 October, 2016
Don’t risk everything: Accountancy expert warns on small business literacy
Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to your business accounts. Australian entrepreneurs afraid of managing the numbers are risking it all.
Minister for Regional Development, Minister for Skills and Minister for Small Business, The Hon John Barilaro MP, joined Wingham entrepreneurial business mentor Liz Jarvis last week to discuss businesses taking charge of their finances.
Ms Jarvis took the opportunity to discuss Australian entrepreneurs lacking a functional literacy of accounting and tax.
“We exchanged business stories and discussed the importance of accountants to long term business success. The Minister understood why it is so important to raise awareness of an issue threatening so many startups” said Ms Jarvis.
“The Minister had a keen understanding that good news for entrepreneurs and small businesses is good news for local economies and nationwide business development.”
DON’T PUT YOUR HEAD IN THE SAND
Ms Jarvis said business owners often engage bookkeepers, expert accountants and financial planners and then wash their hands of the process until there is a problem.
“Too many business people tell me they don’t understand the numbers. They have access to the right experts, but they’re not asking the right questions,” she said.
“Something is wrong when businesses are failing because owners don't take control and understand their accounts for themselves.”
For many entrepreneurs, the adrenalin of creating a new business takes over and they assume accounts and finances are something they can easily outsource.
“There is excitement in going it alone, starting your own business and living the entrepreneurial lifestyle. But without clear financial strategies and functional understanding of tax and accounting, you are risking failure in the long term,” she said.
“Training to understand finances yourself doesn't make your accountant redundant. It means you can communicate, and take control of the big decisions. Your future depends on it.”
HELP WHEN YOU NEED IT TO STAY AFLOAT
Not your typical chartered accountant, Ms Jarvis is passionate about businesses learning to secure their own futures.
“The end can come quickly and sharply for business. Often entrepreneurs have risked everything to start their business; I’ve seen people lose their homes and put their family’s future at risk,” she said.
“There is no substitute for expert advice. But you need to back yourself and understand the information.”
She has taken an innovative approach by running a successful crowdfunding campaign to develop her Entrepreneurs AFLOAT training and mentoring project.
The program provides guided training and mentoring for small business owners on the fundamentals of accountancy they need to confidently manage cashflow, reporting, and finances in their business.
“Businesses need to get across their accounts, and understand the tax system and opportunities that already exist to help them reinvest in their business,” Ms Jarvis said.
“This program takes the mystery out of accountancy processes and provides the tools to take control.”
With the right knowledge, entrepreneurs can take a risk in business, without being reckless.
Liz Jarvis (available for interview/ images available)
About Liz Jarvis and Entrepreneurs AFLOAT
Liz Jarvis is a chartered accountant, founder of CSI Business Solutions and the brains behind Entrepreneurs AFLOAT. With over three decades experience in business and accounting, she is passionate about businesses shifting the focus from compliance to real financial understanding.
Liz’s innovative approach to kick off her Entrepreneurs AFLOAT online training package was to crowdsource the funding to get it off the ground. Smart business entrepreneurs took advantage of the opportunity to receive the training for a fraction of the ongoing price, and contribute to developing the program. Liz is on a mission to take the mystery out of the numbers and give back financial control. You work hard to earn your money, now invest some time to understand the numbers.
Liz is looking forward to supporting the first group of business owners through the Entrepreneurs AFLOAT online program.