Accountants in a quandry over MTD
Many sole practitioners in their 50s are unsure whether adapt to MTD or throw in the towel in the face of yet another bureaucratic process foisted upon them.
Maximiti is at the forefront of accountancy practice sales and we get to talk to and meet a lot of smaller practice owners. This year at Accountex we met around 150 and a common thread was emerging among many in their 50s.
Adapt or die is nothing new but when it becomes a reality for somebody it takes on a whole new meaning. Firms have seen tightening KYC rules , Auto Enrolment and now they face MTD.
"Many are not afraid of technology", says Norman Younger, director of Maximiti, but it's a case of whether they can be bothered re-educating their clients and making fundamental changes in their modus operandi but still facing uncertainty on the next major change that may rear its head.
"It's a real conundrum" , continues Younger , adding "If this is all you've done for 30 plus years and you've had enough and just not got the energy for upheaval, what do you do?" .The choice they see in front of them is to sell up if they can afford to (many cannot) or plod on in the hope that it all works out, which Younger notes is a dangerous course in a fast moving and evolving sector.
He states that there is no need to despair as there are all sorts of exit and succession solutions out there but the problem lies in actually grasping the nettle because either way change of some sort is going to happen so a positive approach is definitely the best angle to come at the problem.
Younger finishes with the opinion that Brexit is not helping as it has fostered a general mood of uncertainty and paralysis throughout the economy, reinforced by talking to clients no doubt enduring similar anxiety.
Accountancy Practice Survey Winter 2019
This is the time of year - post January tax return madness - that many accountants give long and hard thought as to whether they really want to face the same stresses next January.”
— Norman Younger BA(Hons) FCCA MCIArb
"Benchmarking is becoming ever more relevant and it really gets one thinking" says Norman Younger , founder and director of Maximiti.
He notes that this is the time of year - post January tax return madness - that many accountants give long and hard thought as to whether they really want to face the same stresses next January.
The mix of unrelated question has, as usual, thrown up some interesting results, but what do they mean for YOU and for the profession?
When asked whether they felt that their clients saw them more as business advisers over the past 3 years, 66% of accountants replied affirmatively. Now that so many tasks have become commoditised by technology this is hardly a surprise and by 2020 I would expect to see this figure nearer 90% , if not higher. Does this mean that the training for accountants needs to be even more business orientated?
We asked respondents whether 2018 had gone to plan from a professional aspect. Disappointingly only 58% replied positively but a surprising 28% replied that they had made no plans for the year. This begs the question that if accountants are not planning for their own business how can they advise other businesses?
Sounds like a case of the cobbler’s children going barefoot! At least only 14% told us that it had not gone to plan, a small crumb of comfort that of those who did plan, most of the plans worked out.
Turning to experience of independent practice the results were:
<1 year 21%
1 -3 years 22%
4 – 7 years 18%
7 – 15 years 17%
>15 years 22%
Looks like independent practice remains a popular route in spite of ever tightening rules and regulations, together with continued pricing pressures felt by many firms.
The last figure chimes with our experience that more practitioners are retiring earlier as the structural changes taking place are a catalyst for traditional compliance-led practice owners choosing to close their ledgers rather than embrace fundamental change.
Last but not least is the question on partner earnings, always a favourite for benchmarking:
£50k- £75k 21%
£75k - £100k 8%
£100k - £150k 18%
£150k - £250k 8%
It looks like there is still good money to be made for almost 50% of those at partner level but interestingly almost 1/3 are not making £50,000 per annum. Presumably they are at the start of their independence and hoping to make it to the privileged 13%
Maximiti Introduces Mediation to SMEs and their Accountants
Posted 29th November 2018
Mediation is gaining popularity as an alternative dispute resolution method for SMEs and their business advisers.
It's is almost as if it is one of the best kept secrets of business”
— Rafael Katz
MANCHESTER, LANCASHIRE, UNITED KINGDOM, November 29, 2018 /EINPresswire.com/ -- Disputes are an irritating fact of business but all too often the parties cannot be bothered with tackling the dispute and it is kicked into the long grass usually for fear of a costly legal case that will drag on interminably so the "game is not worth the candle" .
Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution option that is fast, cost effective and enjoys a high success rate. It is gaining in popularity and with the correct support from their accountants, SMEs could use mediation to their advantage, freeing up lost money and repairing damaged business relationships to the benefit of both the aggrieved parties.
"Currently mediation is not seen as a "go-to" option for small business and we're trying to remedy this" says Norman Younger of Maximiti, himself a trained mediator.
"It's is almost as if it is one of the best kept secrets of business" , says his colleague and head of mediation at Maximiti, Rafael Katz , "so we've created a series of short videos to bring it right to the boardroom of small business".
MANCHESTER, UK, August 1, 2018 /EINPresswire.com/ -- Maximiti is now offering negotiation as one of its niche services to SMEs, primarily through their accountants. The firm has been working for many years in the accountancy sector and is acutely aware that many accountancy firms are needing to reposition themselves as trusted business advisers to their clients in order to keep the edge in a rapidly changing professional landscape.
As well accountants offering their own skills to help their SME clients prosper, many are choosing to work collaboratively with other professions. Now, through Maximiti, their clients can draw upon the skills of trained and experienced negotiators in a wide range of business scenarios.
"The beauty of our offering for the accountant is that he or she can introduce us and work with us to help their clients achieve better outcomes in business negotiations either when pitched against bigger firms or those of a similar size" , says Norman Younger , director and lead negotiator at Maximiti.
He explains that the cost of a professional negotiator will pay itself back quickly many times over and allows the accountant to play an active role throughout the process while gaining the all important kudos for having brought the client and negotiator together.
Accountancy firms falls short on raising staff standards
Posted 30th April 2018
A survey of the accountancy profession by Maximiti, a leading firm of accountancy practice brokers, has revealed that almost half of smaller firms do not have a system of staff appraisal.
Norman Younger FCCA , director at Maximiti was surprised to find out that only 53% of these firms have a system of staff appraisal. "It is likely that there is an informal way of doing these things, probably when somebody asks for a rise" , he suggests.
He believes that small businesses like "high street" acountants can't be bothered with an extra layer of formality especially in a setting with only 2 or 3 staff members and where the boss is alwyas looking out one corner of their eye to see if the clerks have their heads down.
"This is incredibly short sighted" says Younger ruefully , and says " there is so much more more that can be achieved with a transparent system that lets staff work towards personal and company goals that leaves everybody better off" .
Younger observes that these accountants are probably advising their clients to make sure they look after their human capital properly in order to prosper. A case of the "cobbler's children going barefoot" , so often found in the profession.
"As the market continues to consolidate in the face of ever more regulation and the faster pace of tehnological change I reckon we will see more firms at the "smaller" end becoming more professional in their approach to internal matters" ends off Younger with a smile of anticipation.
Maximiti acquires Henley Business Group
Posted 22nd February 2018
The purchase of Henley Business Group for an undisclosed sum has been completed following 6 months of negotiations.
Henley specialises in brokering the sales of quality B2B industrial and manufacturing firms turning over between £1m and £10m , and enjoys a strong presence and enviable reputation in this niche marketplace.
Henley Business Group will continue to trade independently and build further on its established strengths whilst coming under the Maximiti brand and relocating to Manchester.
Norman Younger , director of Maximiti says "we are delighted to have concluded the purchase of a business which espouses the same values as those upon which we built our own business . We look forward to working with Bill Leech , Henley's founder, and taking Henley Business Group to the next level."
Maximiti launches online mediation invitation tool
Posted 12th February 2018
Maximiti, a firm of commercial mediators has launched a free online service allowing one of the parties in a dispute to initiate the mediation process
Commercial mediation is growing in popularity due to its speed and cost savings over the traditional legal route. "Most business owners want to run their business not let disputes run." says Rafael Katz, senior mediator at Maximiti.
According to Katz "Often all it takes to bring your counterparty to the table is a simple and honest approach but for some reason people find it incredibly hard to do, so our new invitation tool is designed to make it really easy with a few clicks of a mouse, but remaining businesslike and unemotive."
Norman Younger, director of Maximiti notes that "Mediators need to remain impartial so the more that is done between the parties directly at the early stages, the better the chance the counterparty will turn up to talk."
Most of Maximiti's workload is where shareholders and/or directors in SMEs are not getting on very well and usually they cannot simply walk away from the situation without facing financial ruin so the online mediation invitation has been designed with such scenarios in mind.
Norman Younger was founder of FD Group and spent over 20 years advising on common SME shareholding and director disputes.
Accountants want to turn the clock back
Posted: 5 December 2017
A survey by Maximiti, a leading firm of accountancy practice brokers, has found that 23% of accountants preferred restrictions on professional advertising.
It seems that for a lot of accountants the "good old days" really were something to remember with nostalgia. Given that it is nearly three decades time since the professions were deregulated and allowed to advertise the result came of something as a surprise to Norman Younger, Maximiti's director who came up with the question.
He wonders whether the 23% represents "old timers" who never really understood that they were in business and couldn't bring themselves to learn the finer nuances of marketing or whether these are younger accountants who never experienced regulation but find the seemingly constant attention required to be heard on social media simply too much.Then again,Younger reckons, perhaps it is a cross section of the profession who believe that restriction means higher fees.
Whatever it points to it is probably something that should be of interest to the professional accountancy bodies because one would have expected a figure way below 23% . Is there enough professional training for facing the marketplace or is the profession simply facing the same market onslaught that retailers do with online behemoths ?
"Perhaps I need to rerun this survey in another 20 years when nobody will be left in practice from the 1980's - myself included !" quips Younger who commenced training in 1989.