Commercial awareness is knowledge of how businesses make their money, understanding what their customers want and what’s happening in the wider world that can affect business.
Strategic thinking is the ability see and understand the big picture; how overall objectives should be, or could be, reached.
Why wouldn’t you want your accountant to have those skills? More importantly, to effectively advise you and your business your accountant should have those skills.
The face of accountancy has changed vastly in the last 15 or so years, moving away from the backwards facing compliance ‘I’ dotting and ‘T’ crossing exercise of annual accounts and business tax, to a forward looking and forward thinking, essential business advisory service.
Now, don’t get me wrong, the ‘I’ dotting and ‘T’ crossing absolutely still needs to be done (we should all have the most efficient tax planning, am I right?) – but so should so much more!
With businesses looking to the future, there’s a need for forward thinking and better advice. So modern accountants need to have much more commercial awareness, and be strategic thinkers, much more so than accountants of the past.
With that in mind, here’s 10 reasons why your accountant should have commercial awareness and be a strategic thinker:
- Commercial awareness leads to taking advantages of new ideas and/or opportunities; maybe that’s ways to maximise your profit, or business efficiency
- Commercial awareness helps reduces risks within business; mitigate threats, weaknesses and risks that could cost your business money, before it costs anything
- Commercial aware people are proactive thinkers and problem solvers; find me a business that has no problems…go on, I dare you 😉
- Commercial aware people realise the potential impact of external factors, before they become a problem; changes to the economy, changes to tax legislation, the list could go on but the trick is to mitigate the impact of the external factors, or maximise if it’s beneficial to do so
- Strategic thinkers use both the left and right sides of their brain; that’s the logical and creative sides of the brain – which is a powerful combination when tackling many aspects of business
- Strategic thinkers are, by nature, big picture thinkers; meaning they jump ahead to ensure all the steps of a plan work, before it’s implemented, and/or to anticipate potential problems, before they become problems
- Strategic thinkers use the big picture to create clear strategy, goals and plans at all levels of business
- Strategic thinkers can take all of that commercial knowledge and put it to work to achieve business objectives
- Strategic thinkers are problem solvers; I know, we’ve already had that one from a commercial awareness angle, right? Well imagine being able to tackle those problems from all different angles – it’s powerful
- And finally, both commercial awareness and strategic thinking are skills that come with experience and expertise in the realms of business; they have to walk the walk, not just talk the talk
Does your accountant have commercial awareness, and are they a strategic thinker?
If not, get in touch!
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