I recently wrote an email to a new intern starting with Digit to welcome them to the business, and explain a little bit about why we do what we do.
David Koch was on TV a few months ago and while interviewing some entrepreneurs he said nobody goes into business to be a bookkeeper'.
And it's true - during the process of starting a business, people generally focus on the product or service that they are offering, and less on the financial management. That's not to say that people aren't good at it - just that it's not a primary focus for them. Their main encounter is the yearly visit to the tax accountant who prepares the annual financial statements. As businesses grow - the owner (at this stage wearing many hats) hands over the function to an admin girl, or sometimes looks for a bookkeeper to come in and manage it. Again, it's a little hit and miss - sometimes it's being done by someone trained in how to properly manage the books, other times it's not.
Bookkeeping as a whole is a bit like the poor cousin of accounting. It's work that isn't considered highly skilled (it's an unregulated industry), but in fact is critical to businesses in allowing owners to make better financial decisions. This is why we created Digit - to provide business owners with well managed financial records, that are always up to date, to allow them to make the best possible decisions for the business. To really understand the drivers of their business, and proactively forecast cashflow. We consider this giving business owners a baseline for their business.
We have two simple propositions to new clients based on the stage of their business
As a startup, we provide training and support - helping them get set up on Xero and collaborating with them (when they need us) to ensure that they get their business running with the best possible practises. Startups as a whole are generally cash poor, so ongoing bookkeeping doesn't always work for them - but they are also the people who need it the most. Having the business owners learn Xero and the best way to manage the finances of their business, be hands on, and have us as their safety net is the best possible solution to ensure they succeed.
As the businesses grow - we provide ongoing bookkeeping services. We can lodge BAS, process invoices and payments, reconcile the accounts, manage payroll for staff, chase up debtors, and generally ensure that the financial side of the business is running smoothly. Instead of having a bookkeeper or receptionist in-house and dealing with HR issues when they leave, or the business stopping when they go on holiday - we provide a 365 day a year service, with multiple staff assigned to each client, ensuring that service levels are always high, that staff are always trained, and that the business is well looked after.
Over time we start looking at business improvement and scalability. Whether it is sitting down with the business owner once a month to forecast cashflow for the 12 months ahead, or looking at using technology and apps to automate business processes and workflows. It's a long term relationship
We consider ourselves collaborators in the businesses of our clients. Xero allows us to be. And with the knowledge of our senior team of experts along with a group of business coaches, financial advisors, mortgage brokers that we partner with - we have the capability to not just give a business owner a baseline for their current financials, but also ask the question where do you want to go?' - and this is what we're all about.