No matter where you’re up to in your agency journey, it’s paramount to continually assess that you are surrounding yourself with the right experts who can help you on your journey to success. I’m aware that you may already be working with an accountancy firm, and that you might be thinking about moving to MAP because we specifically look after digital creative agencies.
However, what you have in place right now may actually be working just fine for you, and a total shift to a new firm seems like too big of a step right now. So, is there any real need to move to a new accountant? Does your relationship with your account have to be exclusive?
What you might not be aware of is that it is possible to have more than one accountant – stick with me here. What I’m saying is, even though you already have an accountant in place, it is possible for you to work with MAP and add to what you currently have in place to ensure that you get access to the best expertise and the freedom and peace of mind that you deserve.
Here at MAP we work with over 130 digital creative agencies across the UK to help them to develop to become more profitable and more predictable.
Other than working with MAP exclusively, there are two other main options to consider:
- Selecting expert services to grow your agency right now
- Temporary specialist assistance and guidance to solve specific challenges
Let’s get into it.
The Agency Finance Function
#1 Selecting expert accounting services to grow your creative agency
Our model is such that although we offer the full finance function, we’re also flexible in that it’s about understanding where we can add the most value right now. Sometimes it’s right for us to wrap around what you already have in place and although we’d love to take care of everything for you, it makes sense to keep some services with an existing accountant or in house team.
Within each client team at MAP we have Bookkeepers, Financial Controllers and a Finance Director – people who are highly skilled in each of their areas have been applying their craft to digital and creative agencies for a number of years.
It means we’ve picked up an awful lot of best practice tips and tricks along the way that we now want to hand over to you so we can genuinely make a difference in your business.
We have an internal Finance Manager, what will happen with that role?
You might be thinking, or perhaps your internal role might be concerned that their role will now be redundant, but that’s not the case. In fact, it’s the opposite…
A number of the agencies that we work with have a Finance Manager in house who becomes our ally on the ground and our aim is to build a close relationship with them and allow them to flourish in their role.
That might be through handing the bookkeeping over to us so they can add more value in house, or it might be spending time with them training them on how to put together the right management accounts pack and track the right numbers monthly.
They can then produce accurate information each month, and we can work with you to interpret that information and help you to make more effective decisions to move the business forward through the likes of monthly board meetings.
We already have an existing accountant. What will change if I have two accountants?
It may also be that you have an incumbent accountant who you’d like to keep on board. It could be that they’re friends or family, or just that they’ve done a perfectly good job over the years and you’d like them to retain your business.
As they’ll typically be a generalist rather than a specialist like ourselves, there are ways we can work together so you get to tick both boxes.
The first thing we do with our clients is spend a day together understanding your personal goals and then mapping the financial plan for the business on the back of that. Our role is then to hold you accountable to that plan with the right insights and guidance along the way.
It could be that we’re brought in to work on that with you to give you the clarity and peace of mind that all the hard work is taking you in the right direction, but the existing accountant still takes care of your compliance. There is no reason why we can’t work together and the incumbent cover the likes of annual accounts, tax returns, VAT returns etc.
It leaves us to provide the added value advisory and strategic input on top, knowing that the compliance is taken care of.
That all sounds great, but what if we just need your input on a few key things?
#2 Interim Agency Finance Support
What if the time is not right for us to come on board providing monthly services? It could be that we’re planning to start work fully in line with your financial year end which is 6 months from now. Or, it could be that the combination of your in house finance team and existing accountant is a solid choice. In that instance it’s common for us to add value to your business on a project basis.
We’ll often come across agencies who have an opportunity to switch accounting software to a cloud based platform like Xero. They’re tempted by being able to streamline their data collection and get live and more insightful reporting on their financial position. Converting accounting software can be a daunting task so it makes sense to get an expert in who has been there and done it, and that’s where MAP comes in.
Interesting! What else?
It could be that there’s an opportunity to develop your Project Management System to ensure they’re capturing key commercial data and providing in depth analysis of client and project profitability.
It could be that it is worth us spending time improving how you collect cash by reviewing your working capital cycle, how much you have locked up in Work In Progress and Receivables and how we can tweak things to generate cash quicker for you.
Whether it’s the day to day operational finance, or thinking more strategically to help with funding requirements, share schemes or tax planning, we can help. And we can work with your existing accountant or in house finance team when doing so.
It means you get our industry knowledge, learn from what the best agencies are doing and the mistakes some are making, so that you’re best placed to make your agency the most profitable and predictable it can be.
What’s the next step?
Yes, it may surprise you and go against common knowledge, but you can have and work with more than one accountant, and in some cases it’s the better option.
Often times when we make decisions we see things in black and white – it’s either this or that, or, if we choose this path, we can’t take that path. What I’m helping you to understand here is that it doesn’t have to be an ‘all or nothing’ approach – you can mix and match, pick and choose, and tap into the specialist expertise you need to move your digital creative agency forward right now.
We make working with us simple and provide a seamless transition via our onboarding process to help you make that breakthrough in your agency you’ve been looking for.
If you’ve read this far, I can only assume that you are at least interested in exploring what working with MAP might look like for you and your creative agency.
The next step is to book a call with one of our FD’s here at MAP so we can find out a little more about your business, what the future looks like for you, and how we can work together to help you get there. Don’t worry, we’re not going to sell anything to you, it’s important that we first of all figure out if we’re going to be the right fit for each other.
Book your call today and I look forward to speaking with you soon.