Bucks and Rucks

Like a lot of people I had a sense of anti-climax when the final whistle blew at the end of the final Lions Match against New Zealand and a draw was announced for the series.

It had been quite a tournament and although the Lions played very well it is hard to get away from the feeling that, as one player put it, a draw was better than losing but it wasn’t really a win!

The unusual result of the 2017 series will go down in history and people will look back in the future at what for many people was a perplexing ending to a tour which saw a number of highs and lows, pressure on both sides some great set pieces.

And what will inevitably follow for some time to come will be the post-match analysis that follows every major sporting event. Was a draw a fair result? Did the Lions actually deserve to win or lose? Does this draw mean there should be a change to the rules?

Anybody who knows me knows how much I love Rugby Union and indeed Rugby in general, but I think whilst sport can teach us many lessons about friendship, courage and talent it also has a lot to teach us in business.

Running a small accountancy and bookkeeping firm I know how hard many of my clients work in order to achieve success and provide for their families, so of course they want value for money. But is still amazes me how many potential new clients fail to ask about anything other than ‘how much’ when they are searching for a new accountant or bookkeeper.

They don’t want to know about my vast experience, they aren’t all that interested in the numerous testimonials I have from happy clients and they have never really thought about what it is they need beyond the very basic service other firms offer. What does seem to ring a bell with them is when I say I can guarantee you I won’t be the cheapest but I can assure them they will get so much more for their money at Square 1 Accounting, as I don’t just believe in scraping by and doing the bare minimum.

Many simply hear ‘I am not the cheapest’ and then they are off but those are clients I can live without, as they don’t see the bigger picture.

I am a firm believer in the old adage that “if you always do what you have always done, then you will always get what you have always got.” And for many people that is hiring an accountant and bookkeeper who does the absolute minimum required to get by; one who churns it out year on year and never really asks ‘could we be doing more, could we be doing it better, what else we could do for our client?’

I know I can sort your tax, do your end of year and VAT returns and I can also help with your bookkeeping. But I also offer a lot more than that. I am not some big firm which has been bought out again and again. So I don’t have an office junior I will fob you off with whilst I spend my day on the golf course – or watching the rugby (much as I love it).

Every new client deserves the best possible service I can offer and that means a fresh pair of eyes to look at how best I can help their business, structure their tax planning and try and save them money. I always want them to do better, to work better and to achieve more. Much like any sports team you support, I want them to win, not just settle for a draw.

Love it or hate it, it is the desire to do better which results in so much post-match sports commentary dedicated to what went wrong, who played well and how much is down to bad luck or bad judgement. Lessons need to be learnt so mistakes and losses are not repeated over and over.

Sometimes in sport, as in life, a draw is inevitable. The two sides are just too evenly matched. But in the majority of cases, there is always one side that plays better or simply wants the win more, who just aren’t prepared to settle for a draw.

If you run the sort of business that only wants to know ‘how much’ and get the bare minimum from your accountant and are happy with a draw, then Square 1 probably isn’t for you.  But if you, like me, like a good post-match commentary to improve your game and are always striving for a win then get in touch as we could be a great winning team.