Cloud computing-based accounting products such as Xero and MYOB have inspired business owners to ask themselves, nowadays “how much do I really need an accountant”? The software is relatively user friendly, uses and produces real-time data, letting users prepare and lodge their own BAS’s. almost importantly, they are inexpensive!

But the real question is, are business owners getting the maximum they can out of the software? Are they merely looking at their reports? Or, are they understanding the story behind the numbers on those reports?

Over the last two years one of my clients has been running this type of software, but without understanding how to operate to its capacity. The business is spread over multiple sites, but the client didn’t know the profitability of each individual site, the main drivers of each site and the impact of each of these drivers on their business overall. Despite having access to a lot of information, they could not answer with any certainty many of the questions I was asking.

This client is typical of small business owners. Masters of their trade as they were born in it, but, as is usual, working more in their business than on their business. Accounting software was fulfilling their need to be compliant with the ATO, but not addressing the business issues they were facing.

The Benefits Of An Accountant

Over the next year we met quarterly and the positive results included:

  • Understanding of what his financial reports were saying
  • Segregation and understanding of data for each site 
  • Able to effectively answer important questions regarding each site’s figures
  • Able to make informed, proactive decisions for each site
  • Proactive strategy development for each of the businesses, resulting in greater utilisation of one of the sites, generating alternative income sources and greater control of cash flow 
  • More relaxed and in greater control of the businesses

Accessing up-to-date accounting reports is one thing, understanding the tale they’re telling is quite another. Clients see a series of figures, but at MCA we see the story within the numbers. Explaining the narrative in regular formal reviews helps clients make informed and timely decisions about their businesses. 

Do you or someone you know need their business story revealed? Start your story by emailing me – Mark Calleja – at or call me on 02 9923 2959 and see the true value of an accountant.