Accountants have traditionally been seen as ‘business doctors’ while liquidators have been viewed as the ‘emergency surgeons’.
This is changing. Many accountants are choosing a liquidator to work alongside and to collaborate with on client problems earlier in the process. This can bring multiple benefits to their clients – and to their own firm.
Are you a personal trainer or a doctor?
A better analogy for a modern accountant would be a personal trainer rather than a doctor. They help to keep business owners ‘fit’: accountable, focussed, and on the up and up.
Forward-thinking accountants are increasingly focussing their efforts on clients who want to collaborate with them in their success, even shedding clients who aren’t holding up their end of the bargain.
But what about ‘problem’ clients who are struggling to get the success they crave, sometimes through little fault of their own? Their problems don’t go away and they need assistance.
That’s when choosing a liquidator to work alongside can help your clients steer clear of the mistakes other failed businesses have made – and prevent the worst happening.
Liquidators are increasingly becoming doctors rather than emergency surgeons.
In a liquidator’s skewed world, all of their clients are insolvent – or about to become insolvent. They are cool in a crisis and can see opportunities for clients with seemingly insurmountable problems.
Multiple failed ATO arrangements, ATO audits, losing a big client, collateral damage from a director divorce…or clients just burying their head in the sand for too long. These situations commonly arise. They cause stress and fear, leading to poor decision-making or neglect and potentially failure.
So when it comes to talking to a liquidator: get in early. In a crisis, you need to know who to urgently turn to.
Here are some of the top reasons for choosing a liquidator now to aid your clients and your own firm.
Nine reasons for choosing a liquidator now
1. Get earlier action and better outcomes
It may seem counter-intuitive to see a liquidator to save a client. But it’s just like going to a doctor when you first notice an illness. Rather than waiting for symptoms to worsen, seeing a liquidator early provides much better prospects of survival and success.
Speaking to a liquidator is obligation-free, can be on an anonymous basis and can come at no cost. Having a liquidator on speed-dial means fewer delays and better outcomes.
2. Manage a crisis better
When thrown into an unknown business, good liquidators are able to take control, make sense of the situation, and help directors make smart decisions.
Where others see inevitable failure, good liquidators see days, weeks or months to attempt to overcome challenges and survive.
3. Deliver the wake-up call
Accountants are great at buying their clients more time with seemingly endless ATO payment arrangements. But often problem clients ignore good advice or are too overwhelmed to implement turnaround measures to avoid failing the next payment arrangement.
Sitting down with a liquidator, understanding their options, and seeing the potential consequences of failure helps clients realise that they can’t just keep doing the same thing each day. They need to prioritise the implementation of changes.
4. Have the difficult conversations
Accountants are often like family to their clients and, when things aren’t going well, it can be hard to acknowledge mistakes.
Involving a liquidator provides a fresh perspective. This can help you, as the ‘family’ accountant, to maintain your relationship when they need you the most.
5. Deal with ‘problem clients’
We all have them: clients who don’t listen, ignore good advice or just can’t get organised. You provide extra help to these clients but often don’t get paid for it. Sometimes these clients just aren’t the right fit for you.
Rather than just cutting them loose, a liquidator can help resolve client problems and if appropriate, place them with a new firm that offers the types of services they need.
6. Know who you’re dealing with
If you’re relying on an intermediary such as a pre-insolvency advisor to select the liquidator or administrator for your client, you may have no idea who they will actually be dealing with.
Choosing a liquidator yourself ensures you can tick all the boxes and select the best fit for your clients.
7. Get the right advice
As with any profession, different liquidators take different approaches. Understanding how your preferred liquidator works should avoid surprises for your client and embarrassment for you.
Your liquidator should be able to cover the potential issues that will arise for your client in liquidation or administration. They should also outline the safe harbour protection options if clients are considering a turnaround, so they can make a properly informed decision.
8. Demonstrate more value
It seems that these days accountants are expected to know almost everything. As well as tax, there’s advisory, and then also knowing when to identify opportunities where other professional services may benefit your clients.
While you can’t deal with every client problem yourself, by having connections who can help with challenges, you will become the ‘one-stop shop’ for your clients’ business needs. If they can get everything they need from you, why would they go anywhere else?!
Our value as professionals is in doing what we know well, knowing what we can’t do, and having someone to refer to for challenges outside our capabilities.
9. Retain more clients
It’s difficult to find new clients, particularly the ones you want!
If you have a good client who hits rocky times, helping them when they need you most will not only keep them afloat; it will make them a client for life.
Want to collaborate with skilled liquidators to deliver better client outcomes and retain more clients? Get in touch through live chat on our website or give us a call.