My sister Aileen and I worked in an accounting practice. Our job was to greet the business owners, take in shoeboxes full of receipts and turn them into VAT Returns, Year End Accounts, and Tax Returns.
What we noticed across the board was that ambitious, highly skilled business owners were reduced to an almost childlike state as they grappled with confusing jargon trying to understand what the accountant was telling them about how their business had performed the previous year and how they now had to come up with a figure to pay their tax. A figure they were not anticipating and had not prepared for.
Usually, they’d have to go off and get a loan, in some horrendous cases, even re-mortgage the family home. It was demoralising for both the business owners and us.
The process of handling small business accounts is unhelpful and astonishingly hasn’t changed much since then, but the Professional Bookkeepers Academy is transforming that.
So what was wrong? In our estimation we knew that businesses would always struggle to be successful unless they could get a real-time understanding of their finances. Businesses need to know what their profits are today, not wait until up to 18 months later to learn what’s happening.
We first created a user-friendly, informative accounting software package to empower small business owners to gain control of their own business. Our vision was that every business owner would know exactly where they stand financially at all times.
We created a very successful business, very quickly, with a lot of satisfied customers. But in some instances, our vision was not being realised. What we came to understand is that our accounting software was half the story. The software is a great tool, but still only a tool, without the right driver it’s not going to deliver the results.
But the combination of our software and well trained, qualified bookkeepers, that we could trust to deliver on this vision, was the ultimate empowerment solution for any SME. This prompted us to set up the Professional Bookkeepers Academy to train bookkeepers who believe in what we believe, to deliver on that vision.
We never wanted this to be just another bookkeeping training course. In fact, as it has evolved, we mostly attract people that already have a bookkeeping background. While we do cover the bookkeeping basics and advanced topics, our goal always is that our participants are ready to set up their own bookkeeping business upon completion of the programme, and become part of a very progressive Bookkeeping Community.
We have always been known for providing effective and comprehensive training for the use of our bookkeeping model. But we struggled with assisting our bookkeepers in the area of business development. We knew we needed help from our friend Dan.
We had already worked closely with Dan for several years and he had been instrumental in the setting up of the Professional Bookkeepers Academy. When Dan began delivering business development training with Asentiv we were interested straight away.
It was obvious that the course would be an ideal fit for our Professional Bookkeepers Academy programme.
We weren’t quite prepared for how significant the results would be. As soon as we altered our marketing messages and language to reflect the powerful Emotionally Charged Connection undercovered while on the Asentiv programme, we noticed an immediate increase in enquiries – and from exactly the profile of client we want to work with.
Before long it was clear to us that each new client that joined us, would in turn benefit by participating in the same Certified Networker programme that we attended.
The inevitable outcome has been that we now include the full Certified Networker programme as run by Dan, as an integral part of our own training and on-boarding with new clients. The results are speaking for themselves. Dan and Asentiv are now key strategic partners in our long-term growth plans.