A fellow has been learning to be a balloonist and takes his first solo flight. Unfortunately the wind gets up, he is blown off course and is forced to land. He is in a field close to a road but has no idea where he is. He sees a car coming along the road and waves it down.

The driver gets out and the balloonist says, “Excuse me, can you tell me where I am?”

“Yes, of course”, says the motorist. “You have just landed in your balloon and with this wind you have obviously been blown off course. You are in the top field on Farmer McDonalds farm, 13.5 miles from West Linton.   Farmer McDonald will be ploughing the field next week and sowing barley. Watch out there is a bull in the field, and it is right behind you and about to attack you.”

At that moment the bull reaches the balloonist and tosses him over the fence. Luckily he is unhurt. He gets up, dusts himself off and says to the motorist, “I see you’re an accountant”.

“Good Grief”, says the other man, “you’re right. How did you know that?”

“I employ accountants”, says the balloonist. “The information you gave me was detailed, precise and accurate. Most of it was useless and it arrived far too late to be of any help.”

The above isn’t my joke by the way, I came across it on the internet, and although it doesn’t paint traditional accountants in a great light, I have a feeling that it may well be true.  

The fact is most accountants do concentrate on past figures, and then confuse clients with jargon.  Concentrating on past figures is partly out of necessity, as one of our main tasks is to ensure that your accounts and tax affairs, for the past year are accurate and lodged on time.  However, this shouldn’t be our only focus, and at no time should we ever give you ‘useless’ information.  It’s your business, if you have a question then ask.  

At Crunchers we have an ‘Improving the numbers’ programme, that we can take clients through.  Part of this programme looks at budgeting and forecasting.  In other words looking at where the business should be going, not where it’s been.  

How do we help?  Well there are a number of areas we concentrate on.  We can help produce quality business plans, forecasts, and budgets.  Through our use of technology we can, use the ‘near’ real time information that your accounting software gives us, and through analysing key predictive indicators, we can go on and tell whether you are likely to hit those set targets.  Knowing the areas where you may have issues, in advance, then gives you the chance to take corrective action, possibly saving you a small fortune in your business.  

There is some exciting news coming… our head office experts, are pulling together some bespoke software, that we can use to help your business going forward.

You will no doubt have heard of me calling ourselves ‘Alternative Accountants’.  That is precisely because we are here to help you grow your business,in the future.  We are moving away from the old traditional stereotype of an accountant, always looking into the past.  Instead, we want you, and your business to be in the very best shape to tackle the future.  It is only by providing value, that you will use us, and it is only by adding value that you will recommend us to your  colleagues.    

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