Accountants and auditors – the farmers of the new financial order
Since the beginning of the most recent financial crisis of 2008/09, a new financial order has been developing. In reaction to recession, governments have been looking at ways to restore growth and cut budget deficits. Blame has been levelled at various financial institutions for the crisis, with bankers being at the forefront of criticism. The debate about paying a fair share of taxation has also been developing, which has made it unacceptable to “avoid” your share of tax. Advisers and companies who have taken the path to “bend the rules” or “sail too close to the wind” with short term gains have become entangled in government body enquiries. Businesses which are looking to the medium term are seeking out business advisers who will help them with best practice; to develop financial excellence.
Financial excellence for the long term is not about short term profitability, but it is about investment for the future – about being a farmer rather than a hunter. Businesses need an adviser who can be trusted to work in this way.
Accountants and auditors have, on the whole, retained this culture of professionalism, which arises from their keen understanding of ethics – integrity, objectivity and professional behaviour.
• Integrity – straightforward and honest in all professional and business relationships.
• Objectivity – should not allow bias, conflicts of interest or undue influence of others to override professional or business judgements.
• Professional behaviour – comply with relevant laws and regulations, and should avoid any action that discredits the profession.
Auditors are, in particular, fostering a debate also arising from the current climate, that is insisting on an increasing culture of professional scepticism. The ability of the auditor to approach an audit with an “enquiring mind” is fundamental to an effective and efficient audit. The auditor is encouraged to challenge business owners on their systems, processes and practices. Financial excellence also requires the independent thinking audit professional to confront accounting that is not “true and fair”, so that problems are addressed rather than hidden.
That is why at Beavis Morgan we value our role as auditors and accountants, and these essential professional values underpin our business advice. We encourage an analytical and forward thinking approach to the work we carry out for our clients, be that tax planning, structural advice, business turn-around and refinancing, or the “bread and butter” accounts and tax compliance work.
We attract clients that are entrepreneurial owner managers, and successful individuals who trust us to look after both their long term interests, as well as those of the family. In that way, we contribute to financial excellence for future generations, farming a long term profit for all parties along the way.