We recently sat down with Jason Roundtree, CPA, a partner at Clements, Purvis & Stewart for a Q&A on Business Advisory Services. Jason has been employed by CP&S for approximately 22 years and works across multiple service lines including taxation, auditing, and business advisory services. 

Thanks for sitting down and doing this Q&A, Jason. To start, can you define what Business Advisory Services are and what they mean for businesses?

Of course! Happy to be able to share more about what Business Advisory Services are and how CP&S can help. So, with that, our Business Advisory Services are where we work with business owners, management, and others to solve problems or identify opportunities within their organization. For business leaders, this means they have “somewhere to turn” and have access to an independent experienced professionals no matter the size of their business. As the old saying goes, “it is lonely at the top.” We feel it is vital for business leaders to have somewhere to turn for guidance.

How do these services make a positive impact in someone’s business?

Every business starts with a vision, a goal, or a purpose. Most times it is not written down and resides with a few people in the organization.

We believe our role with Advisory Services is to assist the business owner or management with removing barriers. The elimination of barriers helps move the organization forward and reach its goals.

What problems does business advisory typically solve?

There’s a lot of problems that we can solve for:

  • Information needs to manage the business by.
  • Profitability – changes in the economy, client’s marketplace, cost to produce, overhead. Not all, but many businesses are not using financial information to make changes in prices; therefore, profit and cash flow suffer.
  • Financing – does the Company have loan terms and agreements that match its business needs?
  • Should I buy a new line of business or location and at what price? Should I sale a location and at what price?
  • Accounting Support by providing technical guidance, assisting with implementation of accounting systems, or providing a professional to perform accounting functions on a temporary basis.
  • For our manufacturing clients, implementation of cost accounting system to appropriately account for inventory and track cost of products.
  • Strategic Planning – Where do we want to go and Tactical – how do we get there.

How would a business know that they were in need of one of these services?

In general, if a problem or opportunity arises and the owner or management is not confident in what decision to make than you are in need of some business advisory services. I always ask, “Is there something keeping you up at night?” 

Other signs that a business is in need of one of these services:

  • The business has been consistently profitable with no cash constraints and there has been a negative change.
  • The business is profitable, but it is a strain to pay its bills.
  • An opportunity to buy a new business presents itself.
  • You have multiple locations, or lines of business, and one is less profitable than the other.
  • If you know where you want your organization to be but are having trouble getting it to move in the right direction.

How does a business decide which service is right for them? 

Our goal at CP&S is to listen to you, the client, first.

Then we work together in our initial meetings to determine what service is right for them. Most times, our advisory services are tailored to fit the client. 

Is Business Advisory Services the same as consulting?

Business Advisory Services and consulting are used interchangeably. We view them as the same.

What can business advisory services include?

There are a wide range of services that fit under the umbrella of business advisory services. It is our goal to build long-lasting relationships with our clients so that if they need help with their business then they contact us first. If we can’t help, we will use our resources to find them a solution. 

Tell us a little bit about the process when a business decides upon a business advisory service, what are traditional next steps?

After a decision has been made to work with us, the next step is to schedule a meeting with the business owners, key management, and the CP&S team. In this meeting, we discuss the problem or opportunity, we setup client and advisor expectations, and how to get started with the engagement.

What are the benefits of using CPS’s business advisory services?

I think there are a lot of benefits but I will name just a few:

  1. A business is accessing knowledgeable and experienced professionals that genuinely care about their clients.
  2. We provide an independent view from outside the business.
  3. We have specialized knowledge.
  4. We see a variety of business practices through our work with other clients which gives us insight into what drives both success and failure in business.

What should a business do if they don’t know if they need Business Advisory Services?

Contact us and schedule an appointment to discuss your business needs with us. 

We work with businesses even though they may not use CP&S tax or accounting services. In fact, we invite your CPA to participate in meetings during an engagement. However, the business owner is a required participant from beginning to end.

Why do you recommend business use a business advisory service?

CP&S understands that businesses are the backbone of our economy. It our passion to help businesses and its leadership to be successful and meet its goals.

Many business owners started their business because they know how to produce a product, grow a crop, sell a product, or provide a service. Then the business grows, the number of employees grow, their number of competitors grow, their accounting needs grow, and in turn their tax liabilities grow. Everyone in the organization is looking to the owners for questions that either they have never experienced or have never been trained to answer.

We believe that this is our role with business advisory services. To provide a confidential resource for the business owner to use that gives him or her the solution to a problem within their business.