Clear the financial fog of uncertainty
Clear the financial fog of uncertainty
Do you know what’s happening in your practice, and why? Or are you (like many) lost in a fog of uncertainty?
August 24, 2023

As humans, we hate uncertainty. Not knowing what’s going on can be far more stressful than having even your worst fears realised. This is something many of us have experienced first-hand: we dread bad news, we wait for it, we catastrophise, and…when the blow finally lands, we feel inexplicably much calmer. That’s because in this situation, we at least have an understanding we can act on.

Again, this feeds into human nature. If we can plan and act, we have a degree of control, which makes us feel better.

There’s no doubt that in the current global and financial climate, uncertainty reigns. From inflation and rising costs to staff shortages and behavioural changes, an overwhelming majority of us are stumbling along with no idea what will happen next. The only thing we can be certain about is that things are getting more and more expensive.

Historically, dentists haven’t had to run a good business to make money. There was so much money in the industry that almost any practice could make it work. Now, with every cost rising, things have changed. We’re seeing many new clients coming to us in a “financial fog”, with their way forward entirely clouded by uncertainty.

Many clients have previously worked with a more traditional accountant, with a backwards-facing outlook. Paperwork and discussion revolve around what has already happened, such as filing returns or calculating tax. Nobody has an eye to the future, which means that the stress of uncertainty is allowed to multiply.

But what if I told you that it doesn’t have to be this way? That you don’t have to wait for bad news to be presented to you before you’re able to take action? Although some things on a global scale will always be uncertain, there’s a huge amount that you – and we – can do to help clear the financial fog.

This fog is personal and different for each client I work with. For instance, a practice owner might know that their practice is their pension pot, but as the years tick by, the realisation creeps in that they have no visibility around what it could (or should) be paying them in retirement. Or alternatively, there might be an owner who has a gut feeling they’re subsidising the practice as their associates aren’t grossing enough to generate a profit. Without knowing for sure, it’s almost impossible to act for the best. Another example could be an associate who’s been told to set up a company to save tax, but has no idea how this works, how to pay themselves, and what counts as an expense.

In each of these examples, a large part of tackling the financial fog is empowering a client’s own understanding. At Hive, we choose to do things differently to other accountancy firms. Although we offer everything you’d expect, we also believe in educating our clients, so that they can feel more able to plan and act. We don’t see our financial knowledge and experience as a protected, precious thing – for us, far better outcomes are gained by sharing what we know.

For associates, this means providing access to our dedicated Associates’ Club portal. This contains videos for every stage of your associate journey, from understanding what a company is to navigating dividends and knowing how much you can claim. Ultimately, it’s a bank of resources that helps associates to do a better job for themselves, while removing uncertainty.

And, if you’re a new client, our onboarding process has been designed to first understand your specific financial fog and pain points. From this, we can set a road map that will give you complete financial visibility and a clear understanding of your future taxes and tax strategy. This is something that we’ll review every year, as we look forward to the next.

Communication is also a crucial part of how we work. While most accountants will conduct an annual accounts meeting, we like to speak to our clients at multiple points throughout the year. We particularly like to hear about any new and upcoming plans, whether this is buying a new house or car, or even another practice. Being kept in the loop with what’s going on in your world means that we can ensure whatever you are doing is done tax efficiently.

If you’re worried about the future, or feel uncertain about your practice’s financial situation, we’d love to help clear things up. Just get in touch for an initial meeting with our team.

The information contained in this article is based on the opinion of Hive Business and does not constitute formal tax advice. Any tax outcomes will be based on individual circumstances, tax legislation and regulation, which are subject to change in the future. You should seek specific advice before embarking on any course of action. Hive Business does not provide regulated Financial Advice, including advice on investment, insurance or lending products or their suitability for you. This article is provided for information only and does not constitute, and should not be interpreted as, investment advice or a recommendation to buy, sell or otherwise transact, or not transact, in any investment including Bitcoin and other crypto. Any use you wish to make of any information contained within this article is, therefore, entirely at your own risk.

By Hayley Robins ACA Accountancy Director
If you have any questions or comments about this article, please get in touch.
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