sk an expertI know when you start a business finances are tight and every cent is watched like a hawk but if I had a dollar for every time I heard a startup say “I couldn’t afford an accountant so I just googled the answer…but I think I have stuffed it up…can you fix it” – well let’s just say I wouldn’t be sitting here at 9:05pm writing this blog post from the couch.

This theory doesn’t just go for advice from accountants but graphic designers, website developers, copywriters, lawyers – pretty much any professional service based business.

“Our time is valuable and we are professionals for a reason – we have done the time.” 

And by time I mean the study, the qualifications, the years of experience, the years of post graduate study, the continuing professional development every single year, the upskilling, the expensive professional memberships – and god only knows what else.

Now I don’t want to sound like the Grinch – I am more than happy to help business owners, startups, entrepreneurs, mumpreneurs, sole traders – whatever you call yourselves – BUT, my professional accounting advice comes at a cost.

You see, I am just like you. I am a business owner, startup, entrepreneur. I am running a business. My business pays my wage. If my business gives away all my intellectual property for free (so all my knowledge and skills) this means my wages is zero and I will be the next in line at Centrelink. I have no other income source, no side hustle, no inheritance, no swiss bank account – my business is my income – my one and only source.

I simply did not start my business to be a charity. Again, not trying to be the Grinch – I already provide services pro bono to one Not For Profit every single month and I provide services at a heavily discounted rate to another Not For Profit every single month.

“I know what you are thinking – I am some money hungry accountant building her empire who doesn’t want to help the small fish. Well you clearly don’t know me.”

I probably get paid less than my staff and let’s not even compare it to my old corporate salary, I invest a lot back into my business to provide the services to my clients, I help out by providing free podcasts on all things numbers to various Facebook groups and I created a low price point membership site (FEAT Group) to give startups the financial education and accounting training they need at a price point they can afford.

So I need to draw the line somewhere. I receive on average two emails per week from total strangers and the emails always start with (and I mean always)…”I just have a quick question that I would love an answer to”.

The don’t even say “Hi Stacey”. They just launch right in, give me a 6 paragraph spiel and then end it by saying “I know this is an easy question for you” – like that gives them the ammunition needed for me not to charge them for my advice.

Not to mention up to 5 Facebook personal messages a week asking for advice – often without giving me a business name, ABN, structure type, software type or any kind of context. Now any decent accountant would not (or should not) give advice if they don’t know the facts, and I mean all the facts.

You see here is my advice – there is no quick question that is free.

“My 20 years of experience, training, education and professional development allow me to answer your question easily. That is far different from being a quick answer.”

Healthy Business Finances runs a tight bloody ship and we make it as easy as possible for clients and potential clients to meet with us, email us, phone us, book an appointment and I have even hired an admin assistant to ensure that we get back to people as soon as we possibly can.

We offer out of hours appointments, Skype sessions, weekend sessions, onsite training – we cater as best as we can to every situation as we totally get the hustle you are facing. Like I said earlier, I am just like you – trying to grow my business and help as many business owners as I can by providing qualified accounting assistance.

If you would like my advice on all things bookkeeping, accounting, business strategy and financial coaching, this comes at a price. I am worth it and I will never feel guilty for this.