KPMG Small Business Service in the spotlight – why did it close?
Last month KPMG withdrew its small business service in the UK. Marketed as a “one-stop shop” to satisfy the needs of the small business community, it had provided cloud-based bookkeeping and management reporting packages to clients ranging from micro-businesses to SMEs.
Trading on its strong brand identity, the original intention was for KPMG to gain market share from the smaller independent accountancy firms and independent consultants.
The package was a simple one: for a monthly fee, your company was given access to accounting and bookkeeping services, subscription to cloud-based Xero accounting software, assistance with payroll, tax and monthly management reporting. You had a designated account manager who would be your point of contact and would help you with your queries.
This worked well for some businesses, but others found they needed more. This was typically when:
- Their business/its stakeholders needed a more detailed reporting pack (e.g. consolidated data, tailored/flexed forecasts, a detailed cash flow and covenant tests).
- Their business was niche and they needed help from someone who could spend time with them to understand this.
- They needed regular face to face discussions at their business premises.
- Their business was more complex, than a standard package allowed for.
In the micro-business and SME space, businesses want their advisors to be “one of the team”, to understand the dynamics of the business and to help them move the business forward successfully. Working “on” the business rather than “in” the business. They want flexible professional support they can rely on and a real-time sounding board for those all-important key decisions.
Overall, any package needs to fit the business not the business fit the package. It needs to be tailored and there needs to be more personal contact with advisers. A good accounting software package is a must, and this can be operated by trained employees or outsourced. The real value though is having someone close by on your side to help you turn the cold hard numbers into information upon which you can make solid decisions to help your business grow.
07780336956 Raemy Singh FCA
07780336952 Delphine Paterson FCCA ACIB