Sometimes unknown to the general public, the core business of accountants is to accompany a company in the stage of its creation as long as they accompany the financing process. They are also excellent accompanists for ETIs and social economy actors for aid in their operation and management. An accounting firm therefore provides an accompaniment function on three central dimensions of the company: technical, commercial and managerial. However, accountants do not advise all types of companies in the same proportions, some are even under-represented: start-ups.
Accounting, the trusted partner of business leaders
Accounting firms are strengths of companies in terms of financial engineering. Faithful partner, recognized expert… Accounting experts are trusted partners of business leaders. When it is going to be about financing companies, accountants and their firms know how to detect new opportunities. This is particularly the case with the bank rating optimization strategy, which can be penalized as a result of the discrepancy that can sometimes exist between the tax approach and the economic approach of the balance sheet.
Absoluce is a network of independent accounting, audit and consulting firms that offer a full range of services in accounting, taxation, legal, social, information systems and strategic support. It has 22 firms spread over 49 sites throughout France and has 690 employees, with a turnover of 61.5 million euros. In Bordeaux, Lassus has been part of the Absoluce network since 1957, making it a historical player in regional economic life. Absoluce is also a regional correspondent for INAA GROUP, an international association of independent audit and consulting firms. For the support of entrepreneurs, the time horizon for the support of accountants is set at three years. A comprehensive support on the personal and professional wealth of the entrepreneur.
Support to be strengthened with start-ups
If in the context of a growing business model, accounting firms must be able to adapt to these global changes and new business requirements: new working methods that automate traditional accounting production. The change of perspective for accounting firms must focus on the typology of the missions they deal with, by shifting to higher value-added missions.
From this diagnosis, a deficiency arises: that of the low support provided by accounting firms with start-ups. Indeed, from the point of view of their traditional business support, start-ups are prime targets as their development phases are crucial. Start-ups are the economy of today and tomorrow, which is all the more interesting as France wants to become a “start-up nation” and New Aquitaine, a start-up region that accompanies nearly 100 start-up projects every year. The main vulnerability of start-ups that rely on innovation is the high failure rate. As a result, nearly nine out of ten start-ups fail to start a business. Strengthening their support with accountants would therefore reduce this rate by allowing them to manage their growth and anticipate their financing needs. Indeed, the development of start-ups, more flexible and agile in their management, is different from that of traditional companies. Creating start-ups often requires a large fundraiser for their development.
The biggest difficulty sometimes lies in the lack of understanding between the company’s management and finance experts and the start-up world that breaks the traditional business codes. The language and culture between these two worlds are sometimes very distant. In order to overcome this difficulty, a Bordeaux start-up “StartFlow” has developed animations to popularize the jargon of start-ups and above all to understand their stages of development phase by phase. StartFlow speaks directly to accountants by offering them a comprehensive understanding of a start-up’s financing problem.
Digital technology and the resulting new uses raise many questions about the evolution of the practice of the accounting profession. Recognized for their accounting and tax skills, accountants have strong assets to become advisors to start-ups. Digital transition and economic change, accounting firms are also affected by the uberization of the economy and the entry of new competitors that offer online solutions for businesses. The first sign of the shift from accounting firms to start-ups: the presence of some thirty accountants and auditors at the VivaTech start-up show in June 2019. All that is left is to wish for the same shift on the side of bordeaux accounting firms.
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