They said compliance was dead

They said compliance was dead and then along came Covid19

For months if not years we have been subjected to endless articles especially in social media from salespeople of all types and masquerading under all manner of banners all proclaiming from the rooftops “Compliance is dead. The future is advisory”. The moment the proclamation was made usually on social media significant numbers of fellow salespeople and consultants of all shapes and sizes responded in kind with stories of how their intervention had helped ailing accountants add income streams to their practices just by reviewing the numbers not doing the numbers and then the clincher using their product to review the numbers.

The message was basically compliance was not that important and would all be done automatically as a by product of something else, was often to be allocated to the lowest cost staff and its main purpose was to highlight areas that showed some sort of deficiency that could lead to a “conversation” with the client to sell on some sort of service.

Then along comes Covid19 and the global pandemic with economic turmoil in tow resulting in governments worldwide looking at ways of safeguarding their people and the businesses large, medium, small and micro that make up their economy. Every country looked at ways to intervene in the single biggest show of faux socialism since the end of the war. It became apparent that loans, grants, direct aid and indirect aid were the way forward as they try to keep people in employment and businesses viable all at the same time trying to actually keep some people alive.

Basically here in the UK virtually every day has been like budget day on steroids as layer upon layer of detail were being added virtually “on the hoof” to plans announced primarily in broad outline terms and all as Accountants like everyone else went into lockdown.

Our clients were worried, our staff were worried and yes we and our families were worried but once we had looked after the wellbeing of our staff we had to help our clients get what was on offer as they sought to keep their businesses going and basically in many instances feed their families.

The volume and complexity of the help on offer in the UK is vast but and here’s the point it has to be understood, it has to be interpreted, it has applied to the correct circumstances and it has to be conveyed to our clients and then where appropriate we are applying for the help on their behalf to ensure they get it.

This is compliance, this is what we as Accountants actually trained for and ONE of the reasons we went into practice. Accountants throughout the UK and from what I can see around the world are standing up and delivering irrespective of the rate of change irrespective of the studying time necessary and we have been that reassuring presence that our clients actually value and need when the times are hard. They know that we know them and their business, they know that we know our job and will explain what is available and they know we will not be trying to sell them something.

Compliance is part of our DNA, it drives each and every practice, it is what we are judged by and getting it right is paramount now more than ever which maybe is why salespeople have been leaving us alone to get on with it.

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