Adequate accounting services and accurate bookkeeping are foundational to the success of a small business — that much is true. But an experienced accountant will understand you need more than maths to take an SME from passable to prosperous.

SMEs and family enterprises in Australia account for almost 90% of businesses according to government statistics. These businesses account for over 35% of Australia’s gross domestic profit and employ 44% of our workforce.

One of the major pain-points for SMEs is customer invoice management. The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has found that 65% of SMEs cite cash flow management as their biggest concern — late payments of invoices from customers and clients can have severe ramifications for budgets, cash flow and financial reserves.

Decades of experience

Melbourne-based Stones Sharp Accountants is built on decades of expertise dating back to the 1940s. Director Shane Borg has been with the firm since 2007 and is both a Fellow of CPA Australia (FCPA) and a Chartered Accountant (CA) with some 30 years’ experience in the public practice industry.

Of his approach to business services Shane says, “I help clients reach their long-term business goals in a timely way through a holistic ‘partnering and mentoring’ approach.”

“It means acquiring intimate knowledge of how our clients’ businesses operate and building trust”, Shane says. “When you have mutual respect, understanding and trust you can turn around business profitability so much faster.”

Turning your business around

When SMEs are working with customers and clients who consistently pay late, you need more than just a math whizz — you need a mentor who can give you sound business advice for the present and future.

Stones Sharp work with an ambitious commercial plumbing business striving to become a player on a national level. When Stones Sharp was first brought on board the company’s finances were in disarray, facing issues such as:

  • Poor cash flow
  • Unhelpful advice from previous accountants
  • Escalating tax debt
  • No control over the ordering process
  • Inaccurate allocation of expense accounts in the profit and loss statement

Executing a complete turnaround of a business in this state required a personalised approach and a focus on the bigger picture.

“I find out what keeps them awake at night and try to get them to see through the short-term problems.”

Shane highlights these critical steps to set your small business’ finances back on track:

  • Analysing all aspects of the business and current systems
  • Preparing annual financial statements and taxation returns
  • Preparing and lodging business activity statements
  • Monthly reviews of management reports and projections
  • Keeping a spotlight on the bigger picture
  • Maintaining high levels of motivation

Stones Sharp provides general accounting and taxation services, corporate governance and access to the Practices Audit Shield audit insurance policy which minimises unexpected accounting fees if and when audited.

The power of listening

Above all, Shane listens to the client.

“My client knows I have their back, and my team and I will put in the hard yards to support and mentor them through the roller coaster that is business,” Shane says.  “As a result of my approach, the client knows they can call me for advice on everything and anything — which they do.” It’s this personalised approach paired with Shane’s expertise that wins the trust of clients — the building block of effective working relationships and ongoing success.

“By putting myself in their shoes, I can help provide clarity around the numbers and direction into the future.” “We have a close client-adviser relationship,” he adds. “A win for them is a win for us.” The commercial plumbing client is now showing monthly profits and continues to schedule regular meetings with Shane to discuss trading results and system tweaks.

When to call for help

If you own a small or medium business and your cash flow is constantly up and down, your tax seems exorbitant, and you don’t understand the myriad forms and documents you have to lodge then a CPA Accountant can help.

An experienced accountancy firm can assist with:

  • Changing company structures
  • Assistance writing a business plan
  • Measuring key business metrics
  • Minimising tax liability
  • Budgeted cash flows
  • Budgeted profit and loss statements
  • Providing bespoke mentoring

Collaborating with an accountancy firm focused on teaching you skills to improve growth and streamlining may be the change your business needs.

Stones Sharp takes the time to complete custom budget projections, set objectives and help you achieve those objectives. If you own a small to medium business, and you’re experiencing challenges or difficulties within the business, contact Stones Sharp today.

Shane Borg

Shane Borg


Shane is a Fellow of the Australian Society of Certified Practicing Accountants and a Chartered Accountant.

Shane’s passion is to consider the clients, the client’s business and taxation affairs with a holistic approach whilst providing business mentoring, business strategies, systems development, taxation advice and taxation planning in order to assist his clients and their business achieve their goals.

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