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Created in 1992 by Drs. Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton, the Balanced Scorecard (BSC) is a revolutionary way to handle strategy management. Notably, it centers your vision and strategy around four distinct measures: Customer, Internal Processes, Financial, and Learning/Growth. Essentially, the Balanced Scorecard allows you to get your whole team on the same page with organizational goals in a clear and understandable way. Although it started out being used primarily in the private sector, you’ll now see the Balanced Scorecard in healthcare, non-profit, government organizations, and a number of other types of associations. [Clear Point Strategy]
Here are 10 examples for different types of businesses – click here
This the Balanced Scorecard for Barclays Bank
About half of major companies in the US, Europe and Asia are using Balanced Scorecard Approaches. The exact figures vary slightly but the Gartner Group suggests that over 50% of large US firms had adopted the BSC by the end of 2000. A study by Bain & Co finds that about 44% of organisations in North America use the Balanced Scorecard and a study in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria finds that 26% of firms use Balanced Scorecards. The widest use of the Balanced Scorecard approach can be found in the US, the UK, Northern Europe and Japan.
Even the most brilliant strategy is worth nothing if it isn’t executed well, especially by your front line — the employees who interact daily with your customers. Unfortunately, these employees are regularly asked to execute strategies that others developed and that they may not understand, never mind feel committed or connected to. In fact, according to Robert Kaplan and David Norton, the founders of the Balanced Scorecard, only 5% of employees understand their company’s strategy. This makes successful execution nearly impossible.
Watch this video, how well would your employees do if you asked them about strategy?
The new regulations came into force on 6th April 2015 setting the following thresholds for small companies
|Average no. of employees||50|
Medium Company thresholds will now be
|Average no. of employees||250|
Micro Entities thresholds are unchanged
|Average no. of employees||10|
As before its a 2 out of 3 test. The Audit thresholds are unchanged.
Micro entities are no longer required to produce a directors report.
The new thresholds will apply to financial years beginning on or after 1 January 2016. However, early adoption is permitted.
Further details in SI2015/980
Back in June 2013 the EU passed a directive 2013/34/EU which changed the thresholds for small companies.
|Average no. of employees||50||50|
As before its a 2 out of 3 test. The Audit thresholds are unchanged.
The UK was required to transpose this into UK Law no later than 20th July 2015.
The Dept for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) concluded their consultation (24th October 2014) and the plan is currently to implement the change for financial years starting on or after 1st January 2016.
As pointed out by SWAT
This could mean that a company with a turnover between £6.5m and £10.2m will be required to prepare its accounts for year ended 31 December as follows:
2014 as a medium sized company under present UK GAAP;
2015 as a medium sized company under FRS 102;
2016 as a small company under the applicable accounting regime for small companies.
This might depend on whether the company could early adopt the new regulations for its 2015 accounts. The possibility of early adoption is one of the questions asked by BIS.
Surely BIS can see that not allowing early adoption will place an unnecessary reporting burden on Small Companies?
Last week I was given the opportunity to be part of the Packed Lunch radio programme on Glastonbury FM.
I had not previously thought about talking on the radio. But when Alan Philpott proposed the idea it appealed to me, because it gave me the chance to talk about how business owners in the local area could tackle some of their issues.
Fortunately, the programme was prerecorded so it was not too scary. I knew if I made a complete hash of it we could just start again – just as well!!
We recorded 3 15 minute slots to go out in future programmes and these first slots covered how confidence effects business performance, the benefits of business planning, and how to price effectively. Hopefully, I will have the opportunity to cover further subjects later in the year.
I have no idea whether anyone will listen but I gained from having taken part.
Doing this type of exercise reminds us that we really do know a substantial amount about our subject – which in turn makes it easier for us to be confident when talking to prospective clients. For me, it also enabled me to give some practical tips to business owners I would not otherwise reach.
So if you have the opportunity to take part in a radio programme I would definitely recommend it.
Although the recession is officially over, it is still difficult to get financing and customers in most sectors continue with their belt tightening exercise. With further government cuts on their way, anyone who deals with the public sector in particular, have found life increasingly hard.
So what can you do to ensure your business survives, and even flourishes, in this environment.
I think that for anyone who sells their expertise – business coaches, accountants, lawyers, web companies etc. – the key is VALUE. What value do you give your clients? How do they perceive the service you offer?
If you can identify what your clients really value, and ensure you really deliver in these areas, they will love you and tell all their friends. The problem for many of us is to determine what that is. It may often not be what we think is the most important part of our service.
Take an accountant, for example. If you talk to some accountants they believe that their USP is that they do a cracking good job of preparing a set of accounts. If you talk to accountants’ customers they take it as read that they will get a cracking good set of accounts. What adds value to them is having their accountant available to discuss their business issues with (without getting over charged!) and for this key advisor to be interested in them and their business.
It you just offer the service your competitors do why would your customers stay with you? They would be better off going for a cheaper option if the service they will get is the same!
If you really connect with your customers so they see you as an integral part of their team, and recognise the value you bring to their business, why would they go elsewhere? And how do you find out what is really important to your customers? TALK TO THEM!!
I am probably preaching to the converted, but I know that many business owners are not asking their clients exactly what they value. The reasons are complex. We Brits are not very good at talking money, let alone putting ourselves on the line by asking our customers what they think of us. However, the act of doing so shows our customers that we care what they think. That we want to provide the right service for them.
Getting to grips with the value proposition can ensure you don’t have to drop your prices to win work, or retain customers.
One last thing, we all know it is much cheaper to retain a good customer than to win a new one. So I see spending time with my customers to cement the relationship as part of my marketing activity. It’s a win win situation! They get an advisor who is interested in their business, available to discuss their concerns when they need to, and some one they are confident knows them and their business well. I get to better understand my customers businesses so I can give them the best service I can.
Thanks to http://www.freedigitalphotos.net
One of the great joys of working as a ‘CIMA MiP’ (“Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, Member in Pratice”) is that we are generally dealing with ‘small’ and ‘micro’ client firms (micro defined by EU regulations as firms with less than 10 employees/ £2m turnover; small defined as firms with less than 50 employees/ £10m turnover) and that we become involved in an enormous breadth and depth of subjects.
One of the less welcome challenges however is that as far as most small and micro business owners and managers are concerned, one accountant is the same as any other and this includes the myriad unqualified accountants who practice their particular brand of accounting services at rock-bottom rates. Indeed it is rare that I have been asked whether I am a ‘qualified’ accountant, and is rarer still that I am asked what that qualification is (in fact I cannot ever recall being asked that question by a client). The client generally assumes that because one calls oneself an ‘accountant’ then one can ‘do accounts’ and that accountants are all the same.
My particular practice specialises in manufacturing clients and most new clients have come from existing client referrals. Fortunately I do not need to be a great sales person to convert a prospect into a new client when (a). there is a recommendation from an existing client and (b). we appear to ‘speak the same language’. Clients generally put this down to my having owned and run manufacturing firms and to some degree that is true, but is is also because of my CIMA training.
If you’re looking for year end accounts, audit, or tax computation then you will likely be talking to a ‘Certified Accountant’ or ‘Chartered Accountant’, but where they will be reporting back to you on how well (or otherwise) you did overall last year and what your tax liability is, the CIMA ‘Chartered Management Accountant’ will be working with you to establish what activities made money and why, and whether you can do more of it, and of course which did not and how to avoid this in future; indeed the focus is very much ‘future’ as much as ‘past’.
In terms of the client business, it’s not difficult to see that helping the client to understand their business is a valuable element in managing, changing, and improving the business, and this is something which CIMA qualified people have to offer any business, so it’s a great shame that Chartered Management Accountants tend to be employed by big businesses who understand the difference between the different accounting disciplines.
None of this is to say that a Certified Accountant or Chartered Accountant could never do what the Chartered Management Accountant does, but it is not what they have been trained to do and equally as a Chartered Management Accountant in practice for twenty-two years I provide a ‘full service’ including year end accounts and tax returns for my clients, albeit the main focus remains helping them to improve their business.
I would urge Chartered Management Accountants to seriously consider a career in the small and micro business sector which accounts for 99.3% of the 4.7 million businesses in the UK (source: BIS 2013) and 47% of private sector employment (source: FSB 2013) and which is a vital part of the UK economy: whether in practice servicing a number of clients, or a full-time employee of a particular firm, I am sure that you will find the experience very rewarding
I would equally urge owners and managers in that sector to become aware of the differences between the main accounting bodies and the relative strengths of each, and to be sure that whoever they engage with will meet the needs of their particular business.
Paul Driscoll is a Chairman of CIMA MiPs in South West England and South Wales, a director of Central Accounting Limited, Cura Business Consulting Limited, Hudman Limited, and a number of manufacturing companies, and is a board level adviser to a variety of other businesses.