Monspire Meets Rory Spence
In the first of our Monspire Meets series, we’re speaking to Rory Spence of visionary accountancy practice The Wow Company. Having worked for the firm for almost a decade, we discussed the challenges of small business finance, how The Wow Company supports its clients and where the future of industry lies.
Who does The Wow Company work with?
"The Wow Company is an accountancy firm that specialises in working with SMEs. For us, this means businesses with anywhere from 25 to 75 members of staff and companies with an annual turnover of between £500,000 and £7 million.
These companies usually have a ‘functional’ accountant. By this, I mean they have someone that visits once a year to do the company’s taxes or maybe even monthly to sort payroll, but this is the extent to their support. As a result, the companies we work with are usually in need of extra help, more oversight of figures and help with budgeting and forecasting.
Most use a platform like Xero to manage the finances themselves, and this is usually done by someone who should be doing something else like managing a team or focusing on business strategy. Most of the time, this is the owner of the company.”
What's your role at The Wow Company?
“I primarily work in a new business capacity in a very client-facing role, speaking daily with firms that need help with their accountancy software or with other areas of finance and accounting.”
What does The Wow Company do? How do they help small businesses?
“We work primarily with the owners of small businesses, and these individuals should not be worrying about accountancy. Until they start speaking to us, they’re managing the whole process themselves or perhaps with one or two other team members.
Accountancy is so easy to outsource and makes so much more financial sense; it allows senior figures to focus on what they’re good at and what their business needs them for, be that managing or strategizing.
“At The Wow Company, we offer three main services. The first is that ‘functional’ accountancy role, looking after payroll and tax. The second is more comprehensive bookkeeping, raising invoices, running management accounts, making bank payments and forecasting cashflow for instance. Our third and final service is a more strategic role, providing accountancy advice and consulting, meeting on a quarterly basis and tracking progress against targets."
How has the pandemic affected you? What are customers primarily interested in now?
“Being a more premium accountancy firm, we were of course concerned with how much of our services would be dropped by organisations, and we were also, like most companies at that time, juggling staff working from home.
It turns out that many small business owners found that they needed more accountancy help during this period. Cashflow funding and forecasting was a priority and tangible accountancy advice was vital. We found that, since the pandemic, the owners of small businesses really value support and guidance a lot more than they did beforehand.
Managing finances when you’re not a finance expert without a global pandemic going on is hard enough. By engaging our services, businesses felt a lot more planned and prepared in a time of total uncertainty."
What do you feel is the future of accountancy?
“We actively encourage businesses to focus on a profit forecast as well as a cashflow forecast. You need to know how much money you’re bringing into the business as well as what your expenses are, thus predicting profits over the next month, quarter or year.
This is part of a trend that we’re starting to see in predictive reporting. Accountancy in the past has relied on reporting on past figures. While this is helpful and does inform future decisions, by proactively forecasting where a company is going each month rather than reacting to what happened in the last quarter, companies are far better placed and empowered by their finances rather than dictated by them.”