More Crystal Ball, Less Rearview Mirror | AccountingWEB

More Crystal Ball, Less Rearview Mirror

OK, so no one has a crystal ball. You can’t predict the future. But you can be forward thinking in how you advise your clients. If you’re an accountant for small businesses, you’re in the position to take on a great role in stewarding their growth and development.

Our SurePayroll Small Business Scorecard® for May suggests some interesting points about how small businesses are doing in today’s economy. While 75 percent of small business owners are optimistic about the economy, hiring was down 0.3 percent in May.

It seems small businesses are finding ways to grow without hiring, through increased productivity and innovation. It’s what I would call a jobless recovery. Accountants should take note of this trend.

If you have a client who has been adding lots of employees to the payroll and not seeing significant revenue growth, you may want to ask them what’s going on. On the flipside, if they’ve been growing revenues but haven’t hired in a while, maybe there’s a way they can expand even further.

Help your clients understand where they are and how they’re going to move forward. Some will need more employees, but in this environment many will not. Just make sure you’re making them aware of the current climate and how it might affect them in the future, rather than looking backwards.

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Michael Alter, payroll expert with an MBA from Harvard Business School, is a nationally recognized spokesperson providing thought-leadership and sensible advice to help accounting and payroll professionals build deeper more profitable relationships with clients. Alter, President of SurePayroll, writes the Trade Secrets column on and is frequently published in Bloomberg TV, the Wall Street Journal, and Entrepreneur Magazine.

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