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Financial success has always required identifying and proactively unlocking growth drivers in a business. In a rapidly changing business world, where everything has changed, growth drivers such as businesses analysis and diagnosis are at the top of the priority list and – if done competently and thoroughly – can deliver optimal results, boosting growth and driving financial success.

Growth drivers have been defined as those critical factors that determine or cause an increase in value or profits, or bring about major improvements in business efficiency, thereby creating strategic opportunities to accelerate business growth. In essence, identifying growth drivers provides focal points on which a business should focus its resources, including time, money and energy, to grow quickly and sustainably in the new and fast-changing environment.

“For most businesses, growth drivers include strategic planning, human resources, strong compliance and financial systems, and the innovative use of technology, among others. Of course, each business has its own unique combination of growth drivers and to identify these accurately, each business needs to be assessed individually and holistically,” says Tinyiko Mhlari CA(SA) and director at PSTM Chartered Accountants – a black female owned and manged firm, established twelve years ago.

It’s very different now, but some things stay the same

Business analysis and diagnosis are also among the classic growth drivers that apply to businesses across industries, geographies, and times. However, it has taken on a new prominence in a constantly changing world.

“Much has changed since the beginning of 2020. For example, there now seems to be a general agreement that technology is the answer to making people’s lives easier. In the workplace, employers have extended hybrid working models to many more employees than pre-2020. Across industries, companies have come to focus on what is important, much like what people have done individually,” explains Mhlari. “It is for this reason that PSTM Chartered Accountants places business analysis and diagnosis at the top of our growth drivers list to unlock financial success in the ever-changing world, because it provides insights and perspectives crucial to navigating this new and still rapidly changing business context successfully.”

Business analysis and diagnosis – a classic growth driver that’s now crucial

So what is business analysis and diagnosis exactly, and what does it entail in a practical sense?

Business analysis is a professional discipline, focussed on identifying business needs, challenges and current focus areas, and determining specific solutions, requiring a detailed analysis of internal and external factors impacting the business and an in-depth diagnosis of the problems.

“It means getting into the nuts and bolts of the business, so that better decisions can be made around the identified business priorities. Your finance team, whether inhouse or outsourced, could assist you in identifying the specific nuts and bolts that you need to be focusing on,” notes Mhlari. “The numbers remain relevant despite changes in the environment and companies and accountants or advisors need to stay on top of the numbers, which are not limited just to the finances, but extend to strategy, marketing, client base, suppliers and compliance.

“For example, to many entrepreneurs, tax planning doesn’t normally appear to be highly relevant. However, tax is the most consistent expense in any business, so planning your tax affairs optimally can unlock substantial value, especially because it also involves working through the business plan.”

Similarly, an in-depth diagnosis reveals what is going wrong in the business and how to put systems and processes in place to avoid recurrences; shows what is going well in the business – and how to replicate it; and indicates where the opportunities lie for reducing expenses, increasing process efficiency, maximising productivity, improving service quality and taking advantage of growth opportunities.

“This may, for example, highlight a lack of sales activities, which indicates that a sales strategy and plan, with clear milestones, is required, as well as reporting against this plan on a periodic basis that suits the business type,” explains Mhlari. “Some businesses may need reporting weekly, and some more established businesses may need this only each quarter or even annually.”

During the business analysis and diagnosis, hard financial, operational and structural data is collated and analysed in the context of the company’s business environment and individual features.

It is important to involve all corners of the business, while bearing in mind that financial teams provide crucial support to the entire business to ensure it runs optimally. When finance is doing a great job, no one notices! But when they are not doing it well, it affects all operations.

A thorough analysis and experienced diagnosis also enables viable solutions to be proposed. In essence, the outcome is a plan with responsibilities and deadlines, that can be implemented by outsourcing fully to the right accounting and audit solution or can be implemented inhouse with their support.

The right accounting and audit solution

PSTM Chartered Accountants offers tailored accounting and audit solutions, ranging from implementing and supporting inhouse finance teams to fully outsourced solutions. For more than a decade, the focus of this dynamic firm has been to help businesses identify and proactively unlock the specific growth drivers that boost their financial success.

Collectively, the firm boasts an impressive track record and experience in a wide range of accounting, tax and advisory engagements, in both public and private sector clients.

The diverse professional background and expert industry knowledge of the directors also encourage a broad perspective and a unique approach to each client.

A director at PSTM, Mhlari is a seasoned qualified Chartered Accountant (SA) and a Registered Auditor (RA), who co-founded PSTM with Phuthanang Motsielwa also a Chartered Accountant (SA) and a Registered Auditor (RA), 12 years ago.

“It is through our unique combination of sound technical expertise, industry knowledge and experience, along with a shared commitment to effect positive change in all our interactions with our clients, regardless of organizational size, that makes us different. At PSTM, we add value to our clients by unlocking their financial success through well-defined growth drivers and enabling timeous high-quality decisions. In-depth business analysis and diagnosis are but one of the growth drivers we optimise for our clients to boost growth and financial success in their businesses,” says Motsielwa.

“However, we believe that business analysis and diagnosis is a particularly important growth driver for businesses across industries in the much-different post-Covid world. If you would like to unlock business analysis and diagnosis as a growth driver and benefit from the full value that it can bring to your business – whether through outsourcing or by building inhouse capacity – we invite you to contact us on our websiteLinkedIn or Facebook, or on +27 (11) 656 0061.”

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