As Covid 19 and the Drought put the economic brakes on, business advisory services firm BM Accounting got to work helping clients refine their businesses and plan for the future.
The 35-strong team at BM is looking positively to the future of Hawke’s Bay businesses. It continues to expand and improve its service offering to better cater to clients’ needs and has made a significant investment in its Central Hawke’s Bay presence with its new office in Waipukurau.
The team of nine CHB staff moved into their new office in mid-June, and BM celebrated its official opening on July 31.
The firm is led by directors Tony Mossman, Nick Chrystall, Donna Drake, Kate Laugesen and Matt Rogers.
They offer a wide suite of services, including strategic business planning and advice, valuation, agribusiness expertise, business intelligence, and traditional accounting services.
For many clients Covid 19 put business on hold, and with the support of BM they seized the chance to go back to the drawing board, Matt says. “It was a great opportunity for the team to engage in different discussions with clients and be more future-focused. We could look closer at our clients’ products and services, and how they could be offered during lockdown and in future, and the infrastructure and resources needed.”
Some clients developed products and services for online-delivery during lockdown, and have continued to improve them. Others took the opportunity to delve into data captured by their systems and gain deep insight into their businesses, including which areas were most profitable and the key drivers of that profitability.
BM itself took the chance to explore its services and how they are delivered, connecting more with clients online and facilitating their greater use of online services and resources. “It was a great resilience test for us, and again was a chance to look at clients’ needs and be flexible in responding to them.”
BM’s past investment in its own systems meant it was largely business as usual, with staff transferring seamlessly to their home offices and offering the same high-quality service to clients during what was a stressful time for many. “We were available and nimble in our response. Our services were crucial in ensuring clients got the support they needed, not just from us, but from banks, lawyers and the Government.”
The pandemic and the drought with its impact on clients reinforced the values underpinning BM’s services and its catch-cry, ‘Be More’.
“We aim to be resourceful, with the strongest team offering the best range of services in the Hawke’s Bay. We have recently undergone a recruiting drive to widen our service offering – we are looking ahead to what our clients will need.”
“We strive to be on top of the technology so our clients stay ahead of the game. We have encouraged them to invest in real-time accounting systems, allowing complete oversight of their businesses and the ability to collect and analyse data.”
“We are vigilant in holding our clients and ourselves accountable to goals. We encourage a ‘challenge’ culture – where we challenge ourselves and clients to get better every day and have the difficult conversations that may force change.”
“But most of all, we try and bring a really human approach to clients – ultimately it is the people behind the businesses that matter, and we want to help them achieve their goals whatever they may be.”
“These values – particularly the human focus - were all incredibly relevant at a time when our clients were feeling some pressure and needed the best support available.”
Economic activity in Hawke’s Bay has bounced back post-lockdown and the region’s strong primary industry base stands it in good stead in the long term. But there is still uncertainty about what the short term holds.
“BM is committed to working closely with clients in forecasting and planning to make sure they are best-placed to respond to conditions, and ultimately achieve their goals.”