Show Notes - Every Business Needs a Hero Podcast

Podcast Show Notes Series 2 Episode 1 | reports

Business Advisory - What, Why, How and Who | Hero Story - Four accountants who share their journeys, their wins and challenges. | S2 #1

#1 Laura Stauder – Empire Accountants
#2 Emily Ridley – Vault Accountants
#3 Tracey Rubens – Appy Books
#4 Clayton Wood – Business Edge Advisory

This special episode was recorded at 2022 XeroCon (Xero’s Annual Conference for the accounting and bookkeeping industries). In this episode, we  talk about what Business Advisory is (and if the definition even matters). Also we discuss our guest accountants’ journeys with business advisory, tapping into their knowledge and coalface experience, their wins, challenges, and takeaways. 

A bit about our guests

Laura Stauder works with Empire Accountants, an accounting firm based in Murarrie, Brisbane. Their clients range from small Sole Traders up to 10-15 million turnover. According to Laura, small business accountants function similarly to personal trainers. Laura takes us through some different types of advisory she bases on specific client needs as well as helping out with their current struggles and challenges. 


Emily Ridley merged her firm with Vault Accountants in November 2022. Emily is committed to helping clients so they may be more informed and have better decision-making processes, which will then inspire and ignite their passion for their business. Emily takes us through the advisory processes she follows, as well explaining the importance of the reports and their interpretation .


Tracey Rubens, from Appy Books, is a self-confessed numbers nerd, and was crowned the Bookkeeper of the Year in the Australian Accounting Industry Awards. Tracey is passionate about assisting small businesses in succeeding by automating their financial procedures, enhancing their cash flow, and enhancing their financial awareness.  Tracey chats about communicating with clients and making them care about what is important, the pricing points, and having the right staff and tools.


Clayton Wood is the Managing Director at Business Edge Advisory. He enjoys assisting business owners with the development of their brands, visions, values, and strategic plans as well as providing them with advice on how to scale and expand their enterprises. Clayton has a wealth of experience in business development advisory and we talk about empowering clients to help them communicate their needs, helping to discover the issues and stages they are at and tailoring the advisory solutions to those.  


Top 4 Takeaways

  1. Creating an individualized approach to tackling challenges and where clients are in their business. 
  2. Importance of getting the data, pricing points, the right staff and tools. 
  3. Looking at the 5 important things with your client and making them care about those;
  4. Understanding clients’ lifecycle stages and tailoring business development advisory to that, as well as empowering your staff to deliver.

Resources and Links

Find out more about our guests at

#1 Laura Stauder | Empire Accountants
#2 Emily Ridley | Vault Accountants
#3 Tracey Rubens | Appy Books
#4 Clayton Wood | Business Edge Advisory

Also, some links on how we can help you with our advisory journey..

Awesome Business Awesome Life Book – Get your copy here

The Less How, More Do approach to Business Advisory SuperFirm

Hot Topic Summary # 1 – What the hell is Business Advisory?

It’s everything other than taxes. Or is it? The key is knowing what advisory is to you, which will then help you comprehend the types of advisory work you are skilled to perform and the type of advisory that you want to do. Understanding these things will then help you market your services, look at the current client base and determine the financial targets to support your style of approach.

  • Review your client-base
  • Review your skill set or re-train
  • Teach your team 
  • Build a model

It doesn’t really matter what everybody’s definition of Advisory is.  What matters most is that you work on what you want to do, build a structure and implement it. 


Hot Topic Summary # 2 – What to do when the reports lose their shine?

The Accounting and Bookkeeping industry frequently sees advisory as just producing management accounting reports and as a result. all we’re doing is using similar software to create reports and send the clients a bunch of feel good graphs and numbers. Iwe focus too much on the numbers, we run the risk of ignoring the other things that clients are looking for.

  • Numbers are just a part of the story.
  • Know their wins and struggles.
  • Have conversations that lift the lid on the drivers behind the numbers.

Possessing the knowledge necessary to identify the issue and proposing solution is the crucial component that business clients occasionally fail to grasp.

This is where advisors add massive value.

And whilst they are crucial to that knowledge and analysis, numbers are only part of the story.


Hot Topic Summary # 3 – Resourcing Advisory.

Thinking of resourcing your business advisory division? Looking at different options you can take?  Many firms try and do everything. The reality is that you can’t have it both ways. If you want to work in advisory; you must choose it, if not, you need to get out of your own way.  Additionally, you must have adequate resources, either on the compliance side or advisory to achieve the focus needed

  • Partners are sometimes the worst to do advisory
  • Training junior staff
  • Bringing in outside resources

Quality advice only comes with experience. Nothing compares to the experience you have gained over the years of advising small business owners. Without experience, all you’ll be doing is following a procedure with the reporting produced by a software tool and very little value added.

If you can’t find the talent internally, outsourcing advisory  to an expert coach could be your best option.


Quick Question: “My clients aren’t interested in Advisory, what am I doing wrong?”

Top Tips

  1. Ask yourself: Do you have a product? Or are you simply acting impulsively and reactively with advisory?
  2. How much do you charge for the project and what value do you provide to the client.
  3. Know what your sales process is. And if you don’t have one, get one.


As featured on the Podcast

Podcast Show Notes Series 2 Episode 1 | reports

Resourcing Advisory

One of the biggest issues for Accountants and Bookkeepers in offerin g Advisory Services is resourcing. I’ve heard divergent views on this. First is this

Read More »