In modern days where our entire lives are governed by multiple demands backed up by minimum standards, or more commonly, KPI’s those of us in professional service must continually consider the nature of the advice that is being given. Certainly from the perspective that it is technically correct and competent, that is a given, but also that we are quite genuinely offering the solution that is unequivocally the best most affordable solution for the client.

Going on from that, one should also be looking at how appropriate the solution is for the broader community, as well as those others that will deal with the client.  Regrettably, as society becomes more complicated and computers have multiplied the amount of information that can be dealt with, rather than necessarily simplifying the process at hand we can find ourselves in situations that appear ridiculous to the common man.

I remember many years ago being in the United Kingdom and visiting Bristol.  In Bristol was located the SS Great Britain, an early steamship that in its heyday carried passengers between the UK and northern Europe, but towards the end was famous for bringing immigrants to Australia.  As I was boarding I was offered the opportunity to buy a raffle ticket, I immediately posed the question as to what they were raising funds for?  I was promptly told that they were raising £GB2.5 million to fund a large four accounting firm to prepare an application for funding from the British Lottery’s office. I pondered what else a sum of money that large could have been spent on.

Then when you sit back and think about it further one could begin to imagine that the British Lottery’s office had at one stage approached its own advisors to seek their assistance in designing a form, was it a process or was it who knows what; that could be used by applicants in obtaining funds from the Lottery’s office. Quite possibly that advisor could well also have been one of the large four accounting firms.

One’s mind can be immediately run forward, contemplating was the system designed to truly make it easy for charities to obtain a fair and reasonable share of funds from a very significant charitable source; or had it actually been built around the potential future of guaranteed work for the adviser and their peers?

Today we consistently see processes becoming more complicated, more bureaucratic, and easier within which to make errors and often beyond the realms of the average man or baseline professional.

For small businesses they must become critically aware of their systems and processes so that they can ensure that they are as simple and efficient as possible.  Unnecessary complications will only make it difficult to train and keep staff, educate customers and clients and promote efficient operation.

Simplicity and efficiency enables small operators to quickly manoeuvre and change and adapt to the environment around them.  In many ways it is these traits that will enable the smaller operator to outperform and out deliver larger organisations!

Certainly, you must comply with legislation but it is critical that you do so in the most efficient, economic and effective way possible. Also by combining with industry associations and the like we must all gather to assist the market to identify ineffective and inappropriate processes that offer no genuine advancement.

Sometimes that process can appear visually greater and more complex than simply complying; but mere compliance will in the long term achieve nothing more than further added complications and cost.