Relationships are the essence of business. No business could exist without relationships with suppliers, customers, employees and owners.

This might seem an obvious point, but it can be obscured by our tendency to talk about businesses as separate units with boundaries as sharply defined as the walls of the office,
factory or shop.

To some extent, this way of thinking about businesses is accurate. Businesses are separate legal entities.

But the concept of a business as a legal entity does not exist in nature. It only exists in the sense that, as societies, we collectively and reliably relate to each other as though businesses as legal entities are something real.

The point is that business is ultimately about relationships between people, structured by a framework of shared ideas. Business is a social activity.

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The better the quality of a business’s relationships and the more effective the shared ideas that structure those relationships, the more successful it is likely to be.

The importance of quality relationships, structured by effective shared ideas, is not lost on Paul Miller, Managing Director at Bodminbased Cornish Accounting Solutions, a long-term client of GI Outsourcing.

“What we love about the GI model is that it is a partnership in the true sense of the word. We are in this together and we are looking to create mutual benefit for both parties,” says Paul.

“To do that, you need to have dialogue.”

He says that when Cornish Accounting Solutions first started working with GI Outsourcing, some of his team would tell him that things had been changed by GI that they did not want changing, to which his response was to ask whether they had actually told GI.

“Unless you explain, unless you educate, you can’t expect people to mind-read and so, on the bookkeeping jobs, we actually say ‘this is the way we want it done and we don’t want you to disturb any of the analysis’.

“On some of the other jobs that we do, it is fine to change the analysis work, but there need to be certain parameters and some sort of communication so that both parties actually understand what is going on and what they need to do.”

He adds: “As the business grows, you have less involvement in some of the tasks because you quite naturally run out of time. You can’t do everything.

“So how do you get people to understand the way that you work, think like you and do things the way that you do? By using training, communication and education.

Cornish Accounting Solutions has used outsourcing generally for a long time and GI Outsourcing in particular for several years.

The firm began its partnership with GI through the flexible pay-as-you-go model, before moving to the Dedicated Resource Model, which sees it benefit from a dedicated member
of the GI team.

“What I love about the DRM model is that it is as if you have an employee in your office and you can allocate and prioritise the jobs.

“Having a good relationship with GI, I was able to ask my client manager after losing a couple of team members whether GI could take on more jobs for us and lo and behold they had the capacity to add pay-as-you-go jobs to our existing DRM work.”

This is an example of how a different set of ideas structuring the relationship between the firm and the work carried out, as a result of outsourcing, can help firms deal with challenges such as bottlenecks in workflow or skills shortages.

It can also enable direct employees to put a greater emphasis on building the relationships with clients needed to offer the all-important advisory services that businesses value.

Paul says: “GI frees up our UK team to talk to our clients. The GI team in the way we work with them at the moment will not necessarily have any direct interaction with our clients.

“Our UK team has the time to deal with queries on Xero or tax queries, for example. It is actually enabling us to make better use of our people.”

He adds: “If you don’t have a relationship with a client, which is generally built up over compliance work, you don’t get the opportunity to provide advisory work.

“First of all, we need to build that relationship and we need to build that trust.”

These relationships, according to Paul, are vital to gaining the understanding and knowledge needed to offer meaningful advice.

“That gives us some nuts and bolts of how that business works or doesn’t work,” he says.

These relationships are at the heart of Paul’s approach to business and his future plans for Cornish Accounting Solutions, where he wants to double fee income in the next five to 10 years.

“For me, it is all about building relationships – it is all about building the understanding, communication and trust that comes from dealing with people in an honest way.
“This enables us to offer more to our clients,” says Paul.

Ultimately, the firm’s relationship with GI has enabled it to strengthen its relationships with its clients to the benefit of all involved.

Listen to our Podcasts with Cornish Accounting Solutions

That GI Video Podcast: Cornish Accounting Solutions – Episode One

In this episode, we hear from Paul Miller, Managing Director at Cornish Accounting Solutions, about how their business has utilised technology and the involvement they have with Xero.

Paul also discusses Cornish Accounting’s journey with GI, as well as the transition they have made from pay-as-you-go to our DRM model.

That GI Video Podcast: Cornish Accounting Solutions – Episode Two

We’re back with another instalment of That GI Video Podcast with Managing Director at Cornish Accounting Solutions, Paul Miller.

In this episode, Paul discusses the advice he would give to those sceptical about working with an outsourcer, as well as what Business Advisory means to him.

That GI Video Podcast: Cornish Accounting Solutions – Episode Two

In our third and final episode with Paul Miller from Cornish Accounting Solutions, Paul discusses what’s next for their business and how GI fits in with that vision.

Paul also touches on being an accountant during the Covid-19 pandemic and how they have helped their clients through this difficult time.