Helping SMEs unlock their growth potential and solve complex problems requires more agility and grit these days, and that’s exactly what Toyah Webster brings to her role as Assistant Manager at Grant Thornton New Zealand.
“If I can provide advice that’s meaningful and forward-looking, I know it’ll make a positive impact,” she says.
Highlights at a Glance
As a member of Grant Thornton’s Business Advisory Services team, Toyah’s focus is on building strong advisory relationships with her clients, and catering to their individual needs according to their sector. Working for one of the world’s leading independent assurance, tax, and advisory firms means that she has a wide-ranging portfolio of clients, from a variety of industries.
“Working with our clients is my favourite part of the job–whether they’re in the health industry, construction, or hospitality,” she says. “It’s exciting to talk to them about new ideas they’ve come up with, or the different ways they could go about building their businesses. From there, the beauty is in watching them scale and grow.”
A Start in Spotlight
Grant Thornton is one of the world’s leading organisations of independent assurance, tax and advisory firms. With a team of more than 56,000 across over 140 countries, their focus is on making a difference to clients, colleagues, and the communities in which they live and work.
“I’ve used Spotlight’s suite of tools to help our clients a lot more since the pandemic—including putting together more management reports, or doing forecasts and updating them so we can see what might happen this year and beyond.”
Toyah first joined the organisation in 2015, working as a Senior Graduate Accountant in their Christchurch office. This is where she began using Spotlight, starting her journey with us through our Dashboards.
“Initially, I was just using Spotlight Dashboard when preparing GST returns,” she says. “I’d give clients a snapshot of KPIs that were important to them, whether it was comparing YTD revenue or their cash position.”
By the time Toyah moved to Grant Thornton’s Auckland office, she was well equipped to join the Business Advisory Services team in using Spotlight for their advisory work. From there, it was an easy stretch for her to start incorporating Spotlight Reporting and Spotlight Forecasting into her services for clients.
Advisory in 2020
2020 has been particularly challenging for accountants and clients alike. As the economy began shrinking, clients needed to know what the best course of action was for their businesses. During this period, Toyah and the Business Advisory Services Team increased the number of monthly or quarterly reports and annual forecasts for their clients.
“I’ve used Spotlight’s suite of tools to help our clients a lot more since the pandemic—including putting together more management reports, or doing forecasts and updating them so we can see what might happen this year and beyond,” says Toyah.
She’s also noticed that there has been more urgency from banks in the last six months, and that reporting requirements need to be met a lot earlier.
“There are clients who have needed additional funding because of what’s happened,” she says. “This has meant that we’ve had to put Spotlight Reports together and keep the management reports up to date earlier than normal.”
Despite the initial worry, Toyah’s clients are now feeling positive about the future. A key aspect of this positivity is the ability to look and plan ahead, which is where Spotlight Forecasting came in handy.
“So for us, having a robust forecasting tool to provide some insight is a big value add.”
“The future has been a concern for some clients, who want to know if they’re going to have enough money to make it through,” says Toyah. “So for us, having a robust forecasting tool to provide some insight is a big value add.”
As for funding, her clients found that banks were receptive to the Spotlight Forecasts that Toyah prepared.
“Feedback from banks is positive, definitely,” she says. “The Spotlight Forecasts look professional and present nicely, and allows us to work with our clients to prepare integrated forecasts that meet the users’ requirements. They are definitely received positively.”
To find out more about Grant Thornton New Zealand, you can visit their website.
Ready to see how Spotlight Reporting can support advisory services at your Enterprise level firm? Book a meeting with our Enterprise Business Development Manager Vanessa Bosnich.