The AM Formula for Success

At Ashton McGill, we always strive to put the customer first. We’ve helped businesses with accounting and finance for over a year now, and since then, it’s grown arms and legs. We’re now lucky enough to work with a growing number of clients and a variety of different businesses. So, to better meet the needs of our broadening customer base, we recently reviewed our core value proposition. In other words, what it is that gives our customers value.


Using our clients as real-life examples, we mapped out their whole experience on the Value Proposition Canvas. What we help them do, what the pains are that come with these tasks, and the positive outcomes, ambitions and goals with which they measure success. We paid particularly close attention to the areas where clients are having challenges, some of which we hadn’t anticipated.


And we’ve discovered the one thing underpinning it all…




No matter what kind of business you are, this has to be right.


Bookkeeping is the foundation of any good business. If it’s not done well, it’s like building a house on sand.


formula for success

formula for success

formula for success


If you bookkeep and don’t understand the numbers, you’ll create more problems than you’ll solve. Without a good grasp of the numbers, you can’t prepare accurate accounts. And without good accounts, the core numbers you’re using to move your business forward will be fundamentally wrong. This can create a whole host of problems: stress, lack of direction, unexpected losses, extra time fixing these records which could be spent winning more business.


It’s a vicious cycle which we’ve seen time and time again, but there’s a simple solution: nail your bookkeeping! If this element isn’t right, your business will never be operating as well as it could be.


formula for success


Our Pyramid for Success


To highlight the integral role of bookkeeping, we’ve devised a little formula for success. Like a pyramid, it’s a ground-up system which requires the same approach as designing a house:

formula for success



Bookkeeping is the core foundation of any good business: you simply can’t build without it. Like the foundations of a house, bookkeeping ensures stability and support. It might be mundane, but it’s absolutely crucial to have accurate, up-to-date records. These will form the basis of every single financial activity you do, including growing your business. For tips and advice, check out our guide on being a badass bookkeeper!




Now that you’ve laid the foundations of your house by logging all your transactions, it’s time to lay the bricks. Cashflow offers a crucial insight into the health of your business, which can only be achieved with accurate records.




This is like the floors, beams, internal walls and ceilings of the house. Accounting reports are invaluable in helping you make informed decisions about your business.


With these three elements in place, your house is now starting to take shape. You can do these yourself, like a self-build house, or you can get the help of an expert (hello, that’s us!). A trained financial expert will provide solid bookkeeping, cashflow and accounting solutions, ensuring that the right foundations are in place for a successful business. You’re then ready to move onto the next two stages:




This is where we check the structural integrity of the house/business. How has it been built? Has it been built to plan? It’s a quarterly review of the business where we run through your accounts with one of our experienced team.




The last tier in our pyramid is like the key structural maintenance of a house, where we fix leaks, cracks and niggling problems. It’s an FD role where we are actively involved in the forward direction of your business, helping you to grow. With this ongoing structural maintenance, we’ll help you transform your business into a beautiful, fully functional and well-designed organisation. But we can’t do this without a really strong foundation of bookkeeping, cashflow and accounting, and a firm knowledge of the numbers.


When it comes to finance, you can equip yourself with a hundred different strategies, budgets and tools, but if the core numbers aren’t right, your whole structure will fall apart.


formula for success


The Main Takeaway


formula for success


So, that’s our formula for success! It’s essentially building from the foundations upwards to make your business stronger and more efficient. Bookkeeping, cashflow and accounting comprise the main structure of a successful business. Only when these are solidly built can you move on to the technical elements of review and strategy.


Stressed or overwhelmed with your bookkeeping? We’re here to help! Book a discovery call with us to have a chat about your options. Or, if you’re an existing client, email our support address and one of the team will get back to you asap.