“They come in, tell us what we already know, leave and send us their bill.” Is this how you see the relationship with your accountant? Sadly, this is the relationship many business owners have with their accountants but the good news is it doesn’t have to be this way. In fact, get the right accountant and you could have one of the best business partners and advisers by your side as you grow your business.
How to tell if you’re getting the best from your accountant
There are some key factors when it comes to getting the best from your accountant. So ask yourself the following questions and take note of your answers.
- Do they understand your business?
Your accountant needs to know and understand not only your individual business but also the industry and sector you are part of, how business is done, the marketplace for your products or services and any factors that affect profitability. They also need to know if there are specific industry tax codes or tax breaks that could apply.
- Do they explain your financial statements?
It’s not uncommon to find business owners who don’t understand their own financial statements. A good accounting services provider will not only teach you how to read them but also how to use the ‘reports’ function in your online accounting package to run the reports yourself.
- Do they free you up to focus on your business growth and operations?
Outsourcing your accounts should mean no longer having to worry about the accounts, other than when your input or sign-off is required. You should be freed up to concentrate your efforts and your focus on growing your business and key day-to-day operational matters.
- Do they hit deadlines?
This is fundamental and for many business owners is the key reason why they outsource accounting in the first place. Penalties for filing tax returns or any other deadline-driven item late should be a thing of the past.
- Do they take a proactive approach?
Apart from preparing your tax returns, your accountant should be proactively looking for ways to maximise deductions and reduce your tax burden. They should also be using your financial statements to look for and suggest potential ways to save money or, indeed, make more.
- Do they provide advice and guidance to help grow your business?
Good accountants are also good advisers and will happily provide business and financial advice. Your accountant should be someone you feel you can turn to for an independent perspective on your growth strategy, investments and improvements.
- Do you look forward to meeting up with your accountant?
Frankly, if meeting up with your accountant fills you with dread, then take it as a sign that you are definitely not getting the best from them.
If you answered no to any of the questions above then it may be time to look at changing your accountant.
If it was a no to all of them then you need to make finding a new accountant a priority.
Email Jon now to find out how you will get the best from Approved Accounting.