Just when you’ve breathed a sigh of relief that you’ve filed this year’s tax return so thought’s turn to future tax returns. Preparing annual accounts, calculating, completing and filing tax returns…all are part of the bread and butter work of an accountant. But by working with the right accountant your business could be benefitting from so much more. In fact, they could even be the difference, directly or indirectly, to your business’ success.
While many see accountants as a necessary evil, the savvy business owner knows that, with the right partnership approach, his or her accountant will help them get the best from their business and be a key adviser at significant points in their company’s growth. As online accounting automates more and more of the traditional data gathering and recordkeeping elements of accountancy, so a new breed of accountants is emerging – the financial business partner or management accountant able to perform more sophisticated analysis and support crucial decision-making.
What business advice could your accountant provide for you?
An accountant capable of acting as a business adviser will be able to advise and assist on the improvement or implementation of a number of key functional and strategic measures that will impact positively on your business:
- Bookkeeping – having year-round access to accurate financial information is vital, as this is what you will base future business decisions on. Work with an accountant who can recommend the most suitable and efficient method of gathering and recording this information, which can be accessed anytime from anywhere, e.g. cloud accounting such as Xero.
- Management information – you need to be aware of the financial position of your business at all times, to avoid discovering costly, even disastrous, mistakes when it is too late to do anything. This can only be achieved if you have access to up-to-date management accounts, such as analyses, trends and forecasts.
- Profitability – with your year-end accounts and up-to-date management information in front of you, your business adviser accountant will discuss ways of improving your business performance. Topics for discussions could be maximising your gross profit margin through your pricing policies, improving cash flow and reducing debtor days through improved credit control.
- Growth and investment – before pursuing a business growth strategy or making a capital investment, talk to your accountant who can advise on the impact that could have on the company’s financial position. If you are considering investing in a new or existing business, they can look at the company’s accounts to check everything’s in order.
- Finance – when you approach a bank for a loan, they like to know it’ll be repaid. Your accountant can present the figures and forecasts that will reassure lenders that you can repay any loans.
- Long-term objectives and exit plans – by having an understanding of your future goals, both personal and business, your accountant will be able to advise on possible strategies and the steps you need to take to achieve them.
Playing a strategic role
The accountant as business adviser or business partner can play a key strategic role in the success of your business but this role requires a different set of skills to the traditional role of accountant. Make sure you work with an accountant who is strategic, focussed on the value of the information they provide, extracts and correlates financial figures to help your business make relevant decisions, which are closely aligned with your business strategic outcomes.
Are you getting most from your accountant? Contact us now for more accounting advice and a free consultation to discuss how your business could benefit from our strategic accounting services.