Getting the best out of your accountant is crucial for the financial health and success of your business. Accountants play a pivotal role in managing your finances, ensuring compliance with regulations, and providing valuable insights for strategic decision-making. Here are ten tips to maximise the impact your accountant has on your business’ success …
1. Clear communication
Establishing clear communication is the foundation for a successful partnership with your accountant. Clearly articulate your business goals, financial concerns, and any specific expectations you have for their role. Regularly update them on changes within your business so they can adapt their strategies accordingly. But it’s a two way thing and a good accountant will keep in contact with you throughout the year proactively – BUT don’t just wait for them to call you. Call them. Drop them an email and let them know how it’s going, good and bad.
2. Set and manage expectations
Clearly define the scope of work and expectations from the outset. This includes the frequency of financial reports, the level of detail required, and any specific deadlines. Having a mutual understanding of expectations helps avoid misunderstandings and ensures that both parties are on the same page.
Worried about additional contact costing more? Get yourself onto a fixed fee. Even better, pay for it over the year in monthly instalments. Your accountant will soon tell you if something is going to cost more.
3. Provide accurate and timely information
To enable your accountant to perform their duties effectively, provide accurate and timely financial information. Maintain organised records, promptly submit required documents, and keep them informed about any significant financial transactions or changes in your business.
A good accountant will help you keep on top of current figures and share good business practices, introduce you to something you hadn’t thought of, steer, discuss the pros and cons, decide and take action. And keep you accountable – You’ll do what you told yourself (and them) that you’d do, because you know it’s for the best. You’d be mad if you didn’t, because it was a calculated decision. And you’ll most likely be better off for it, either in the mind or the pocket or both.
4. Utilise accounting software efficiently
Implementing efficient accounting software, such as Xero, can streamline the financial reporting process. Work with your accountant to choose the right software for your business and ensure that your team is trained to use it effectively. This not only saves time but also reduces the likelihood of errors.
5. Regularly review financial reports
Schedule regular meetings with your accountant to review financial reports and discuss the insights derived from them. This collaborative approach allows you to gain a deeper understanding of your business’s financial health and identify areas for improvement or optimisation.
6. Seek proactive advice
A good accountant does more than just crunch numbers; they offer valuable financial advice. Encourage proactive discussions about tax planning, cost-saving measures, and strategic financial decisions. A proactive accountant can help you navigate challenges and capitalise on opportunities, helping you to see the wood for the trees. They can do this because they aren’t right inside your business, like you are. They are on the outside looking in.
7. Stay informed about tax regulations
Tax regulations are constantly evolving, and staying informed is essential. Work closely with your accountant to understand the implications of any changes in tax laws on your business. This ensures compliance and helps identify potential tax-saving opportunities.
8. Build a long-term relationship
Foster a long-term relationship with your accountant. A deep understanding of your business over time allows them to provide more tailored advice and support. Loyalty often leads to a higher level of commitment and dedication from your accountant. A good accountant is someone who is close to your business and knows it (almost) as well as you do, warts and all! They will be your unofficial business partner. One of the good guys.
9. Invest in professional development
A good accountant will be motivated to stay updated about industry trends, regulations, and advancements in accounting practices. This investment in professional development ensures your accountant brings the latest knowledge and skills to benefit your business.
It goes without saying that a good accountant is usually qualified (look for FCA / ACA / FCCA / ACCA) and keeps abreast of changes in laws and regulations. But it’s more than this. A good accountant is passionate about business, about maximising values (whatever these may be) and if you are an owner managed small business person, that may be the biggest asset your business has.
10. Provide feedback
Constructive feedback is essential for professional growth. Regularly discuss your satisfaction with your accountant’s services and address any concerns promptly. This open communication channel helps build a stronger working relationship.
In conclusion, getting the best out of your accountant involves effective communication, collaboration, and a commitment to mutual success. By following these tips, you can create a productive partnership that enhances the financial well-being of your business. Use your accountant wisely!
At Harland Accountants we foster all of the above into our everyday business practices. Find out more about our vision and values here.
3 Reasons your business needs us
1. Clarity and confidence
2. Financial partnership
3. Profit with purpose
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