How to get the most from your Accountant

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Growing businesses rapidly find they need the services of an accountant in order to help them manage the finances of their business. But which services do you actually need, how should you pay for them, and how do you make sure you’re getting good value for money?

Here’s our top 5 out of 10 tips for getting the most from your accountant while managing the cost of its service." data-share-imageurl="">

The best accountants add value to your business, all for an affordable cost that you can control.

Growing businesses rapidly find they need the services of an accountant in order to help them manage the finances of their business. But which services do you actually need, how should you pay for them, and how do you make sure you’re getting good value for money?

Here’s our top 5 out of 10 tips for getting the most from your accountant while managing the cost of its service. These are important issues to address; used effectively, your accountant can make a huge contribution to your business’s growth. 

1. Use Fixed Fees 

Agree on a fixed fee for your accountant’s services, rather than paying by the hour. This will enable you to plan ahead for the cost of the work and to control costs. The fixed fee agreement should come with clear detail on what you’ll get in return for your money, but you’ll also have the option of commissioning additional work should it prove necessary. 

2. Be realistic about your budget

While it’s important to keep a tight rein on all costs, accountancy fees included, review your budget on a regular basis. Over time, the work you require from your accountant will change – you may need additional, more wide-ranging services, or less support as the business becomes large enough to support more in-house staff. Update budgets according to what your business needs. 

3. Buy what you need

Most accountants offer a menu of services so think carefully about what you actually want. In particular, look at the support an accountant can give you as you try to grow your business – ongoing advice and feedback based on the financials your business is generating and the accountant’s experience and knowledge working with other firms. Equally, don’t pay for what you’re not getting. 

4. Timing is crucial

The frequency of the work your accountant produces can make as much difference as the work itself. If your interactions are occasional you may be satisfying your compliance responsibilities, but you won’t be getting timely analysis of trading and business performance that you can put to good use. 

5. Seek their business advice

Accountants who work with small companies also tend to have a deep understanding of everything from pricing strategies to cost controls. Result: If you’re facing a business challenge, make sure to bring it up and ask for your accountant’s input. They understand business as a whole, even if it’s something that doesn’t have anything to do with numbers.”

6. Stay in touch 

Don’t limit your contact to tax season. Meet in person or call quarterly, or even every month. That way, your accountant can help monitor your business throughout the year. If you only meet, say, when the year is over, you’ll miss out on all sorts of potential recommendations.

7. Come prepared - and be a student

Make sure you have the proper documents and records with you when you meet. If you’re not prepared the first time, your accountant should tell you exactly what to take with you for the next appointment. In addition, if you don’t have a thorough understanding of finance, your accountant should be able to help educate you about not just key financial measurements, but metrics that are especially important for your industry.  

8. Look for their help in getting a loan 

If you’re applying for bank financing, your accountant should be one of your key resources. Of course, you’ll get help preparing or gathering the appropriate documents. But that should include not just looking at your balance sheet, but also offering advice about what to put in your business plan. And, consider taking your accountant along with you when you meet your potential banker, especially if they already know each other.

9. Tap their networks 

 

Most savvy accountants are connected to a network of lawyers, bankers and other professionals who might be helpful to you. What’s more, your accountant probably has clients in a variety of other fields, people you might want to get to know. Be sure, then, to find out who some of those clients are and explore how you might be able to help each other. 

5. Relationships matter 

It’s your accountant’s responsibility to make an important contribution to your business’s growth, but if you don’t trust them, or feel comfortable talking frankly and openly with them, you won’t be able to take full advantage. An accountant should be a trusted business partner who is able to provide constructive support as you run your business. If that’s not an accurate description of your relationship, it’s time to ask why. 

Tax Block Accountants - your business advisor, accountant, tax agent, bookkeeper, financial planner, and Home loans expert all rolled into one. Get ready for real advice not just accountancy.

We put you in control. You choose the services that you need, and we’ll deliver them all at a price you can afford.
If your accountant is not fulfilling your needs, it’s time to have a chat to us.

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Share it now!

Growing businesses rapidly find they need the services of an accountant in order to help them manage the finances of their business. But which services do you actually need, how should you pay for them, and how do you make sure you’re getting good value for money?

Here’s our top 5 out of 10 tips for getting the most from your accountant while managing the cost of its service." data-share-imageurl="">