Your accountant should be an integral part of your business team – someone you trust and feel comfortable discussing all your financial affairs with. If your current accountant is only helping you with your end of year accounts then they’re not helping you enough.
There’s a range of proactive advice your accountant should be giving you to help you grow your business. This advice can help you increase your sales, improve your cashflow and get more customers. At the end of the day the sooner you improve those areas, the sooner you can retire!
So what sort of things can an accountant help me with? The answer to this depends largely on your specific situation (although the answer is never just filing your tax and GST returns). Amongst other things, an accountant should:
- Prepare your accounts (within one or two weeks of you giving them your info)
- Comparing your current year performance with what you’ve done previously, and against the performance of other business in your industry
- Help you understand where the cash has gone
- Assist with your annual budgeting process
- Compare your budgeted performance against actual performance on a monthly/bi-monthly basis
- Be involved in making key business decisions and helping you to understand what the consequences of the decision will be
- Work with you to develop the KPIs for your business, and from there creating systems to measure whether you’re achieving the KPIs
- Run “what iif” scenarios for you – for example if I increase prices by 2%, what will happen to my cashflow?
This is just a small list of the things your accountant can be helping you with. What does your current accountant help you with that you couldn’t go without? Morning coffee deliveries?