We came across a comment the other week which went along the lines of:
I am never sure why Accountants call themselves “Business Advisors” when in actual fact they mainly deal with the financial [or] tax implications of either your books or legislation.
Please tell me if my expectations are wrong, and am I wanting too much from my accountant [but] if an accountant classes themselves as a business advisor and they do your books, they must know more about your company than anybody else outside the company. From a business advisor I expect advice regarding all aspects of my company to make it stronger and more successful. Based on their knowledge of my company this should include company structure, markets, annual business plans, future direction etc.
The accountant of the person concerned is calling themselves a business advisor, but isn’t necessarily walking the talk.
Our response to the comment is that their expectations are in no way wrong. Business advisors should understand the most detailed aspects of a particular business, and should have the tools to help that business owner build a better business.
These tools may include benchmarking data, looking at how the particular business compares to others in the industry. They may help review trends on a monthly business so the business owner has real time data on their progress. They may also include business strategy or health check sessions to look at the overall direction of a business.
Ask your accountant what tools they’ve got to help you build your business. With the help of a business advisor you’ll be able to get things humming – just preparing a set of accounts and tax returns won’t cut it.