Working with an accountant can be a daunting experience, especially if you don’t feel like numbers are your strong point. Get started on the right foot by identifying what you need from your accountant before you talk to them.
If you are like a lot of our customers, you come to an accountant for more than just the “numbers”. You want a long-term relationship with someone who can understand what you need or guide you to understand what you and your business needs. You want someone to listen to you in a non-judgemental way, with a view to partnering with you on your business journey.
- Now this all sounds quite logical but is this the experience you have had?
- Do you ever come across advisors who are more reactive than proactive?
- Do you have to ask questions and prompt the advisor or is it the other way around?
The more information your accountant has, the better the quality of advice they can give you.
Make sure you find the right fit.
You would not choose a business partner, or hire a new employee, without running background checks and getting to know them first. Similarly, you should not hire an accountant without screening them beforehand. Don’t choose an accountant just because they offer the lowest fee. Instead, look for an accountant with the skills and resources your business needs and find the right match.
Ultimately though, one of the most important things is that you choose an accountant you like and trust, as you’ll have to work closely with them on potentially sensitive financial matters.
So what should a good relationship with your accountant be like?
The accountant should ask a lot of open-ended questions to ascertain how they may be able to help. The questions should be along the lines of:
- What is your current situation?
- What sort of problems does this make for you?
- If we could solve these problems would that be of interest?
- This is how we might be able to do this?
With a healthy dose of questions asked, and answers and facts in hand, you are ready to have a productive and prosperous future – one that focuses on growing your business.
As your relationship evolves from the ‘start up’ phase, make sure you check in with your accountant throughout the year. Meeting with your accountant regularly – not just to sign off end-of-year accounts – could add significant value to your business.
Bi-Monthly, Quarterly or 6 monthly review sessions are a great way to refocus on your goals, review the numbers and plan the future, ensuring you reach that yearly target and goal.
Your accountant should be part of your trusted team, an extension of your company board. So, build a better relationship with your accountant today – for the benefit of your business tomorrow.