If you could pick two people to trust your business with, would your accountant be one of them?
Even though you are in control and running your business, every so often you need a little something or someone to help. It may be for advice on a new product launch, a marketing campaign or distribution channel, cash flow, financials, or risk management.
Whatever the issue, it is good to have sound people at your disposal.
However, would you totally trust that person with decision making, intimate information and win-lose decisions that could rock your company either way? That’s a bit different isn’t it?
For starters, asking advice from someone who is not really informed or positioned to provide adequate advice to the problem, would be more damaging than helpful.
For example, asking your brother-in-law about an investment fund for your excess cash because he works in the accounting department of a major company, may not pan out as he really has no direct knowledge of your business operation, or the short and long term needs for cash requirements.
So, who is best positioned to be trusted? Who do you go to for sound advice based on a keen knowledge base of your operation?
It may be your accountant, however that answer depends highly on the type of accountant relationship you have.
If your accounting firm talks to you 3-4 times a year and they are doing much of the talking that is one indicator to question. They may be filing your quarterly and annual reports and returns, generating the occasional cash flow projection, but do they really know what is going on inside of your business operation other than the numbers you pass to them for crunching?
Are they working with you on a regular basis to increase revenue, profit margin, reduce expenses? Do they essentially have an interest in your success? If the answer is no to any of these, perhaps you should be selective about the trust and quality of the advice you may receive if you reach out.
We, personally, would term that type of accounting firm as an “A” type. Mind you there is nothing wrong with the “A” type accountant-client relationship. In fact, many small businesses have it and like that set up. “It is what it is” they say, “It is what an accountant does”.
But, there is another type of relationship to have with your accounting firm. Let’s call that a “B” type. So what’s a “B” type?
It starts with your accountant asking a lot of questions about what makes up the numbers of your financial quarters, and annuals, then dives into probing of why the numbers come out the way they do, what can be altered to improve them, how they can help.
Asking an abundance of questions and probing is the first indicator that you have a “B” accounting relationship.
Frequent and in depth communication is another indicator of a “B” type relationship. You should expect more than 3-4 discussions per year, and it should be your accountant that reaches out, not the reverse. This frequent communication helps builds trust between two people, and positions your “B” accountant to have a current understanding of the issues and operations of your company, helping them to step in for advice when needed.
When it is your accountant that is raising the subject and potential ideas to increasing revenue, reducing expenses, formulating the setting for increased profit for your company, you have a second person in the game with the same objectives as you, the business owner. Again these are traits of the “B” accountant relationship.
This all builds trust and knowledge base that you need…so you can go to that key person for sound, informative, and expert advice when needed. This philosophy and focus is at the heart of Oxen. We have a very close relationship with our clients and make every effort to help, all of the time. We strive to be the quintessential “B” type accounting firm.
It may be a relationship that you never knew could exist with your accountant, but indeed there is a possibility of it for your company, with the right type of accounting firm.
Want to know more? Why not arrange a call with us so we can talk and see if we have the basis of a great relationship together.