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Why you might need to break up with your accountant

Is your accountant more interested in your cheque book than you? In our previous Blog, “The vital questions your accountant should be asking you”, we talked about your relationship with your accountant, and how it’s not just about the numbers.

Today, we’re going to talk about how your business can only prosper by working closely with your accounting firm.

I often end up meeting potential clients who are looking at setting up a new business venture, and they rock up with a preconceived idea that whatever the venture is, a company is the best way to make it happen. The funny thing is, this preconception generally comes from a quick conversation with a trusted business associate, or even a fellow accountant.

The issue I have with this “advice” is that it’s only taking a quick look at the person, without asking the questions we need to come up with good, comprehensive advice.

The issue I have with this “advice” is that it’s only taking a quick look at the person, without asking the questions we need to come up with good, comprehensive advice.

From an accountant’s point of view, the compliance cost of a company can sometimes be two or three times greater than other options such as a sole trader or simple partnership. It often makes me wonder if the advisors are more focussed on the fee they can generate, rather than what’s in the best interests of the client.

So, what should you be looking for in a great relationship with an accountant, other than a mutual love of long walks on the beach? After all, it’s a lot like dating! You’ve got to weed out the bad ones to get to the gold.

Here are some things to consider:

  • Who does the most talking at the first meeting? If it’s you, then the accountant is asking you good detailed questions in an attempt to discover exactly what you need.
  • How often will you get to contact your accountant? If it’s once a year to review the numbers, dump them on the spot. Any boost in your financial situation isn’t going to occur by a review of last year’s numbers; you can’t change history but you can change the future.
  • You need unlimited phone and email contact throughout the year to sort out any issues when they come up.
  • Do you think the accountant is interested in your business? Ask them some searching questions to see if they really understand what you do, and what you need help with.
  • Does the accountant have a track record of working with businesses to improve their financial situation, or do they prefer to prepare lots of end of year accounts? An easy check for this is to see how tidy the office is – especially the office of the person you’ll be dealing with regularly. If the floor in their office is piled high with files waiting to be reviewed, find the nearest exit and get out of there.

If you want to learn more about how Oxen is a new breed of Accounting Firm with people who work closely with you to help your business prosper, get in touch with us today!

Contact us now!

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