Most business owners are not happy with their current accountant. So why don’t they change accountants?
Studies show that we sometimes prefer working with the devil we know, to avoid the unknown or the adventure. This avoids the question mark while we find comfort in the norm.
But what if the norm is costing you money?
What if you found an accountant that could provide the insight you need to grow your business?
And do keep in mind that accountants are not all equal. It’s like comparing apples and oranges.
While this article is a bit of a shameless plug, I’ve put together a list of 5 urgent things you must get from your accountant in 2015.
1. Get insight from your numbers
I believe this is the main role an accountant should be providing you as the business owner.
Businesses benefit the most who work with an accountant that is constantly providing insight into their numbers.
Interpreting monthly results, analysing sales trends, planning, forecasting and helping to measure key numbers.
2. Plan your 2015 year
It’s important at the beginning of the year (or preferably before it starts) to plan for your 2015.
You need to review the past, and plan based on what you can achieve in 2015.
We’ve got a live planning workshop coming up in mid-January that will help you with exactly that.
3. Track your key numbers
Tracking your key numbers is a must – and a concept reinforced in the book ‘4 Disciplines of Execution’. You must keep score, and ideally in a visual way too.
For this, it’s best to have a live dashboard – something that both you and your accountant can see as it happens.
There are numbers that are harder to track in a live form, such as ‘number of sales meetings per week’. For this, you can use Jerry Seinfeld’s star method.
4. Adopt cloud accounting
If you haven’t already gone to cloud accounting, the time is now!
This is a no-brainer. The amount of time, effort and dollars that cloud accounting saves businesses is astounding.
Cloud accounting gives many benefits to businesses including:
- Automating menial tasks adding up to hours
- Bank data feeding in automatically
- Integration with other cloud business applications
- Real-time access to accounting data
5. Carry out tax planning
Tax planning is another area where accountants need to lift their game.
A good friend and consultant to the accounting industry says, “Accountants take the term ‘tax agent’ a little too seriously”.
Tax planning needs to be:
- Done immediately if it hasn’t been carried out before – often additions or changes to your business structure is required.
- Performed on an ongoing basis – at least every 12 months (we carry tax planning out annually for our business clients in the May to June period of each financial year).
It’s also important that your tax planning needs grow with the size of your business. When you’re starting out, there’s less scope for tax planning compared to when you’re going flat strap and shooting through the tax brackets.
How do you change accountants?
So the steps to change accountants might be a little daunting, but really the process is simple.
1. Find the right accountant for your business (we put together this list of 10 questions to help you);
2. It’s best you give your previous accountant the heads up with a phone call;
3. Your new accountant writes what is called an ‘ethical clearance letter’ informing of the change and requesting any records they need.
Just to clarify that third step, your new accountant can help with the process of retrieving the right information from your previous accountant.
Oh, and one last shameless plug: give us a call on 1300 852 747 or contact us if you are looking to change accountants who focus on the stuff that matters.