We’re often amazed at the faith people put in their accountant, even when they’re actually getting a pretty poor service. It may be loyalty or fear of change that stops people seeking something better. More likely, however, is they don’t realise the service they’re receiving is in any way under-par.
If you’re not an expert yourself, how would you know if your accountant isn’t giving you the best advice, or doing all they should be to manage your business finances?
Unfortunately, some accountants get away with offering a mediocre service because they know it won’t be questioned.
That’s why we’ve come up with a simple checklist, to help you identify where your accountancy service might be lacking.
Ask yourself the following questions and if you find yourself answering ‘no’ to any, you might want to consider a change.
Do you speak to your accountant every month?
To ensure you’re keeping on top of your cashflow, and have a real handle on the health of your business finances, you should have regular update calls with your accountant.
Has your accountant ever asked you about your business or personal goals?
If they don’t understand what you want to achieve, how are they going to help you get there?
Do you feel your accountant understands your business?
If they haven’t taken the time to understand what you do and how you do it, can they really help you become more profitable? Your accountant should know as much about your business as you do.
Do you understand everything your accountant tells you?
Does your head spin when you finish a call or meeting with your accountant? If you can’t follow what they say, how do you know they’re doing the right thing for you and your business?
Does your accountant request information from you well before a filing deadline?
Your accountant will know well in advance that a filing deadline is looming. There’s really no excuse for leaving information requests until the last minute, other than bad organisation on their part! You could be risking mistakes if accounts are rushed or fines if deadlines are missed. Both are unnecessary and unacceptable.
Does your accountant use easy, up-to-date software to manage your books and accounts?
If your accounting system seems clunky and antiquated, or you’re still using paper ledgers for your accounts, you’re making hard work for yourself! Keeping up-to-date with the latest advancements will make your financial processes, and ultimately your business, run smoother. Your accountant should be helping you to do that.
Does your accountant offer advice on how to grow your business and profits?
An accountant who really has their finger on the pulse of your business will be able to spot opportunities to help you grow and succeed, whether that’s by making you more tax-efficient, help cut costs or streamline processes. They should become an integral part of your management team and be offering proactive advice at every step.
Does your accountant warn you of additional costs prior to invoicing for extra work?
Have you ever been shocked by your accountant’s invoice? Of all people, an accountant should know the impact unexpected costs can have on a business’s cash flow! Their costs should never be a surprise. If additional work is necessary, they should be completely transparent and make you aware of that before the work is completed.
If the answer to any of the questions above is ‘no’, you should question whether you’re with the right accountant. Chances are, they’re keeping you compliant but doing little else to help your business.
We believe an accountant should be central to the progression and success of your business. They should understand your motivation for running the business, have an in-depth knowledge of how the business operates, be in regular contact with you to analyse and discuss the figures and be able to offer inciteful advice on helping you achieve your goals.
That’s the way we work with our clients. If you’re not getting that, you’re not receiving the service you deserve.
If you think you could fall into that category, then consider a change. It could make a huge difference to your business – and your life!
At Get Smart Accountants we work with our clients to drive growth and help them achieve their dreams.
If you’d like some advice or support to get your business moving in the right direction, then we’d love to hear from you.
Call Emma or Paul on 01902 212937