5 Signs you have outgrown your accountant

  • Written by Liston Newton Advisory

Having the right accountant for you could mean the difference between bringing home a slice of pie or the whole pie. As your choices in life change with time, the impact those choices may have on your financial accounts could result in the need for a different accountant.

If you aren’t sure whether you have outgrown your small business accountant, these 5 signs serve as a good indication that you probably need a new one.

1. You are looking for more proactive advice

There may come a time when seeing your accountant once a year to sort your tax returns is no longer sufficient. You may find yourself wanting advice on how to grow your business from a tax perspective and the need for an accountant who is able to provide more proactive advice becomes imperative.

A more engaging accountant will be able to advise you on how to set up your business structure to minimise tax while protecting your assets. Proactive accountants will be able to accommodate regular meetings for coaching and advice on structuring and operating your business more efficiently.

2. You want to move to the cloud

If you’re looking for a way to improve the efficiency of your business in a current and digital fashion, you may need to move on from your current accountant and find yourself one who is familiar with cloud technology.

Highly proficient, modern accountants often utilise accounting software such as Xero cloud to help business owners automate accounting tasks such as payroll functions, employee superannuation payments, bank account reconciliation, tax statements and financial statements.

Xero also offers the ease to document receipts by simply snapping a photo using your phone’s camera and uploading it and provides the capacity of creating more than 40 different financial reports allowing you to manage larger business visions. As the entire platform is digital, it is easy to view and access your critical figures whenever necessary.

3. You need specialist advice

Some accountants aren’t able to provide specialist advice which is a good reason to find an accountant who can evidence that they have worked for companies in your industry thus are able to provide specialist advice.

To gain the most from your accountant, they need to be familiar with the type of work you engage in to maintain current knowledge on the applicable industry tax breaks. For example, if you are dealing as a franchise, there will be specific challenges relevant to you that won’t be an issue for other businesses. Some of these challenges include having increased overheads and franchising fees along with the need to provide customer service and training materials for staff members of your franchise.

If you operate a franchise, consideration should be placed in engaging an accountant with specialist experience in advising franchise businesses.

4. You lack trust with your accountant

As your accountant is responsible for dealing with your financial accounts, it is critical that you find one you can trust and rely on.

Good small business accountants provide excellent customer service and maintain an easy line of contact. This means taking the time to explain financial reports in both the perspective of a business owner and the business entity.

Being able to trust and rely on your accountant is essential for the delegation of tasks to occur as this will allow you to focus on more prominent aspects of growing your business with the relief knowing that your financial obligations are in order.

Trusting your business accountant also goes a long way when dealing with government authorities and the Australian Tax Office. As your accountant will be responsible for lodging forms and ensuring that your business is compliant with all rules and regulation, you will need to know that they are trustworthy and reliable to be in compliance and to meet deadlines.

5. Your current accountant isn’t helping with future planning

Your small business accountant should act as a financial advisor as well as a business advisor with the ability to help you plan for succession. Having an accountant who can provide you with full-service financial advice with an in-depth understanding of your financial situation will assist your business growth significantly.

If you find yourself relating to any of the points above, it may be time to find another business accountant for better business advice.


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