what should you ask your accountant
Business Basics, Start Up / New to Business, Tax & Accounting

What Should You Ask When You’re Looking For A New Accountant

I came across an article last week by Kochie’s Business Builders on what you should ask your accountant once you’ve chosen the right one for you. It was great to read as these are the same things (among a few others) that we discuss and address with our clients (new and existing). I would suggest though that you ask these questions on your search to find the right advisor for you.

We wanted to address the 5 questions and briefly what our answers to these would be.

#1. When should I get in touch and how?

Such an important question. Our answer to this is basically, whenever you have a question or need some guidance – we work with the principle of ‘Access Granted’ to all our clients. We want to be part of your team, a sounding board and source of guidance. If you are thinking about purchasing some new equipment, expanding your business, putting on new staff or just have a quick question on where to code something in your accounts we want our clients to feel free to pick up the phone or drop us a quick email. It’s so important that decisions are dealt with the right way first up, otherwise there is more time (and often money) spent rectifying the situation.

We also make a conscious effort to be touching base with our clients (no matter how big or small) regularly for a complimentary chat about how things are going and to ensure they are using us as their sounding board.

#2. How can you help me with my taxes and how should I prepare?

We can assist with all your taxation needs, whether Tax Returns, Business Activity Statements, Fringe Benefit Tax returns, employee payments etc.

Where appropriate we will refer you to bookkeepers to assist you with collating your information and getting it in the best format for us to process. The reason behind this is that bookkeepers will charge a lower rate than qualified accountants and it’s important to us we are delivering value to our clients. We have a range of quality bookkeepers we work with and ensure we match them to our clients based on personalities we feel will get along well and the way they work (e.g. Online-v-in person).

If we are processing simple individual tax returns for you we have a fully online system that is easy to use that assists you in submitting all your data.

#3. Can you help me weigh up financial decisions?

Absolutely! The key to being able to provide this information is having up to date and accurate information at your fingertips. This comes from ensuring you have the correct software implemented and you have it accurately processed to a customized set of accounts. This process is not difficult but will require you to work out WHAT information you need to know to ensure your accounts can give you that information quickly. There is no point having a file that to understand what is actually happening someone needs to spend a couple of days breaking parts down.

We are big believers in using technology and these days that means you can analyse your data quickly and accurately (providing the above is completed) to enable the best decisions to be made.

When it comes to investments, superannuation etc. We want you to get the best possible advice and therefore we will refer you to a trusted 3rd party Financial Planner to guide you through the process and make suggestions that meet your needs and risk profile. We chose this path as we believe they are experts in their area and therefore will deliver better value to our clients. We take no commissions from this process, our ‘payment’ is a happy client.

#4. How can I scale or grow my business?

This is again an area we can certainly assist in. Again, it means your accounts need to be up to date, accurate and customized for the information you need.

The key to growing your business is knowing not just your costs but also your drivers of income and what costs you can control. Sometimes they won’t be what you think they are. You also need to know what your margins are, and again they might not always be what you think. It’s analysing these areas, implementing changes and monitoring all of this that will assist you to successfully grow your business.

The other key to growing your business is mitigating risk and we will assist you to look at where your risks lie and what can be implemented to mitigate these.

Good planning with both long term (3-5yrs) and short term plans of 90 days with set targets will assist you to achieve your goals. We can assist with these tasks.

#5. How can you help me with my cash flow?

By having a budget, you can also implement a cash flow. This will assist you in knowing when your lean cash times are and plan on how to handle these. Cash is still King and it is often the demise of a good business that grows too fast. Ensuring you have options in place to fund your cash needs will remove unnecessary stress and time spent in a panic trying to rectify the issue.

Our Core Values at Lemonade Beach reflect how we work with our clients and you can read more about these here.

We hope today’s blog has given you some valuable information on how we can partner with you in your business to assist with more than simply tax returns and BAS statements. We would love you to contact us for a free consultation to discuss how we could partner with you in your business.

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