You’ll hardly find any small business owners who haven’t used an accountant, unless they’re just starting out. Finding a good accountant is vital for both your personal and business affairs. At FirmChecker, we specialise in matching small business owners with the right accountants. In this post, we’ll look at 3 ways that getting the good accountant can help your business prosper.
How accountants can help beyond ‘just tax returns’
As SmartCompany points out in its article Seven ways you didn’t know your accountant could help you, accountants add more value than just filing tax returns.
Accountants give strategic advice to help set the direction of your business. They work with small businesses all the time, so their perspective shouldn’t be under-estimated. Good accountants keep you accountable (pardon the pun) to your financial goals and obligations.
They can also offer highly specialised services including advice on government grants, international taxation, forensic accounting, due diligence and audit.
They help you navigate tricky financial concepts
A lot of small business owners have great ideas and strong experience in the industry they’ve started their business in. But that doesn’t mean they understand a great deal about directors’ duties, the Corporations Act, financial statements or tax. Many small business owners don’t have the time or inclination to get their head around this information. Even ones that want to would generally be better served by doing what they do best – running the day to day of their business.
As Xero points out, a good accountant will help you understand the importance of cashflow, which customers are worth your time (and crucially, which aren’t!) and how to realise your big picture strategic goals. They’ll also take care of the many obligations you have as a business owner which you may not be aware of to varying degrees.
In summary, its their job to “keep [small business owners] out of trouble.”
3 Key Take-Outs
Accountants can make your life easier for in three critical ways:
- Time. They free up your time to focus on what you do well. They’ll be way more efficient than you are at managing your finances. You know as a business owner that time is money.
- Know-how. It’s not that you can’t learn basic accounting concepts – there’s just an opportunity cost in doing so and the chance you’ll make mistakes. A good accountant will help you understand what’s important so you can make informed decisions.
- Risk management. It’s not just end of year tax returns (although this is a weight off the mind). A good accountant will be proactive and stop things going awry financially while you focus on other things.
Your accountant is much like an outsourced CFO for your business. A good accountant will take care of key administrative aspects of your business, ensure you’re making sound strategic decisions and, of course, help you maximise your tax situation.
This can set you on a much more sustainable and profitable growth path in the long run.
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About the Author
Ben Farrow is the Managing Director of FirmChecker. He holds commerce (economics & finance) and law (Juris Doctor) degrees from the University of Melbourne and digital marketing certifications from Northwestern University. Ben helps small business owners and individuals find the best professional advice. He also gives tips and tricks on how to run your business more effectively.