The first time you approach an accountant you may be unsure of what you’re looking for, or most importantly what the right level of support is for your business growth.
Then as your business grows and becomes more established, you may begin to question if your accountant is still right for you. However, it’s important to understand that whilst most accountants provide very similar compliance services there are few accountants that provide a range of different services designed to support you and your business as it grows and develops, whilst keeping you compliant.
So here are 5 ways your accountant should be helping you grow your business:
1. Tailored Advice.
As a client, your accountant should make you feel valued not like another number they’re punching into Xero or various HMRC portals. Your accountant should know who you are when you get in contact and know the ins and outs of your business. It is important that your accountant asks you plenty of questions and builds an open and honest relationship with you. When an accountant knows you and your business well, they will be able to provide you with the highest level of support and advice for business growth that is unique to your personal situation. This advice shouldn’t “just” be tax related it should be about the specifics of your business. This type of relationship will help you build the right rapport with your accountant making it easier for you to share essential information about your business and personal situation.
2. Complimentary Reviews.
Your accountant should offer you a complimentary meeting at least once a year. Your business can change a lot in a year and it’s easy to forget to keep everyone in loop whilst you’re busy doing what you do best! An annual review meeting provides you with the opportunity to review of your accounts or other works completed throughout the year whilst your accountant highlights areas of focus. This meeting should be a high-level review of the numbers with discussions around costs or strategies to improve productivity. The detail behind the numbers is critical; it’s when you get to that detail that you can start to discuss any challenges and upcoming opportunities. This is when your accountant and business development teams can start to add real value to your business.
3. Growth Services.
From the early stages of working with you, your accountant should be helping you create strong foundations for your business along with some good habits (especially when it comes to records management). Your accountant will also be able to give you expert insight to make your cashflow forecasts precise and reliable and if you are unsure how to complete a cashflow forecast your accountant should be able to create one with you. As you grow your accountant can give you additional support from tax planning, legal company structures, payroll management the list goes on! Finally, if you’re looking for business growth or expansion, you’re probably trying to keep expenses low and reduce your overheads, but you shouldn’t cut corners when it comes to professional support. So, if you’re accountant offers business planning and business coaching along with other business growth services keeping business consultancy within the same space as the management of your finances makes good business sense.
4. Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s)
KPI’s are critical for business owners who want to increase profits, improve cashflow and ultimately improve business value. Your accountant should be able to work with you to identify 3-5 key drivers or KPI’s for your business. These may be financial, such as gross profit or average annual customer spend, or they could be non-financial such as customer satisfaction. It is then essential that you understand how to measure and track each KPI. Your accountant is uniquely positioned to understand your business at a high-level without daily involvement so KPI coaching should be a no-brainer!
5. Business Development.
If you’re finding it difficult to get your business to the next stage or have new products, services or ideas and you’re not sure how to start making a change, your accountants business development team will be able to help. Having a professional to talk through, discuss and even debate your ideas with is extremely valuable. From these discussions, you should be in a strong position to create a plan designed to consider all aspects that will make your ideas a reality. To ensure a successful change the focus should not only be on the product or service but also on the impact this change, or development may have on your exiting business and your customers along with how to market effectively, plan for expansion, monitor progress and ensure there is a level of accountability.
Finding the right accountant can be difficult but when you do find the right accountant it should be a smooth transition or start up process if you’re newly trading. You should feel comfortable having financial conversations whilst having the opportunity to discuss the best ways to grow your business.
If you don’t feel supported by your current accountant, it’s never too late to look at the options!
For a complimentary Discovery Call to discuss the most appropriate level of support, a personalised quote and a guarantee of our best possible service, please complete the form below and one of our senior advisors will contact you.
Or if you prefer, please call 01296 681341 for our Wingrave Bucks Accountants office.