The phone rings, you pick up.
It’s your accountant asking you to submit your books ready for the end of the year. You tell them you will have the information sent over, and then you hang up. The next time your accountant calls a year has passed, and the cycle continues…
This is the typical compliance-led relationship many have with their accountant and we think it is far from rewarding for either party. The beginning of a new year is a great opportunity to reflect on the past twelve months and to prepare for the next, so now is the time to consider what you might learn - and what your business might achieve - if you had a more consultative relationship with your accountant and spoke to them more than once this year.
Business decisions don’t need to be made in the dark
As a business owner, you will undoubtedly face some difficult decisions. We find that many business owners often make critical decisions based on gut feel, without the insight that reliable financial information can provide to back those decisions up.
By engaging with your accountant on a regular basis and turning to them to provide financial information in advance of making business decisions, you gain access to a virtual Finance Director.
Someone who is always on call when the need arises, someone who knows your business inside out and has your key financial data to hand when you need it. Working in this capacity, an accountant can help you with budgeting and monitoring your cashflow, provide advice on when to hire a new employee, purchase a premises, set up a holding company and much more, allowing you to navigate any business hurdles more effectively.
As accountants, we can also advise on any short- and long-term effects that your decisions might have on the financial health of your business. Don’t just go with your gut, consult your accountant and let them give you the facts you need to make informed decisions.
Identify opportunities and anticipate issues
Having a full appraisal of your company’s current financial situation, and how it might look in the future, provides the sort of insight that allows you to anticipate - and often resolve - issues before they arise. On the flip side, sitting down with your accountant on a regular basis to carry out a review of your company, and benchmark it against your competitors, can also result in valuable opportunities being identified.
Your accountant will be able to look at and advise you on your business objectively, without the preoccupation that comes with managing the day to day operations. It may be the case that there are obvious financial ‘wins’ your accountant can spot immediately and guide you on, or flag up issues as they arise, before they become too problematic to resolve. Either way, can your business afford to not have the benefit of foresight?
Pinpoint cost savings
Speaking to your accountant regularly will not only ensure you don’t pay more than necessary in your end of year tax returns, but allowing us to take a closer look at your business operations could result in savings all year round, by making you as tax efficient as possible.
Tax efficiency isn’t just about paying on time, how and when you choose to do it must also be considered. Regulations are often subject to change and, as accountants, we keep on top of these and can advise you on how any changes might impact your business. You could save money by avoiding a late penalty or benefit from a change in legislation which you may not have been aware of, for example.
We can also work with you to advise on cashflow and cost control, identifying the areas there may be problems and providing guidance on how these can be resolved.
Your business might be eligible for grants or funds
Is your business in need of a cash injection? As well as advising you on how to manage your money, accountants can steer you in the right direction when it comes to raising finance or securing grants and funds. With a diverse array of finance options and funds available to small businesses, we can help you identify the ones that best fit your specific requirements and guide you through the application process.
Working with a good accountant should benefit your business year-round, not just when it comes to your end of year tax returns! So why not get in touch with us to ensure you are making the most of your accountant’s services.