Wouldn’t it be great if your accountant went above and beyond for your business? After all, few know your industry and business model better. Developing a friendlier working relationship is a great first step towards a powerful and beneficial collaboration with your accountant. Ask not what your accountant can do for you, but first, what you can do for your accountant!
Have Goals & Objectives
Accountants are masters of numbers and financials, but they are not mind readers. They don’t know your business plan as well as you, the owner do, nor do they know your hopes and dreams for the future. Yet both of these insights will definitely help your accountant be a better advisor to you, and a better accountant for your business. “Making more money” is not a clear enough business goal, by the way. How do you want to make more money? By raising your prices, by opening a new store, or by expanding your services? Don’t feel pressure to have all the answers, your accountant can definitely help you figure out what might be the best strategy given your industry and region- but the first step is to ask them to help you!
It’s also helpful to your accountant if you break down your overall, long term goal, into several smaller short-term goals, such as quarterly goals. This will help them plan, organize, and measure themselves.
Really, it simply isn’t very nice to hand over a garbage bag full of paper to your accountant. You most likely not their only client, and the more time they spend simply organizing your papers and deciphering your handwriting, the less time they have to find genius deductions or to find other savvy financial insights. Sorting through paperwork is not the best use of their talents, and it signals to them that you are not putting in any effort to the relationship (Who likes feeling unvalued?! No one). When wondering “is this my responsibility or my accountant’s?”- keep in mind that the accountant’s job is analyze, provide insight, and follow protocol in regards to your financials. If the task at hand doesn’t fit into one of those categories, it’s probably your responsibility.
You can also greatly assistant your accountant, and stay more organized with ease, if you utilize accounting tools such as an AR Management App, to give a crystal clear picture of your financial data. In general, digitizing everything you can will help your accountant with their analysis and assessment of your financials.
Your accountant’s job is not to give you fun advice, or tell you things you want to hear. They are an expert in financial health, so give their advice the same significance that you give to your own doctor’s orders – a lot of significance.
Your accountant can only do their job, managing and improving your company’s financial help, if you follow their advice. The fastest way to frustrate your accountant is to not heed their sound advice, then expect them to solve the complex financial problem created as a result.
When you feel like disagreeing with your accountant over their suggestion, remember that they’re goal is to help you grow your business and keep your money in order for the long term health of your company. You must help them, help you!