Getting the most out of your accountant is like building any other valuable relationship – it takes open communication, clear expectations, and a willingness to collaborate. Here are some tips to maximize your accountant’s expertise and value to you:
Before you hire:
- Find the right fit: Not all accountants are created equal. Look for someone with experience in your industry or the specific needs of individuals like you. Ask for recommendations from friends, family, or business associates.
- Set expectations: Be clear about what you need from your accountant, whether it’s tax preparation, bookkeeping, financial planning, or business advice. This will help you find the right person and ensure they can meet your needs.
- Discuss fees: Be upfront about your budget and get a clear understanding of the accountant’s fees before you commit. Ask for a breakdown of fees for different services so you can compare apples to apples.
Once you’ve hired an accountant:
- Communicate regularly: Don’t just talk to your accountant during tax season. Schedule regular meetings throughout the year to discuss your financial situation, ask questions, and get advice. The more proactive you are, the better your accountant can help you.
- Provide accurate and complete information: Your accountant can only work with the information you give them. Make sure all your financial records are up-to-date and accurate. Be honest and open about your financial situation, even if it’s not good news.
- Ask questions: Don’t be afraid to ask questions, even if you think they might seem basic. Your accountant is there to help you understand your finances. The more you understand, the better you can make financial decisions.
- Take action: Your accountant can give you advice, but it’s up to you to take action. Implement the recommendations your accountant makes and track your progress.
- Utilize their expertise: Accountants are more than just tax preparers. They can offer valuable advice on a variety of financial topics, such as budgeting, investing, and retirement planning. Don’t hesitate to ask for their input on any financial decision you’re making.
- Keep your records organized: This will make your accountant’s job easier and save you money on fees.
- Use technology: Many accountants offer online portals for document sharing and communication. This can make it easier to stay in touch and keep your information up-to-date.
- Get feedback: Ask your accountant for feedback on your financial situation. This can help you identify areas where you can improve.
By following these tips, you can build a strong and productive relationship with your accountant and get the most out of their expertise. Remember, a good accountant is an investment in your financial future, so don’t be afraid to take advantage of their knowledge and skills.
Sometimes it may seem like you’re not getting good value for money from your accountant. This drawback can be a waste of money and time which could be better spent elsewhere. To get around this, below are listed five ways you can get the most out of your accountant.
Make sure it’s a good fit
If you were looking to find a business partner to invest with, or even hire a new employee; you wouldn’t pick the first candidate that came along without a thorough evaluation. Your accountant should be no different. Your accountant is going to be one of the most valuable assets your business will have, so it’s vital you conduct background checks on him/her before dealing with.
It is also essential that you do not hire an accountant because they have low fees. Your accountant is going to be your financial advisor so you want to prioritise other factors such as: what skills they possess, who have they previously worked with, how they can help you with what you need, etc. The saying still goes, ‘If you pay with peanuts, you’re going to get monkeys.’
Scratch each other’s back
To get good value for money when working with your accountant, it is essential that you make him/ her as efficient as possible. This contributor can be helped by performing menial tasks such as correctly allocating your business receipts and respond to messages and instructions as quickly as possible. This action will help your accountant to use that time you pay them for, for more severe and productive ways.
Whether you meet monthly, quarterly or annually; it is vital to keep your records up to date. It is essential to have your files easily accessible. This will help your accountant not to have to take time analysing your documents and data and having to make needed changes. This will also reduce the numbers of hours you’ll have to pay for.
If you are unsure how to organise your documents, then ask, and he/she will inform how to store your data in a way they can quickly work with. This will also help create a healthy professional relationship.
Nothing can frustrate accountants more than when a client turns up without crucial information that they need. This can be excused for the first meet as your accountant can then tell you what it is they expect to have in the meetings in the future.
Being prepared also means setting goals to achieve by the end of the meeting. This will help you work with the accountant rather than they work for you; this is far more productive as it means you are both on the same page with a clear understanding of what you are working towards.
Ask for help
This one seems obvious but is often overlooked. As previously mentioned, accountants are your financial advisors. So, to not go to them for advice would be illogical. Accountants also know a lot more about business than you think, which can range anywhere between price strategies to cost controls. So, if you are struggling with a difficulty in business, make sure you bring it up to your accountant.
They also know enough about business to give you sound advice if you decide to expand your business. This can be done by applying a standard pricing model which the account will choose to be most effective for your company. If this is the case, then it’s recommended meeting every month. If you need more help on accounting in Perth, please give DPS Accounting a call today.