Empower Your Business

Accounting is Just the Beginning

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When to Use a Good Accountant

I was at a networking event recently and when finding out I was an accountant, someone approached me and asked was it really necessary to use an accountant as we were so expensive. In addition to making the point that some of us are a lot less costly than others, I patiently explained the things that made us so valuable and how we could actually save and make our clients more than we cost and also used the analogy of me trying to fix a modern car without the tools, knowledge and experience but I could see it was falling on deaf ears so moved on to talk to another.

But what prompted me to write this post was an article on the NZ Business Mentors site from the Australian accountants head office in Auckland, setting out the top 5 times to use an accountant. Before I even read the article (which can be found here) I could guess the reasons that were going to be outlined:

  1. Starting a business. Definitely agree as there are so many things to cope with when setting up a business.
  2. Changes to legislation. This year’s GST increase resulted in more confusion than I’ve ever seen!
  3. Year-end. Yep, tax is so complicated mere mortals haven’t got a hope.
  4. Selling up. Again, like a start-up, there’s loads to do and you have to start many years beforehand.
  5. Re-financing. Using a good accountant will definitely increase your chances of success, especially in these times when banks are so cautious.

Now obviously there was only limited space in the article but what really surprised me was the absence of two vitally important reasons:

1. Regular reporting

Any accountant who does not encourage, assist with or actually prepare regular reports for his or her clients should be handed a loaded revolver. If you don’t know what’s going on in your business you:

  • Won’t receive early warning of impending problems
  • Cannot plan for your taxes
  • Cannot plan for your future
  • Cannot improve your business since what you can measure you can manage
  • Won’t know where you’re not doing as well as you should be

That, of course, is all on top of not knowing whom owes you money, what products or service lines are making or losing you money, what inventory is obsolete, how high your unbilled work-in-progress is or the productivity of your labour force etc etc.

2. Systems

Any good business needs good systems, and not just good financial systems. Using systems means saving time and money, doing things the same way each time, less errors, better sales and profit margins, and being able to deliver your core business products or service lines in a way which creates value for your customers and clients.

Now of course, it may well be that your accountant is too busy, not interested or just lacks the experience to help you, so if you need a good accountant and business mentor contact 0800 ASK NICK or get in touch by email.

One Response to When to Use a Good Accountant

  1. Hi Nick – couldn’t agree more with your article. I believe regular reporting is essential in today’s economic climate and I’m seeing many banks ask for up to date financials before lending money. Asking an accountant for help should be seen as an investment, rather than a cost as you are right – we can save money!