Getting the best from your accountant

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Most people see the role of their accountant as a necessary evil; they are needed to complete the accounts for Companies House or to calculate how much tax they have to pay. Indeed, to many businesses accountancy is an enforced cost, something that would be invested in were it for legislation or their fear of tax law.

Accountancy can be so much more than the odd phone call dealing with an emergency, the preparation of annual accounts, the calculation of tax and the client thinking they have been overcharged for what he gets.

The role of the accountant is primarily to help you make the most of money, pay the least amount of tax and demonstrate the value of what they have done as opposed to the fee they’ve charged.

The following list highlights how to ensure you get the best from your accountant

  • Ask them how you can make things better
  • Make sure he understands your business
  • Ensure you have clear goals and objectives and that these are explained
  • Ask how they want the information needed to produce the accounts
  • Ask them to explain what the figures mean
  • Use their contacts to help you develop your business
  • Make sure they tell you how to improve your processes
  • Ensure they are being proactive
  • If you are not sure don’t be too afraid to ask
  • Plan ahead and seek advice not solutions to problem
  • They work closely with your bank manager and other professionals
  • Ask them to demonstrate the value of the work
  • Should consider your own situation as well as that of the business

An accountant can not and should not run your business, but they should be a source of ideas for you to implement, they need to be proactive to your needs and not reactive to your problems.