As you start and grow your business, you will soon come to realise that the most important relationship you can build is the one with your accountant. No other resource will be able to give you an instant snapshot on the financial health of your business, as well as its prospects for the future.
However, not just any accountant will do.
You need an accountant that can provide targeted insight into your specific business, in a way that you find helpful and accessible.
Like a marriage, you will only be able to grow together if you share the same goals. Here are a few tips to help you select an accountant that will be the right fit for you and your business.
They work with a business of your size
There is no point in hiring an accountant that only specializes in corporations when you are looking to get your business off the ground. Similarly, if you are rapidly growing your business, an accountant that only works with sole proprietors will not work for you. Your accountant should understand how a business of your size typically grows, what challenges it encounters and what financial strategies can be put into place to maximise profit.
A similar attitude to risk
A business is defined by its attitude to risk. Some entrepreneurs enjoy creating a small lifestyle business, while others want to rapidly jump into new markets. This level of risk is directly linked to your finances, as usually risk involves committing a large portion of finances to a certain goal, or taking on some debt. The right accountant will meet you at your preferred level of risk and help you proceed safely.
As a business owner, your business goes far beyond a day job. You probably think about it day and night, and worry that you are doing everything to keep it afloat or help it expand. You should therefore evaluate your accountant’s communication skills. Do they respond to emails? Do they set clear objectives and timeframes to complete them in? Do they manage expectations and meet their deadlines? This level of communication will greatly reduce your stress levels, as you run your business in the security that your accounting is taken care of.
They answer questions clearly
When it comes to accounting and tax, it is critical to understand your every financial obligation. Your accountant is your partner and guide to running a financially fit business. They should take the time to clearly explain key concepts to you and motivate the accounting actions taken.
Many accountants offer references, which is the perfect way to understand how they operate and if they are the right fit for you. Don’t be shy to ask your potential accountant for references or testimonials.
Overall, the decision to hire an accountant is one that should be considered carefully, as it will ultimately have a major impact on your business’ future.