Most business owners tend to use their accountant for tax advice; however, an accountant can help you with much more than just taxes. While it is important to have a strong relationship with your accountant, the responsibility to communicate falls on both parties. A good accountant will check in a few times per year but a GREAT accountant will take the role of a trusted advisor. It is up to you to utilize your accountant's full potential.
Open line of communication 📢
An open line of direct communication with your accountant is a key component to a successful business relationship. Be sure to keep your accountant informed of any business changes, financial adjustments, and related items to ensure nothing falls by the wayside. Never withhold information from your accounting team, good or bad.
Access to EVERYTHING 🙌
Your accountant will need view only access to all of your bank accounts, operating systems, and tax returns. Ensure you have your prior year tax return on hand if you have newly hired your accountant or if you are looking to hire an accountant. It is essential for your accountant to have access to view financial information as needed. This will prevent them from bothering you from relaying the information from you or from someone within your company. You should be able to trust your accountant fully, and they should be able to trust that you will provide them with all access to financial information. Access your accountant should have, may include, but is not limited to:
- Prior Year Tax Return
- Credit Card Access
- Bank Access
- Merchant Processor
- Xero or QuickBooks Online (or similar accounting platform)
Set goals 🏈
Your accountant should be aware of your company’s financial goals, sales goals, and overall growth strategy. Allowing your accountant to know the plan will put a set of qualified eyes on your financial goals. Set recurring meetings with your accountant to keep your business on track for success!
Create a business plan 📈
Share your business plan with your accountant. While this may not seem obvious, providing the bigger picture beyond the financials can greatly benefit your company. Knowing the business plan, your accountant will be able to compare and suggest edits to your business plan and your revenue and expenses. Giving your accountant transparency will help guide your business towards areas of greatest success while being aware of risks.
Set a budget 💵
Along with your business plan, it is very important that your account knows your company’s budget. With your accountant knowing your budget, he or she will be able to provide financial analytics and forecasting so that you are accurately tracking your run rate or burn rate. He or she will be able to run monthly and yearly reports to see whether your business is operating more or less efficiently compared to prior periods and where you are trending.
By allowing your accountant to have access to your budget, they will be able to also provide recommendations based on past allocations and returns.
Following these 5 steps will allow your business to operate more smoothly when engaging with an accounting or bookkeeping company. Your financial team is one of the most important parts of your business. Having your financial team fully aware of the company’s operations will allow you to make the correct decisions on all facets of your business.