Having a skilled accountant you can trust to manage your finances is vital to a successful business. They help you save time on bookkeeping, minimise your tax liabilities, increase profits, and track the growth and financial status of your business.
Also, you enjoy peace of mind knowing your finances are in order and your tax returns are compliant with ATO legislation.
Unfortunately, working with a business accountant doesn?t always go smoothly. You may find yourself in a situation where your calls go unanswered, you struggle to fully understand the current state of your finances, or ? even worse ? you suspect your accountant is taking part in fraudulent or criminal activity. When this happens, it can seriously impact your trust in the financial services sector and your business? ability to grow over the long-term.
But when do you know it?s time to find a new accountant? That depends on how serious the existing issues are. Below are some of the most glaring warning signs to keep an eye out for.
They Don?t Understand Your Industry
Your industry is governed by its own unique rules, guidelines, and procedures. When you have an accountant who has specific knowledge and expertise about your industry, they are better equipped to address key issues early and put in-place an accounting system that meets your unique needs.
For example, if you?re involved in the construction industry, a specialist accountant will know how to reduce your fixed and variable costs (i.e. travel time, deliveries, equipment maintenance, and cleaning). They may also have a deep understanding of industry-specific laws and regulations in regards to land tax, inventory, workers compensation, and capital gains tax.
On the other hand, a general accountant who takes a ?one-size-fits-all? approach may cost your business in missed tax deduction claims. They may also put you at risk of not meeting all the relevant ATO legislation. Therefore, if you feel your current accountant doesn?t truly ?get? your industry ? it may be time to find someone who does.
You Don?t Understand Their Financial Advice
After a meeting with your accountant do you walk away scratching your head in confusion? If so, it?s not your fault.
Why? Because it?s your accountant?s responsibility to help you make sense of your current financial status. Any good accountant will know how to boil down complex financial concepts into clear, easy to understand terms that anyone can grasp. If you cannot make sense of what your accountant is saying, how do you know if your business is performing at its absolute best?
Keep in mind this situation can go the other way too. In that, your accountant is unable to grasp the specific terminology and concepts which relate to your industry. If you?re in either of these scenarios, switch to an accountant who can speak on your level ? and who understand you as well.
They Overcharge You
After working with your business accountant for a few months, you should know exactly how much value they add to your business. To be specific, you should know that the money you use to pay for their services is generating a positive return on your business.
There are a few ways questions you can ask yourself to find out. For example, how much time and money did you gain from no longer having to manage the books? Are you paying less tax this financial year compared to when you either had no accountant or you had a different account? If so, are the tax savings enough to justify the ongoing accounting costs?
If you truly aren?t getting your money?s worth, shop around to compare quotes and determine which accountant offers the best value for money.
They Are Poor Communicators
When you have an accountant who is responsive and easy to get along with it makes for a positive working relationship. You can relax knowing they will respond promptly to your phone call, email or message. And when you have to make a crucial last-minute decision you can rely on them to help out.
On the other hand, if your calls are going unanswered or they take a long time to respond, it can seriously impact your business. Not only is the lack of communication rude, it may show they don?t really value you or care about the success of your business,
Don?t feel like you have to tolerate sub-par customer service. If you?re dissatisfied with the current level of service you get, make the switch to an accountant who is committed to providing superior customer service.
Article provided by Stones Sharp