When you are about to make that next big business decision are you often left wondering whose advice you should seek? Your accountant should be your first point of call.
Whilst many people often underutilise their accountants, it is important to remember they have a wide range of experience and skills that business owners should leverage off when making decisions that impact their business.
A great accountant will work with you from day one, understand the ins and outs of your business and have you and your businesses’ best interests at heart.
Here are my top 5 reasons as to why consulting with your accountant is crucial when making you next big business decision:
1. Accountants have the skills and experience to provide business advice
Accountants have been trained in a broad range of business topics and are armed with the knowledge and experience to deliver effective solutions to their clients.
During their time at university, as well as completing their post graduate qualifications their knowledge goes beyond accounting and tax. Most accountants have qualifications which include studies in a broad base of business, finance and commerce subjects. They will also be experienced in applying this knowledge across a wide range of organisations, in a variety of industries.
2. Accountants will make decisions based on hard facts
Most business owners have built their business on talent, acumen, passion, instinct and hard work.
Great business decisions are those where intuitive decisions can be backed up by hard facts. Alternatively, accountants have skills in building financial models that either support great decisions, or may prove that an intuitive decision is not supported by facts and therefore carries considerable risk.
Engaging your accountant during this decision making process will ensure that all known facts are considered and that the likely outcome is in the best interest of your business.
3. Accountants are fluent in the language of business
When it comes to communicating with major stakeholders including shareholders, bankers, suppliers and government agencies including the tax department, no one understands the language of business better than accountants.
Business owners are great at explaining their goals, aspirations, vision and business plan but when the question turns to “how much?” and “how did you come up with those figures?” – the answer needs to be explained in terms of impact on profit and loss, balance sheet, and cash flow without exception.
This is where an accountant is able to educate the business owner to understand the story these numbers tell.
4. Accountants bring order to chaos
In all my years as an accountant, where I have been asked to help an underperforming business, in virtually every case – basic administration and lack of accurate records often contributes to the problem.
Invariably when the administration is sorted the issues are clearer and solutions to business problems become more obvious.
Accountants understand what systems need to be put in place for accurate reporting and organised administration. Accountants understand the strength of good financial information and how to use this information to advance your business.
5. Qualified Accountants are ethical and value their position as “the trusted advisor”
Accounting is a respected profession and for most of us our qualifications and experience has come from a lot of training and years of experience.
We understand the responsibility of trust clients give us and we respond by acting ethically, through honesty and integrity.
Accountants have an independent mindset.
As accountants we sometimes deliver advice which may not be what a client wants to hear. It may not always serve the client’s immediate objectives, but it will be factual and based on the analysis of the true situation.
Commercial decisions have to be made in an environment of many nuanced regulations, impacting a businesses’ operations. Whether dealing with taxation, compliance or auditing, your accountant can give you the most reliable advice to navigate you through these regulations and ultimately get the best long-term result for your business.
Accountants understand they have a responsibility not just to their clients but all stakeholders and the wider community.
A great accountant when having to present bad news will deliver it early and work with their clients to find a better alternative for all stakeholders.
The bottom line is: your accountant is more than just somebody who crunches the numbers; they are your strategic partner who is proficient in guiding your business and can assist you to reach your goals.