Most business owners are currently facing a variety of extraordinary challenges. As a business owner, your business’ survival could actually hinge on having the right advisers on board.
At the best of times, your accountant should play a crucial role in running your business, helping to track income and expenses, ensure legal and regulatory compliance, and provide investors, management, and government with measurable financial information to be used in making better business decisions.
During a crisis, though, like the one COVID-19 has presented, the consumer, commercial, and regulatory landscapes can change rapidly, along with all the associated personal and financial pressures and stress you’re probably carrying. It’s during these times you really want to be able to lean on your accountant (and other advisers) ten-fold for trusted guidance and support.
The financial solutions he or she will offer will be different for everyone, as every business has unique needs. But the end of the day, a good accountant will support you when you need it. But a great accountant will work with you to help plan and maximise the best outcomes for your business, long-term.
Goal setting and the road to profitability
The best accountants will help you set your financial goals, then set the wheels in motion to help you achieve them. They will help you continually improve processes, to help increase your business profitability. You can also seek their input on your business plan to make sure it is evolving to meet the business needs and achieve your goals.
Well-connected accountants can help you secure outside investment your business may need to reach that ‘next level’ and provide reliable financial reporting to help with key decision making for the business. As experts, they can guide you through the necessary financial and other reporting systems, too, all of which enable you to concentrate on the business as opposed to spending hours crunching numbers.
How the business model evolves over time – making sure it’s current/profitably and growing
Long term planning around forecasting and making sure the business model remains current and relevant, from a business strategy point of view.
You’ll need a long-term business plan with a view to maintaining an income as you get older, factoring in needs and lifestyle changes. Your accountant will support you through the process of putting in place a solid succession plan. Otherwise, they’ll understand the requisite laws to help protect your assets and prevent you from getting a raw deal if or when the time comes to sell the business and its assets.
It benefits you to have someone who knows and grows with your business over the long term.
Compliance and reporting
Complying with your business’s legal obligations can be arduous and distract you as a business owner from the actual running of your business. Any accountant worth their salt, will offer compliance services as part of the package for your business. At the very least your accountant should be able to advise and support you through:
- ASIC annual reporting
- BAS/IAS preparation and lodgement
- Income tax preparation and lodgement
- Tax planning
- Time management to ensure all the above meet required deadlines
Tax laws are subject to change as often as there are new governments, at both the state and federal level. The best accountants are on top of the current tax laws and advise clients at the soonest hour to enable the business to transition to the new processes, and they will assist business owners with new or changed activities.
Fintech platforms for bookkeeping
Your accountant should be able to advise you on the best accounting and financial software to support your business and streamline all the financial aspects of the business operations. It’s 2020, and by now, all good accountants will have embraced these software solutions and will advise you with insights for the best practice for your business for now, and moving forward.
Your trusted ally
The running of your business should be your priority. For the often complex associated matters (like finances), you want someone in your corner who you trust implicitly, especially during times of crisis.
Many accountants now have teams of experts on-call across all financial aspects of business; so, for the same fee, you have access to gun accountants for tax, insurance, payroll and other business aspects all under that same roof.
Mostly, these modern firms realise that trusting them with your financial wellbeing is a big consideration. Even if you are a sole trader, shop around for an adviser, taking time to understand the types of accountants and firms available. Engaging an accountant that is fully committed to you is an investment for your business as well as your financial future. They should be able to give you exactly what you need, and be upfront about their costs and fee structures.
You deserve a partner and champion, not ‘just’ an accountant.