Working with your accountant should be a positive, empowering experience. Here are 7 key things you should be getting from the relationship.
Language you understand
Although business finances can be a complex area, the amount of jargon and big words your accountant uses should be minimal. And any jargon should be explained in plain English. Their job is to make a complex subject easy to understand, and if you don’t understand then ask for it to be explained in a different way.
The opportunity to ask questions – without feeling stupid!
How do you feel when you have to pick up the phone or get in touch? If the answer is nervous or anxious then it shouldn’t be like that. If you don’t ask questions because you don’t want to feel stupid then you are not in the accountancy relationship that you deserve.
Your tax bill explained
If you are just told a figure with no explanation then that’s not good enough. Ask questions – where does that figure come from? It’s not plucked from thin air but you don’t know where it comes from as a business owner.
Do you receive a video explaining your figures, rather than a letter or lengthy email? A video can be brilliant to bring the figures to life and hear someone explain them, and you can watch it back!
Are you being shown how to save for your tax bill? If not then your accountant should be helping you with this.
Appropriate accountancy fees
Appropriate does not mean cheap! Cheaper is not better. If accountants are charging you cheap fees, they can’t give you the service that you deserve or need. They will be running at a loss so they won’t be able to dedicate the time or capacity to what you need. Your business deserves quality, not cheap.
If your accountant is charging you a low fee for your tax return but then charging for every phone call then you really are not getting a good deal.
Does your accountant ask you how you want to be communicated with? There should be options available, based on what you prefer. If you want to voice note your accountant then find one who offers that as an option.
Expectations around communication should be set at the beginning of the relationship. If your accountant sends you letters and you hate it then find one who won’t do that.
A regular point of contact
If you only hear from your accountant once a year, you can’t possibly know any of the things about how your business is performing. How can you predict your tax bill if you only speak to your accountant once a year, after the end of the tax year?
The right tech for your business
Your accountant should be at the forefront of tech and suggesting ways you can improve your bookkeeping and software that you’re using.
Beware the ‘digital accountant’ who still sends letters in the post. Are they really digital? Can they best serve your business by keeping up to date with the new tech out there that could streamline your business processes?
If you aren’t getting all of the above from your accountant then you aren’t in the right relationship. We had a recent enquiry from a prospective client whose words were (in relation to our social media posts)…
‘You have explained more than my accountant has in the past 5 years’
Your business deserves a great accountant.
If you want to find out more about how we work at Kennedy Accountancy then click here.