These days it’s easy to find a certified accountant, there is literally one at every corner but how do you know that you are getting the best value for your money? In this market full of accountants how do you know that your accountant is the very best for your business? This is not about indemnity insurance or billing or even trade certification because many accountants will meet those criteria, but what will make your choice of accountant stand out from the crowd?
Do you like your accountant? Would you have coffee with them on your lunch break? If not, it’s time to find one that you like. If you like your accountant you feel free to call him before you make business decisions, let him/her run the numbers and get back to you, not calling him/her after you have made mistakes and the tax man is after you. If you are not comfortable approaching your accountant with business queries or just a chat about your finances, it is time to find an accountant that you respect and is approachable and friendly.
Value vs Time
A good accountant delivers value and does not charge for time spent on jobs. They instead charge for the value that they are bringing into your business. They are always looking for ways to improve your business and they are happy to help you understand your business numbers. When you approach them for compliance jobs, they bill the jobs up-front and let you know before pursuing other projects. The work is always delivered on time and s/he insists on meeting with you to deliver the work product. The accountant doesn’t send long winded emails but is always happy to meet with you or have a have a chat over the phone without billing you for his time.
When running a small business you are always on the run, catering to your clients and trying to grow your business. You really don’t have the time to be Googling the industry you are in and learning new tricks. This is where a great accountant comes in. Not only should your accountant have the finger on the pulse of your numbers but also what’s happening in your industry. They should be able to benchmark your business against others. This means comparing your business to other like businesses in the industry. They should also recommend ways you can cut costs and improve efficiency. A good accountant can see financial trouble long before you see it and can read the changes in the economy. It’s no longer enough for an accountant to crunch the numbers; they have to process that data into valuable information.
Refers Your Business
An accountant gets to meet a lot of business owners and individuals in the course of his work day. This gives him/her great access to give recommendations about your business and services. A great accountant will have your business card in case someone mentions needing a product or service that you provide. If he/she is not comfortable doing so, find out why and this could be an opportunity to receive feedback about your products and the way you conduct your business. Some accountants use their websites and seminars to showcase the businesses that they work with. This could be a free or low cost marketing opportunity for your business.
Keeps in Touch
Finally, a great accountant keeps in touch, even when it’s not tax season they want to know how you’re business is doing. When he/she makes recommendations he/she follows up on how you’re going and if you need assistance implementing changes. The accountant will send you articles that they think you would be interested in. He will invite you to free seminars or networking events with people in your industry. He/she will make themselves available to offer business advice or to pop into the office for a chat. A great accountant cares about his clients and contact with him/her feels genuine and organic.
It may take some time to find an accountant that meets your needs but it’s worth it by checking out referrals and doing some research. The difference between an accountant and a great accountant, one costs you money and the other saves you money and that is a difference worth pursuing.