As a small business owner, whether you’re just starting or you’re already up and running, there is one business relationship that could be the most valuable to you – the relationship you have with your accountant. This is actually a simple relationship in theory – you pay them money, they save you money. But, as with all other business services, you have to get it right for things to work well.
Accountants are, by and large, highly organized people. So, it would be fair to assume that, often, when things go wrong it is often the fault of the small business owner.
Let’s say that you leave it to the last minute before handing over your annual receipts, for example. It’s not going to go down well, and there’s every chance your accountant will rush through your return, and save you less money. This being so, it is important that you manage the accountant client relationship in a way that you get the best results from the relationship.
With this in mind, I want to suggest a few tips on how to choose the best accountant for your business, and how to keep them happy. Because, ultimately, it is to your benefit to do so.
Here’s what you need to do to get the best results from your accountant.
1. Choose The Right Accountant
It’s important to choose the right accountant for your business. Think about whether you would benefit more from someone who specializes in your industry. It may be that a standard accountant will suffice. But, for example, businesses in the entertainment industry might find a specialist will do a better job for you. You may not even need a one-to-one relationship with a single accountant, either. Take a look at this Xero Accountancy from Accountancy Anywhere for a good idea of what to expect. There are plenty of these cloud-based services around these days, and you’ll get the benefit of a full team behind your accounts.
2. Keep Your Business Life Separate
One of the biggest frustrations for accountants is mixing up money. This is when you might borrow a little money from the company, or for your business from your personal account. It can make your paper trail a veritable nightmare – and it will cost you more money. Keep your personal finances for your own life, and your business accounts entirely separate. If you can do this, you’ll get a much happier- and quicker – accountant.
3. File Your Receipts Monthly
As we have already mentioned, nothing will get on an accountant’s nerves more than unorganized accounts. And, they will charge you more for their time. Get into better habits, and you will keep your relationship with your accountant sweet. Keep all your receipts in the same place as and when you get them. Then, at the end of the month, file them yourself and stash them safely. You can even do this electronically with apps like Evernote. Just take a picture of the receipt and save it in a monthly folder, and then share it with your accountant at month end.
4. Get Paid Quicker
Finally, outstanding invoices are a real pain for accountants. While it can be hard to keep track of your completed jobs, it is essential that you spend time chasing up your debts. This is especially true of small little jobs that you do – your work builds up, and you just forget about them. But, by the end of the year, all those payments should be accounted for – and it will be a nightmare scenario for your accountant. So keep on top of what you are owed – and your accounts relationships will stay strong!
As with every relationship, what you put into the relationship with your accountant will determine what you get out of it. It is therefore imperative that you take the above tips seriously. If you do this well your accountant might just turn out to be the most valuable and trusted source of business advice you will ever have. And the result will definitely be a plus for your business.