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Should you change your accountant?

The client-accountant relationship is said to be one of the most ‘stickiest’ of all relationships.

And by ‘stickiest’, I mean very strong and often very difficult to break.

After all, the accountant is and has been deeply involved in all aspects of you finances (personal or business), and knows the ins and outs of your dealings.

As structures become more complicated, e.g. trusts, company set up, investments and so on, the more difficult it becomes to simply move away from your current accountant.

However, as hard as it may seem to fire your current accountant, the hiring of one is one of the most hastily-made decisions that small business owners make.

Too many times, they choose the accountant that already does the personal taxes for the owner and not one that knows their industry or even fits well within their company.

When you have the right accountant, the owner can focus on running the company and making the most informed decisions based on the information he or she is receiving from their accountant.

Unfortunately, many business owners see their accountant as a nuisance exclusively associated with paying taxes.

If your current accountant isn’t helping your business as a whole, it’s time to let him or her go and bring in someone new who can really help.

Some tell-tale signs that you may need to consider firing your current accountant are;

They Don’t Explain the Financial Statements

One of the biggest issues that many small businesses owners face is that they don’t understand their own financial statements. That’s because they never learned how to read them.

If this is the case, you need an accountant that will explain your financial statements to you in a way you can understand.

They should also teach you how to use the reports in your accounting program so you can get information for yourself every month.

They are not helping you move forward with the times

Xero, Quickbooks, and MYOB online are now standard fare for many small businesses.

These accounting systems not only keep track of your finances, yet they also provide timely and relevant information when you want it and where every you want it.

Some accountants are either reluctant to help their clients migrate to these systems and/or just don’t have the time to do so thus denying the business owner from having a more streamlined accounting system.

Just not happy

Finally, you may just not be happy with your current accountant for a host of reasons – lack of communication, only seeing them once/year, no real value-add, they are only there for compliance etc.

Your accountant in many ways is your business partner.

They should be the ones who tell it to you as is – no sugar coating – just the truth and what you need to do next.

This relationship needs to be open, candid and based on trust.

If you sense or feel a lack in any of these, then seriously, it may be time to look for a new accountant that is a better fit for you and your business.

On the positive side, these are some aspects you should be looking for in your accountant;

  • They have regular and set communication with you.

  • They remind you of due dates or better still, for small businesses they also handle bookkeeping work so that due dates are met. Clients are kept in the loop and informed of what they need to pay the ATO and by when AND they follow up!

  • They provide all relevant information to their clients in order to keep them up to date – they educate their clients so their clients become equally knowledgeable about their finances.

  • They help to find solutions for their clients – this could include business advisory, consulting or helping put the client in touch with other experts e.g. financial planners.

  • They don’t propose to know everything and when they are not sure about something, they say so and will find the right answers in a timely fashion.

At Aperture Accounting, this is exactly what we aim to achieve – we work with our clients to understand their financial needs and we work to figure how best to meet these needs and, in the process, we help our clients to better understand their financial world.

So, if you feel it’s time to move on from your current accountant, come and talk to us.

At Aperture Accounting, we feel our job is to help shape and design a better financial future for our clients.

To find out more, call 1300 APERTURE or 1300 273 788.

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