What value can an accountant add?
Defining and delivering value to business clients is of crucial importance for accountants and business advisors alike, however it is something many struggle to do. With that in mind, what value can a good advisor add to your business? Whilst each business owner will have slightly different needs the bottom line is your advisor should support you when you need it and help you maximise the returns you get from your business endeavours.
Some key areas of value that an advisor can add to your business are listed below. Please note that whilst I’ve used the term advisor and accountant interchangeably here, a good accountant will usually also be a good business advisor, but a good business advisor won’t necessarily be a qualified accountant.
Complying with your business’s legal obligations can be painful and distracting for an owner wanting to get on with what they do best. A good accountant can alleviate this pain by offering a quality compliance offering – this should really form the basis of any accountant’s offering. It will include things like:
BAS/IAS preparation and lodgement
Income tax preparation and lodgement
ASIC annual reporting
Timeliness – ensuring the above is all done on time!
Helping with growth
A great advisor will help you define what you want out of your business and then assist you to achieve those goals. They can do this by providing a wide range of services such as the following. Note that whilst the accountant might not be able to deliver all of these services personally, a good accountant will have the right network to ensure any gaps are filled.
Workshops to help you define your goals
Creating and fine-tuning a solid business plan
Increasing profitability via analysis and process improvement
Advising on growth strategies including introductions to finance
Reliable financial reporting to help with decision making
Job management and reporting systems
Staff performance and rewards
The end game
Many business owners are working along happily enough without any real thought being given to the end game. They haven’t asked themselves the question – why am I working for myself? Your accountant or business advisor will be able to help here. Things to look at include:
Creating a long range business plan
Maintaining a ‘lifestyle business’
Succession planning amongst family or key staff
Valuing your business
Assisting with a trade sale
Your advisor should be able to provide the service you need, when you need it. Some key items of value to look for include:
A commitment to return your calls and emails quickly
They have a team of people with unique skills so that you’re getting the full service you need being delivered by the most appropriate person. This will include having a network of quality professionals to fill any gaps
They embrace the latest technology so they can advise you with first hand experience what would be the best solution for your business
Being clear and upfront about the fees they charge so you can be confident in knowing there are no surprise bills lurking around every phone call or email
Your advisor should also be someone you get along with. There is much to be said of the value of enjoying the relationship with your accountant or business advisor – this is someone you’ll spend a lot of time with and it’s someone you’ll need to be open and honest with, so it’s important that you share similar values and like spending time with them otherwise you’ll be missing out on what could be a very rewarding relationship.
So, what value does a good advisor add? They offer you the support, direction and confidence you need to achieve your business goals and perhaps even have a good time doing it. If you’d like to talk to us about what value we can add to your business, please get in touch today, we’d love to help.