In all of our courses we teach, whether is QuickBooks, Accounting, or Taxes; the topic of the “Accountant’s Functions” always surge as an important one. We discuss whether the accountant should simply do what they are told to do, or if they should be proactive at helping their small business clients with decisions beyond tax and accounting.
A common error made by Business Owners is the misuse of resources, especially their Accountant. Treating your Accountant as a “one-trick-pony” can turn out to be a costly mistake. An extra couple of hours booked with your Accountant to evaluate more than just your financial statements, will end up saving you both time and money. Your Accountant’s experienced eyes can pierce through each segment of your business to illustrate your strengths and weaknesses.
Also, it is important to point out that not all accountants possess the same skills, and are also willing to share more information with you besides the single-service task they were assigned to perform (such as a tax return). So the right Accountant for you, should also be available for other business advise beyond tax or simple accounting.
For most businesses, training the right employee is a difficult task. Mainly it is the obstacle of finding the right employee, and then comes the task of training the employee. Your Accountant may be help you determine if your employee’s work-rate matches that of your goals, and if perhaps they require additional training, your Accountant can help you analyze the cost-benefit analysis of investing in training and even find ways to properly train them. If the workload has increased to the point where additional employees may improve efficiency then your Accountant can help you evaluate employee candidates. All this is especially true if the new employee will be involved with accounting or engaging in any task that affects the financial results of the businesses.
In this fast moving information age, decisions whether or not to upgrade software to the “newest version”; which programs to integrate to streamline workflow; and if it is worth it to move your software to the “cloud”, can increase how efficient the business functions and tend to be high anxiety for business owners. Companies reluctant to modify their business structure to improve inefficiencies and cut costs will find themselves paying more than their competitors. Having your Accountant take a look at how your business operates, will allow them to advise you on how to become more efficient, specially in the areas of investment of time and money (costs) compared to output (sales).
I am particularly skewed towards recommending working with accountants that understand your accounting system (whether is QuickBooks or anything else); but not just understand it, the accountant should be able to login into the system or review reports periodically to allow them to catch costly mistakes before it becomes unmanageable.
Business owners have enough to worry about; spend a couple of extra hours with your accountant annually or even quarterly, for peace of mind and potential improvement of your business.