Warning signs your accountant isn’t helping you grow your business

Lack of regular contact

There is little benefit to be gained from an accountant telling you this or that “didn’t quite work” at the end of the year when you’re no longer in a position to action a positive change. Where was this advice when you needed it six months ago?

In business, a lot can change in 30 days, particularly when you are trying to grow your business, and opportunities and problems are constantly arising. Remember, you don’t have to waste hours travelling to each other’s office every time. Your catch-up could be just a quick call or FaceTime. 

Having an experienced advisor as a sounding board, who can offer insights into what is making your business really tick, as well as helping you with solutions, based on their experience helping others with similar challenges, makes good business sense. Don’t underestimate the value of being held accountable or of having a regular review process and structure in place either.

Not using the cloud

The cloud is disrupting every industry and, for business owners who prefer doing what they love rather than working on their finances, this business-process transformation is substantial. If your advisor hasn’t told you about the benefits of the cloud for your business, as well as the time it can save them on the ‘admin’, warning bells should now be ringing loud and clear. 

Using a desktop solution for your accounting can double or triple the time it will take your accountant and you to stay on top of the books and more time equals more expense for you.

For example, Xero and QuickBooks, are cloud accounting platforms that make your data and software available online at any time, using any device that has an internet connection. They integrate with your bank account and automatically update your daily transactions. This is just one example of where time can be saved on dreaded data entry for you and your accountant.

They aren’t helping you make informed business decisions

Do you have a clear, confident picture of the next 3, 6 and 12 months? What will happen if you expand this year? Can you afford to hire a team of 5 versus 3 in your new marketing department? Every single decision you make will affect your financials now or in time. That’s why the best accountants are not only helping you to stay compliant. They are working with you to plan, predict and manage your future.

For example, our advisors, use Futrli to work with their clients on tomorrow’s insights, today. If you have several forecasts to reflect a range of what-if scenarios (optimistic, pessimistic and most likely), you are planning for every eventuality and not leaving yourself wide open for surprises. This is much easier when you are working in collaboration with your team and advisors – many hands and more brain-power makes light work.

Ignoring KPIs

We are sure you are familiar with the term KPI. However, we have a different approach to its meaning and usage. Rather than ‘Performance’, which concentrates on the past, we focus on Key ‘Predictive’ Indicators that look towards the future. Your accountant should be looking at both with you and helping you identify the ones that will drive action, and financial performance, in your business.

If you consider a car dashboard, for example, it’s a great demonstration of Key Predictive Indicators working well. When the red oil light comes on, action is taken, and oil added. If the KPI is ignored, and no action is taken, then your car is going to break down.

This concept also applies to your business, and your accountant should help you set up your car dashboard equivalent. If they don’t know what your KPIs are then how can they help you affect the results of your profit and loss?

Not warning you about issues that may arise

Have you smashed your sales target? Are your Accounts Receivable looking too light based on your sales? Is your Average Spend less than you’ve submitted to the Bank in your forecast? You cannot have your eyes on the detail, all the time. But, you also shouldn’t have to.

If your advisor has your best interests at heart, it will be second nature for them to be one step ahead of you when it comes to the detail and straight on the phone, text or email to keep you informed when it changes. You and your business deserve to work with someone who has got your back and supports you in good times and bad.