For some business owners, an accountant is someone to be kept at arm’s length.
Yes, they’re on a first name basis, but the relationship doesn’t extend beyond formalities, the odd phone call or email, and a tax return. But if that’s your lot, you’re probably not getting your money’s worth.
You can in fact have a valuable business relationship with your accountant, and the best kind looks a little something like this:
“Trusting is hard. Knowing who to trust, even harder.” - Maria V. Snyder
The best accountants earn your trust from the word go. This should start with their fees. They price everything up front and only start work once you’ve agreed, saving you from unexpected invoices.
The working relationship should also be built on mutual trust. You shouldn’t have to chase them when you have a query or you’re in need of clarification. You should have a dedicated person available to you, with the capacity to give you answers.
That person should know you and your business, respond quickly, and share in your goals and ambitions. You shouldn’t feel like you’re being palmed off to someone you don’t know, and who doesn’t know or understand you.
Next comes insight
“Nothing is more terrible than activity without insight.” - Thomas Carlyle
If your accountant is simply pushing paper and filing returns, you’re only catching a glimpse of what you could be getting from a strong working relationship.
The best accountants offer advice and insight when it comes to your business. They review and challenge your numbers, and suggest ideas to help you save money and grow.
They also demonstrate their expertise regularly, and communicate this with you instead of acting like what they do is black magic. Your important deadlines (tax returns, company filings with CRO, payroll and VAT) are consistently met on time, and you have confidence that they have your back should a Revenue enquiry or some other business challenge arise.
“Whoever is happy will make others happy.” - Anne Frank,
Working with your accountant and their staff should be a happy experience. You should be made to feel welcome in their office, or look forward to catching up on the phone.
Sure, business finances can be a dry subject, but if your accountant fails to take any joy from their work, it’s probably a big ask for them to make you feel happy and excited about your numbers.
At the end of the day, the litmus test is always: Would you recommend your accountant to business-owning friends or colleagues? If the answer’s no, then that tells its own story.
Why settle for less?
Trust. Insight. Happiness. The three key ingredients to the best kind of relationship you can have with your accountant. And if even one of them is missing, it can result in a pretty bland affair.
If you would like to know how we can get this mix just right for you, contact us today.
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Have a look at our Client stories and successes page to see what they have to say