"That's it! We're changing our accountants!!" screams your boss. Next thing you know they're asking you to do some investigating and find out who is out there that could be a good replacement. What makes a good accountant?
Having interviewed potential new clients for a number of years now, here are some of the more common questions that seem to be asked by those looking to take on a new small business accountant.
Figure 1: There goes another tax return! Life doesn't get any better than this!
1. How Successful Are They Running Their Own Business?
A great accountant usually has a successful business themselves. If their business looks run down, out of date, not using the latest technology or simply appearing out of touch then chances are they will apply the same principles to your business or not provide the care that will get you to the next level.
You need to ask yourself "do they look 'happening'?" or "does their business look tired?".
A small business accountant that has fire in the belly will give you more confidence in that they wish to grow and the best way to grow is for their own clients to grow.
Figure 2: You've got ask yourself the question "are you feeling lucky?"
2. Who Else Is Using Them?
This can be a good guide for some. If your associates have a very successful business, people usually want to know who their small business accountants Sydney and Dubbo are.
This can be true for any business trying to attract new clients or customers. If you have a marquee customer, chances are many others will try to hop on board with you.
Do you have any star customers who by their very nature and dealing with you will attract others?
3. Are They Easy To Get Hold Of?
Nobody wants a small business advisor they can rarely get in touch with. Whilst it might be worth the wait sometimes, waiting endlessly will only breed bad blood. Those accountants that have embraced technology will usually be able to respond to calls more quickly.
4. Will I Be Talking To Them Or a somebody Else?
This is one of the biggest complaints of those who are wanting to leave and come to a new advisor. Now what you need to know is that quite often their associates can offer the day to day things that will keep you moving. However, you want your main small business accountant Sydney and Dubbo to be on hand to discuss the big picture stuff and provide real business advice.
Your tax planning, strategic plannings and quarterly meetings should all be with the accountant you have moved to. For all of the other things more often than not a senior or admin person can get you what you need.
5. Do They Actually Advise Or Just Give Me Tax Figures?
Most people want advice and proactively. In today's world many accountants might not be willing to provide an opinion on which way to roll but the good ones will research and make the call unless they feel they are unqualified to do so.
Are they true business advisors or do they just say they are? Do they provide:
- strategic planning advice;
- business valuations;
- exit strategies;
- financial performance yardsticks;
- suggestions for business improvement.
6. Will I Like Them?
You don't have to like your accountant but it certainly helps if you do. Being able to open up about your problems will assist them to provide the right advice. Lack of communication will rarely produce the right result.
Figure 3: It's hard to get good advice if people are cranky!
7. Do They Know Their Stuff?
It is critical an accountant stays up to date and knows what the latest techniques are in all aspects of business advisory services.
If they can't show that they are doing this, steer well clear.
It's never a great thing to have to find a new accountant but going through these 7 tips above may just find you the right one and get that pesky boss off your back!