Accurate and insightful financial information is the lifeblood of all businesses. However, finding an accountant that can deliver the trusted financial guidance you need can be easier said than done.
From technological barriers to attitudinal issues and everything in between, here are 10 reasons why your existing accountant may be falling short as your financial gatekeeper.
1. Telling You Nothing Is Easier
Accountants are busy people, which is why they may be tempted to turn a blind eye to a small issue with your books, inconsistency in your cash flow, or an emerging opportunity that could save your business time and money. However, these small oversights in the present can lead to serious problems in the future. As the saying goes, if the road you’re travelling comes easy, you might be going the wrong way.
If you’re hearing nothing but good news from your accountant, or no news at all, dig a little deeper in your next consultation and don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions.
2. They Don’t Know Better
Not all accountants are made equal. Your lack of insightful financial guidance may be due to your accountant’s lack of diverse experience.
When evaluating whether an accountant is a good fit for your business, ensure they have a proven track record working with businesses of your size and industry, and hold relevant qualifications and certifications.
3. They Know it All
On the other hand, some accountants know it all. Or, at least they think they do.
If your accountant isn’t alerting you to relevant technology trends, tax law changes, emerging challenges or general insights that may affect your business, it may be because they believe they’ve “seen it all before” and it’s simply not worth mentioning. While they may boast decades of experience, this attitude can be dangerous.
4. They Don’t Understand Your Business
Your business needs financial advice as unique as it is. If your accountant is falling short in providing tailored advice, it may be because they don’t appreciate all that makes your business special.
A thorough understanding of your financial requirements starts in client onboarding and continues throughout the duration of your working relationship. If your accountant doesn’t quite grasp what makes your business tick, they may not understand what issues are most important to your financial success.
5. You Don’t Ask the Right Questions
A productive client-accountant relationship is a two-way street. Sometimes, you may not be getting the answers you crave due to the simple fact that you’re not asking the right questions.
Great accountants will be able to diagnose your financial challenges by reading the symptoms, however, they’re not telepathic. If you need insight on a specific issue or opportunity, educate yourself on the fundamentals and start a conversation with your accountant.
Keep in mind that while you may not know the right questions to ask, a great accountant will ask enough probing questions to help you both get to the centre of your concerns.
6. They’re Too Busy
If you’re hearing radio silence from your accountant, you may be further down the pecking order than their larger, more profitable or more problematic clients. However, your business is your top priority, and you can’t afford for it to be your accountant’s afterthought.
If your accountant is promising but not delivering, making repeated excuses, bouncing you between employees or simply unresponsive to your calls, they may be too busy for their own good.
7. Their Communication is Poor
Sometimes, even accountants with all the time in the world to devote to your business struggle with their communication.
Missed calls, unanswered emails and haphazard responses to pressing issues can be frustrating at the best of times, which is why efficient communication is a must.
8. Their Technology is Outdated
Accounting technology has advanced considerably in recent years. If your accountant is struggling to provide up-to-date and insightful financial data, they may be limited by their outdated technology.
Ensure your accountant is well equipped with the financial software that will truly deliver value to your business. At HY Accounting, not only are we a certified Xero Partner, our accountants are experienced in leading financial technologies like Receipt Bank, Intuit Quickbooks, Practice Protect, MYOB and Saasu, as well as other technologies like ServiceM8, Tradify, HubSpot, ReceiptBank and Futrli.
We always strive to use the latest in financial reporting software to give our clients the edge in better understanding their numbers.
9. They’re Not Proactive
In finance, being reactive rather than proactive can be an expensive mistake. If your accountant fails to identify and act on issues before they become larger problems that affect your bottom line or compliance, they’re failing in their duty as a financial gatekeeper of your business.
Proactivity also extends to identifying opportunities. Your accountant should also actively search for ways to simplify your operations, safeguard your cash flow and save you money.
10. They’re Risk Averse
Finally, your accountant may fail to provide you with practical insights because they’re averse to risks, and have already decided against an idea before consulting with you.
However, the best accountants are glass-half-full kind of people, who search for better ways to operate and aren’t afraid to push the boundaries to achieve better results for their clients.
If your existing accountant is demonstrating any or all of these traits and is failing to deliver the insightful financial guidance your business needs, get in touch with us at HY Accounting. We know that your success is our success, and we’re dedicated to providing the same tailored service to clients regardless of their size. We look forward to talking with you.