Five ways to get the most from your accountant

Tap their networks

Accountants are a goldmine for contacts. As a small business it is probable the accountant you use will also be working for a host of other businesses.  Ask your accountant to initiate relationships between you and his other clients. This could lead to business deals, the formation of partnerships, or just help you create a support network of people facing the same problems as you.

Pay for advice, not bookkeeping

Rather than spending a fortune on someone to organise your accounts, you should use applications such as Smarta Business Builder to stay on top of the books and spend your money on advice instead. So when finding an accountant you need to make sure it's one you can learn from. Your accountant will have expert knowledge not only of your business but of the industry it's based in. This means they can help uncover ways of expanding your business, know how to cut spending or where to spend more. It's likely that any problem you face, your accountant has probably seen another business suffer with it in the past and knows how to solve it.

Use them to get investment

You're biased towards your business, so when looking for an investment or a loan from a bank you should take your accountant along with you. The accountant can back all of your points up with figures and can give a slightly less biased view. Also, if they've worked in the industry for a number of years, their views and expertise will be respected.

Never lie to them

Doctors can save your life, lawyers can save your freedom and accountants can save your livelihood, so never lie to any of them. Accountants need to know the facts about your business so they can work out how much tax you pay and how your business can make the maximum amount of profit. If you lie to them this could lead to mistakes in your bookkeeping and could ultimately lead to the downfall of you business.

Have regular catch ups

Accountants usually have a large number of clients. Therefore you can't rely on them to be the ones contacting you all the time. You should arrange monthly meetings or weekly phone calls with them. This way they will be able to stop a problem before it gets too big. If you wait and dump all of your difficulties on them at the end of the tax year, odds are the problem may have become beyond repair. Or they will be so busy with their clients, they wont be able to give you their full attention.

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