Is your accountant your new best friend?

Accountants aren’t just there to look at the numbers. They act as a useful of source of general business advice too. In the first segment of a two-part blog, we outline the specific ways they can help your company to... Read more

Blog27th Feb 2015

By Sarah Munro

Accountants aren’t just there to look at the numbers. They act as a useful of source of general business advice too. In the first segment of a two-part blog, we outline the specific ways they can help your company to prosper.

If you think that accountancy is all about compliance work – tax returns and the preparation of formal accounts – then you’re probably underestimating the degree of help that your professional adviser can give you.

It’s worth remembering that accountants are typically dealing with a number of different businesses of varying sizes. These companies will have reached stages of development and maturity and they will operate in a diverse range of sectors. As a result, the accountancy firm will be picking up useful insights which may well be relevant to the issues you’re facing in your own business.

Let’s face it. As busy manager or owner, you often don’t have the time to sit back and reflect on the priorities and future direction of your business. It’s great to have some impartial advice and someone who can act as a sounding board. Your bank is one option, of course, but very often the relationship will be transactional and you’ll end up discussing your overdraft facility.

When you first set up a business, an accountant may be one of the first people you speak to. And right from the start of the relationship, they’re likely to be going beyond the figures and giving you advice. When an individual chooses whether they should become a sole trader or incorporate as a limited company, for instance, it’s not only a question of the tax differential. Simplicity and flexibility might be just as important in determining the decision as the bottom line.

As the business develops, you’ll start confronting a whole range of other issues. Employment law, commercial questions, IT provision and the raising of finance. While your accountant may not be an expert in any one of these areas, they are an excellent first port of call, as the chances are they will have useful contacts and be able to make recommendations.

Next time: how your accountant can challenge you and help you prepare for the future.

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