As any small business owner knows, the right accountant is crucial for managing the financial side of your business. They’ll help set up your accounting and payroll systems, as well as sort out your annual accounting and tax.
But that’s just the beginning! A great accountant will also help you grow your business by:
- advising you on business growth, tax planning, and asset protection
- keeping an eye on your cash flow
- helping you set up great business systems
- helping you to generate profit and build a more valuable business
As your financial advisor, your accountant is the one to help you grow all aspects of your business. While you’re busy with the day-to-day running of the business, he or she can provide some perspective into how to improve your bottom line.
It can be difficult to know how to choose a good accountant, especially if you’re looking for more than compliance services. If you’re looking for an expert financial advisor, here are five ways your accountant could be helping you…
- Working smart in the cloud
Cloud-based software such as Xero allows you to access your data from any device with an internet connection. Unlike traditional accounting software, Xero allows small business owners to be connected to their data and their accountants at all times.
Xero allows you to have a clear overview of your current financial position in real-time. The multi-user access makes it easy to collaborate online with your team – and your accountant.
Rather than running applications over a desktop computer, you simply pay a monthly subscription.
As a ‘paperless’ system, Xero can help you to get rid of inefficient hard copy files and other clutter.
Your accountant can show you how to streamline your processes and use Xero to pay employees and creditors accurately, automate the scanning and coding of bills, prepare your GST returns accurately (and quickly!) and spend less time on bookkeeping.
Not in the cloud yet? Or are you already using Xero, but still surrounded by paper? Here’s where you can sign up for Xero training!
- Creating a One-Page business plan
Where will your business be in the next 12 months – or the next five years? Your accountant can work with you to create a One Page Business Plan.
A One-Page Business Plan is a succinct “road map” that represents what your business is about and the direction you want to take. It’s based on your core values, your goals, and your strategy for achieving those goals.
Your accountant can work with you to execute the plan successfully. They will help you to make good decisions and keep you on track to achieve long-term goals. By sharing your plan with your team and updating it every 90 days, you’ll be motivated to stay on track and improve your business results. A business plan keeps key decision-makers clear on how to achieve your strategic objectives.
Need more direction? Check out Q2’s One-Page Business Plan workshop. It’s the ultimate strategic planning session for business owners – one that will maintain your focus on what’s important and help you to achieve your business goals. Find out more here!
- Sorting out your cash flow
Business owners aren’t necessarily math whizzes! Managing the numbers side of your business takes effort and time, which most business owners don’t often have much of.In order to truly understand the ‘health’ of your business, you must first understand your finances. Your level of financial intelligence affects not only your numbers, but your growth plans and your relationship with financial lenders. Again, this is where your accountant can help.
As a small business owner, you need a financial advisor who can help make sense of your budget, accounting and taxes. They should be able to show you what affects your cash flow, budget projections, profit and loss. They should also coach you in understanding the financial drivers in your business: how you make money, how you spend it and how you can invest it to improve your overall financial position.
Need more financial intelligence? Q2 provide a bi-weekly group coaching programme that helps you to read your financial results and accurately calculate your cash conversion cycle.
- Getting your business structure right
As well as guiding your finances, your accountant should be proactive in ensuring you have your business and structures set up as the foundation to manage risk and grow your wealth.
Understanding your business and personal risks allows you to create a safety net and protect the assets you are accumulating for the future. There may also be an opportunity to restructure and reduce your tax bill.
A limited liability company for the business and a family trust may be the starting point for both asset protection and tax efficiency. Getting these set up correctly and creating an overall structure plan ensures your finances are both tax and business smart is where a good accountant can help.
Not getting advice around protecting your assets or structuring your business for growth? Have a chat to Q2 Accountants. As chartered accountants, Q2 are business structuring experts and have been helping business owners do this for over 25 years.
- Preparing to sell up
As your accountant will tell you, you should be thinking about how you’ll sell your business right from the day you start it or buy it.
Selling your business is all about making your business attractive to a purchaser. Your accountant is the best person to help you do this. They should be able to help you improve profitability, reduce risks and groom your business for an easy transfer.
The longer your track record of performance of profitable trading, the better. Ideally, your preparation should begin two to five years before you plan to sell. This allows time to work on maximising profitability.
A good accountant will have the expertise to help you understand the value of your business, and how to prepare an established business for sale. They’ll examine all facets of your business’ performance, including your assets, earnings and estimated market value.
An attractive business is one with good systems in place that allow for a smooth transfer. They should guide you through establishing these systems and getting your business in order so you can get the best price possible.
After all, the less work a potential purchaser has to do, the more motivated they will be to buy!
Is your accountant helping you to maximise your profits and keep your records in order? No matter what stage your business is at, Q2 chartered accountants and business advisors can help with bookkeeping, accounting, tax planning, consulting AND coaching. They’re the accountants who help take the hard work out of being a business owner!