Three Things to Look For in an Accountant
Updated: Dec 10, 2019
Working with your accountant can be as little as just filing a tax return with them once a year, or it can be as much as them learning the in’s and out’s of your entire business and it’s financial needs. At Vertigan Partners, we believe we are more than just your average accountant, and when working with our clients we become part of their business, helping to set up efficient financing systems, providing financial advice, and getting to know how your business works so we can find ways to capitalise on your current situation to make or save more money. At the end of the day, our goal is to help our clients grow their business, make their money work for them and show them solutions for massive savings within their business.
We recently caught up with one of our new clients and they shared with us the difference we are already making in their business and the extra value we have provided to support their business. Erica, the owner of The Island Creative has kindly allowed us to share some of this information so we can demonstrate to you what you should be looking for in a good accountant, who cares about your business.
When looking for an accountant for your business, it’s important to look for someone who can provide more than just one service. Although some accountants might be great at helping you sort your tax obligations for the financial year, they may not have the knowledge to support you through the entire financial year with advice on improving your financial situation or the systems you use.
Erica initially called us because she needed a more comprehensive service for her business. Working with us, she has been able to receive an all-inclusive accounting and bookkeeping solution. Working with the one business, like us, who can provide all the financial services she needs, means she doesn’t need to outsource the work elsewhere, and we can take care of it all in house for her. We understand how Erica’s business works, we’re not just seeing it at the end of the financial year and sorting her tax return, we are looking at it on a regular basis, discussing with Erica her challenges & providing solutions, and finding smarter ways for her to manage her finances.
It’s best to find an accountant who can provide you with a comprehensive solution, you may not need all their services now, but down the track, if you do need it, they already know your business and can provide a quick solution.
Support & Training
Almost all businesses now use an online accounting system to manage their finances. It’s all well and good to pay for an online accounting system for your business, but it’s also important to know how to get the most out of the system and get what you’re paying for. We find a lot of business owners don’t realise just how much their online accounting system can do for them and how much they are missing out on.
Already, Erica had been using Xero as her accounting software, but since working with us we have been helping her to get the system to work more efficiently for her. After discussing her business requirements, we have also added in the bookkeeping portion of the software, as we realised this was something Erica needed. Peter has been showing Erica how to use the budgeting feature in Xero so she can ensure she is invoicing and paying bills correctly, and most importantly not spending money where it doesn’t need to be spent!
Find an accountant who is willing to go the extra mile and train you with these programs, so you can get the most out of them. You will find a lot of accountants know how to use the software and all its capabilities, but forget to share this with their clients. Or, they don’t take the time to really get to know your business and its requirements to understand that you could be utilising the software you already pay for to solve one of your problems, just like Erica with her bookkeeping requirements.
They Know Your Goals
An accountant is someone who can support your business to achieve its financial goals, and without knowing what those goals are, how can an accountant truly help your business? It would be like paying a personal trainer to help you achieve your health and fitness goals but they don’t actually know what you want to achieve - a bit pointless, right?
When we first caught up with Erica she was feeling a bit lost and not really sure what she should be doing in regards to her bookwork and staff payments. We took the time to meet with her, firstly to get to know her, her business and how it all works, and then to discuss her financial challenges and business goals. Understanding her business and what she wants to achieve, allowed us to provide her with solutions to those challenges, but also dig deeper and find ways she could be capitalising on her business and money. We now know Erica wants to improve her cash flow and increase the gap between sales and profit, and with this information, we can work together as a team with this goal in mind and help her achieve it.
Find an accountant who is willing to take the time to get to know your business and it’s financial goals. If an accountant isn’t willing to do this, your money should be spent elsewhere - with an accountant who is excited and determined to support you in achieving your financial goals.
Erica said that working with Vertigan Partners, she feels like her accounting needs are important to us. And shouldn’t that be exactly right? As an accountant, our priority is our client's accounting needs, that’s our job.
Finding a great accountant is so much more than someone who is good at numbers and understands the different tax laws. It comes down to their attitude, their work ethic and how much they care. A good accountant will care about your business as a whole, not just a good tax outcome, they will support you with your financial goals right throughout the year, not just provide advice at the end of the financial year and most importantly they will get to know your business so they can offer ideas and solutions to possible challenges.
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