Accountants - 5 excuses for not moving
1.‘They know my business.’
‘They have my files, and they’ve made the accounting process so obscure and confusing, and they’ve made me believe that the ‘sky will fall’ if I attempt to move.’
Like any good relationship, the right accountant will empower you to be the best version of yourself. This is achieved by explaining complex issues in a way that you understand, providing you with options and allowing you to decide how you want to proceed, based on an informed understanding.
With the right accountant, every engagement will make you wiser, better informed and more capable.
2.‘It’s too hard to move everything.’
“Breaking up is hard to do.”
You only fully understand how toxic a relationship has become, once you’re on the outside. The same is true of a poor relationship with an accountant. It’s not necessarily that your accountant is ‘bad’ at what they do; they might just be indifferent to you and your business. Accountants can be like many service providers; once you’re onboard, they can slip into ‘auto-pilot mode’, doing the absolute bare minimum. That’s not good enough. You work hard for your money, and you deserve an accountant that is knowledgeable, energetic and most importantly, passionate about you and your business. Remember, your accountant is an integral part of your team, and a team is only as strong as its weakest link.
3. ‘We’re friendly and I don’t want to offend.’
‘Being liked is more important than being successful.’
There is nothing wrong with becoming friends with your accountant, but don’t let that friendship cloud your judgment. Your accountant’s primary duty of care is to provide you with the very best accounting advice. Don’t confuse friendship with friendly. Remember, with your accountant its business first. If you can’t be brutally honest and call your accountant on how they behave professionally, you have a problem.
4. ‘There is nothing to say, they’re doing a good job.’
“I don’t have another point of reference.”
The average Australian thinks nothing of comparing their home loan interest rates every now and then. It’s prudent that small businesses do the same thing with their accountant. The best way to do that is make at least one appointment with another accountant, at least every 2 years and take their pulse on your business. They may alert you to serious issues that your current accountant has ignored. At the very least, it will give you some perspective on the relationship you have with your current accountant.
5. ‘I’m a small business, and I only need them to do my tax.’
I don’t really understand what accountants do
Yes your accountant does your tax. Yes, your accountant can help with your payroll. Yes, your accountant can help you do your BAS, yet a good bookkeeper can do most of these functions. You may not have asked more of your accountant, simply because you don’t know what questions to ask. The reality is the right accountant is more interested in your business. They will see your potential and ask you the questions. It’s not that they are looking at new reasons to bill you; they want to learn how they can help.
A great accountant is generous by nature. They’re smart people, and they find satisfaction in the knowledge that they can provide you with the type of advice that helps you succeed in life. They have a ‘holistic view’, which encompasses your business and your families well-being and can provide sage advice on everything from funding to tax minimisation strategies and even self-managed super. They can use the experience they have learned from other, similar small businesses to help you avoid the pitfalls that come with start-ups, to expansion and right through to exit strategies. They can provide the same support in your personal life, helping you minimise risk, maximise financial returns, supporting your family and preparing you for an independent retirement.
Your wake up call
When it comes to excuses for not moving accountants, when it’s an absolute necessity to do so, we’ve heard them all, however, none of them stands up to serious scrutiny. Your accountant is as important to your financial health as your GP is to your physical health, and as with your GP if you have the slightest suspicion that your not getting the very best advice, it makes good sense to seek a second opinion.
The one common denominator amongst most successful people is that they surround themselves with great advisors, and for most successful people this begins with a great accountant. We say a ‘great accountant’, not a ‘good accountant’, simply because there are countless ‘good accountants’ but ‘good’ accountants won’t share your vision, they will only see what’s in front of them. A ‘great accountant’ will.
You may think that because you’re a startup that, at least for the moment, this is your lot in life. You may even think you’re too small to warrant their serious attention. Nothing is further from the truth. Most successful businesses and successful people start out small. It is their vision that helps them achieve great things. That vision needs to be nurtured and supported with good advice, from a great accountant. You deserve an accountant that can understand and help you realise your vision. Nothing less is acceptable.