The seven main bodies that represent accountants in the UK and Ireland have over 300,000 members. That sure is a lot of accountants we have at our disposal! Though to get the most out of your accountant, you need to actually have one in the first place. You also need to know exactly what you should be asking them so that you can make full use of their knowledge and services. Here are the most important questions you should ask your accountant to help you get the most out of yours.
What Is Your Experience?
While this might sound a bit like a job interview question, you need to know exactly who will be getting to grips with your financials. This is because accountancy is a very broad field. There are many different specialisms that could make one firm more suited to your needs than another. A modern example is so-called ‘crypto accountants’ who can advise cryptocurrency investors. The average high street accountant might not have such experience, so how can they best advise you?
All accounts must be properly trained, but their overall experience will differ greatly. If you are facing a complex problem (such as requiring business recovery advice), then it pays to find a more experienced accountant. Likewise, some accountants will have an old school method in their ways. Though, this might not offer up to date techniques in some cases. So you really need to understand their experience of accountancy.
How Often Can We Meet?
Granted, a catch up with your accountant is hardly going to be something you look forward to. However, if you aren’t seeing that much of them, this begs the question: what are they actually doing for you? While you equally don’t want to become a needy client, you do need to make sure your meetings aren’t limited to your yearly tax returns. Otherwise, you could be missing out on vital services not to mention advice.
Startups especially require a lot of mentoring from those around them. Your accountant should be there to guide you as you take your first tentative steps into business. From helping you to acquire business loans to cash flow forecasts to help you grow, make sure you use them well. If your accountant doesn’t seem that keen to keep in regular contact, then you should find someone else who is. That way, your financials have a better chance of being kept in check.
What Would You Do If You Owned My Business?
It’s a question that pulls no punches but is one that every accountant should be able to answer. Rather than getting into the specifics of your business, they should advise you as if it was their business after all. Perhaps there are some tricks you are missing, or you could be overspending on materials. If the true advice stays in their thoughts and isn’t vocalised, you can’t benefit from it.
If your accountant is highly experienced, they’ve likely nurtured many similar clients over the years. So what have they learned from this? Look for someone who shares the same passion and willingness for your business to succeed. If they don’t have any answers and can’t relate, they might not be the best person for the job. Asking this question can also help you narrow down the right accountant if you currently don’t have one either.
How Can You Help Me Better Manage My Taxes?
Of course, you should ask your account how thy can help you better manage your taxes. Your business accountant should be able to help you effectively manage bookkeeping, deductions, and tax payments. To ensure their efficiency, ask your accountant about their knowledge of business tax laws and minimization techniques. Certainly, this can help you manage compliance, achieve peace of mind, and save money on taxes.
What Are Some Of The Common Business Deductions You Can Help Me Make?
As a business owner, you will want an accountant that can help you make several types of deductions. When properly managed, these deductions can help you reduce your taxable income, and therefore your required taxes. A knowledgeable business accountant can help you make strategic deductions for home offices, internet fees, cell phone bills, as well as vehicle and travel expenses. With these strategic services, you can greatly reduce your small business taxes, and free up working capital for more pertinent things.
It’s certainly the case that accounts speak a whole other language most people don’t understand. But when it comes to the financial health of your business, you should both be on the same page. Next time you meet with your accountant, be sure to ask them plenty of questions. The more insight they can give you, the more you can flourish as a business owner.