5 business areas (other than tax) your accountant should work on

StuartBusiness Process

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Choosing the right accountant is a big business decision. The relationship you have with your accountant should be one of your strongest and most important business relationships you’ll have, so choose wisely.

Regardless of where you are in your business journey, your accountants’ expertise should not be limited to tax compliance. Not only should your accountant be proactive about saving you money, they should also be committed to helping you achieve your business objectives. For this to happen, you need to be in touch with your accountant a lot more than one phone call a year.

1. Unlock growth in your business

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are a great way to monitor your business. With the help of your accountant, set and regularly monitor key KPI’s within your business.

The trouble most business owners have with setting KPIs is that many businesses don’t know what to measure. The result: bad management, mixed messages, confusion and focus given to the wrong thing.

Solid advice from your accountant around your KPIs will provide assistance in setting and monitoring them. Check out our feature blog on KPIs next week to get you started!

2. How do you stack up? Measuring against industry benchmarks

Benchmarking involves measuring the performance of your business against a set of standards or a competitor in the same market. Comparing your business to others is a valuable way of improving your understanding of your business performance and potential.

One of the great things about benchmarks is that they give businesses owners’ peace of mind. Your accountant has access to great tools that will benchmark your business against thousands of other businesses, with specialist benchmark reporting available from independent providers as well as the ATO.

This can be useful, not only as a performance measurement mechanism but for assessing the ATO risk for your business based on key metrics. For example, if your business is inside the benchmark range for your industry and the ATO hasn’t received any extra information that may cause concern, you can be confident that the ATO won’t be giving you a call come tax time. Now, that’s peace of mind!

3. Bring focused input and informed value to the table

Do you conduct a regular monthly board/management/directors meeting, either with your senior team or other related advisors?
This is essential for growing businesses that need to address the wide range of business challenges facing business owners. We’ve all heard; “you need to find more time to spend ON your business rather than IN your business”. Formalising this through a monthly board or management meeting is a great way to ensure this is achieved.

An agenda should be set covering key standing topic areas, such as financial results, new customer wins, HR, marketing, and any other things that are important to your business.

Many small businesses may lack “management team”, which is why partnering with your accountant can provide a level of external advice crucial to ensuring your business is being peer reviewed and independently appraised. Essentially, your accountant can act as an independent director, sit in on monthly meetings and help comprise of the “board” that your business needs.

4. Commit to strategic sessions and development

Conducting business strategy sessions, facilitated by an external advisor, like your accountant will better independently assess your business strengths, weaknesses and overall performance.
Involve your accountant in strategy, planning and development of your business. The more time you spend thinking strategically, the more clarity you’ll have around what it is you need to become successful. Your accountant can offer years of expertise, solid business advice and valuable perspective.

A strategy is crucial to business success as its sets the framework around what your business goals should be. Within those goals, metrics can be used to monitor your progress in achieving your goals, and monthly “board” meetings can be utilised to assess the outcomes of your performance measurement tools and whether adjustments need to be made to keep you on track.

5. Smart holistic thinking to assist your complete business journey

Accountants have a unique relationship with clients. Regarded as “trusted advisers” we are privy to information that allows us to have a unique perspective on the needs and opportunities for each of our clients beyond accounting.

Your accountant should recognise your greater needs and tap into their recommended partners and services including business lawyers, financial planners, insurance brokers, marketing and more to assist you to achieve your business goals.

Assess whether you’re getting the best value from your accountant by reviewing if they are offering the above.

Are you getting the best value from your accountant?

Let’s talk.

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