Partnering with your accountant during uncertain times

It is fair to say that after 2 years of Covid and multiple variants of the disease, small business owners that have survived the pandemic can write their own rulebook on volatility.  Operating a small business can feel like a somewhat lonely endeavour at times – one requires nerves of steel in the most turbulent times.  What we often forget, is that accountants (including us) are trained to go beyond run-of-the-mill accounting services, to deal with situations like these and are equipped to support their clients’ decisions in even the most turbulent trading periods.

Thanks to an increasingly virtual world (all thanks to Covid, of course), human relationships have been swept aside in favour of work-from-home and social distancing, but here’s where the rubber hits the tar for you as a small business owner!  Getting closer to your accountant is the one relationship that you should be prioritizing for your business, because your accountant has the skill, knowledge, and expertise to translate your trading environment into an actionable gameplan for you and your business.   If you’re not sure where to start, read on…

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6 Tips to better partner with your accountant
  1. Get dialling

Every business endures pressures unique to its industry, trading environment, history and much more.  Your accountant will only be able to support your decisions if they understand your business and the pressures that you are under, so unburden the events, circumstances, etc that are keeping you awake at night.  Pick up the phone and start a conversation.

  1. Get advice

Accountants are intuitively wired to be financially resourceful.  Whether the conversation is about software to improve administrative efficiency or processes to enhance the integrity of your financial data, your accountant understands the inherent value of additional offerings and process enhancement.  Remember that an accountant will not share recommendations if they will not be impactful and/or better serve your business. 

  1. Teamwork

The pandemic has forced many small businesses to implement fixes of a short-term nature to a problem that is of a structural or long-term nature.  As the pandemic has eased, there is a growing opportunity to address these issues and implement longer term and more sustainable strategic solutions.  The success of these structural changes relies 100% on teamwork between you and your accountant.  Ensure that he/she understands what changes you have made, so that the long-term fixes are indeed long term.  Always be transparent.

  1. Leverage the time wisely

Understanding where your accountant dedicates their time on your account is vital to ensuring you are enjoying the most value for money and focusing their skills where your business needs it most.  Higher volumes of time spent on data configuration, for example, could signify a dated financial system, which could be remedied with a simple software adoption to free up advisory hours that could be dedicated to supporting you find ways to be more successful.

  1. Use their resources and networks

Accountants are blessed with wisdom, and a host of good contacts to tap into.  Many accountants are members of business networks that they can introduce you to for assistance with a range of your business needs from smart procurement, to access to talent for your business.

  1. Invest in the relationship

The foundation of every successful relationship, both in business and in our private lives, is one founded on trust and respect.  But that is not built overnight, it requires nurturing, getting to know one another and working at cultivating a good understanding of each other.  Find a way to develop your relationship with your accountant that works for you both.  Remember that it’s not only down to a phone call or an email – most accountants enjoy a good coffee and a break from the office, so consider off-site ideas too.

MMS Entrepreneurial Services is operated by a team of entrepreneurs who understand the pressures and needs of the small business owner.  We offer outsourced accounting services to our customers, giving peace of mind that all financial and compliance aspects of their business are taken care of.  If you are interested in engaging a team of business professionals keen to understand and support your business, beyond the obvious, reach out to us.
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