How can a small business get the most out of their accountant?
Success can be hard to achieve for a small business but it can certainly be measured in the financial stability and profitability of the venture. Of all the hires you make, your accountant will be the one completely focused on the bottom line and how to make each financial year better than the last. Traditionally, this is by keeping your taxes and accounts balanced but accountants can do much more for a business.
We caught up with Lida Keo who wears two hats - she’s both an accountant as well as Vonto’s Customer Success Manager. She provides users with rapid support when needed and is a sounding board for feedback and queries. With many years of experience, she understands the issues small businesses can have. Here, Lida shares some of the best practices business owners can use to get the most out of their accountant.
Over to you Lida!
What information can business owners provide to their accountant to make sure that their time is used efficiently?
It’s important for a business owner to provide all necessary receipts and paperwork to their accountants as well as any other declarations they are asked for. In addition to this, I find talking to your accountant about the day to day operations of your business may establish a deeper understanding of your income and expenses.
For example, you operate a Chinese takeaway store but you also deliver this to local RSLs and reception venues. This may mean that you’re eligible to purchase a motor vehicle under your business’s name which then becomes a tax deduction (for the proportion that you’re using it for work). This would not have been picked up if you don’t go into depth about how YOU run your business.
The relationship between a client and their accountant is one that is very interesting, not only does the client need to be honest and open about finances - but you must also reveal your thoughts and aspirations for the next few years. Sounds odd? This is because accountants need to know where you are right now, to help you get to where you want to be in a tax effective, efficient and legal way to ensure that every dollar is working for you!
Once this trust is established, the conversation with your accountant will be framed around this aspiration and meaningful steps will be created to ensure that you get to where you need to be.
What can business owners do to make filing taxes easier and avoid missing out on any deductions?
If business owners and managers are able to set aside time every month to ensure monthly reconciliations are completed and all recipes are compiled, it will make the process a lot easier. Imagine trying to remember what you bought in July 2019, in June 2020? It’s near impossible!
Another great way to ensure that all receipts and deductions are captured is to use applications such as ‘receipt bank’ this is a fantastic tool whereby you just need to take a photo of your receipt (for any business purchases) and it will automatically determine which account ledger the expenses should be categorised under as well as feed the expenses into your cloud accounting software.
Lastly, business owners should ensure that they are dealing with accountants and bookkeepers who are up to date with industry information and news. The easiest way to determine this is to ask them a question you may have heard in the news i.e ‘what are your thoughts on the governments’ increase in the small business instant asset write off increasing to $100K.’ Not only is this relevant to you as a small business owner but it also verifies whether the accountant is informed enough to make a professional judgement on such policy.
It’s time to call on an accountant, right?
A great accountant is able to help you plan for your financial wellbeing and your financial freedom through cost cutting, offering different perspectives and strategies. They are a great business investment, and considering their fees are tax deductible, it’s essential that you find the right accountant who can offer a variety of services that is not just limited to accounting and tax.
Thanks for reading!
Lida has given us a great insight into exactly what an accountant can do for a small business. It’s so important, as an owner, to have an overview of exactly what’s happening with your finances.
Vonto’s business analytics app gives you a curated daily feed of vital information about your business that you can act on. Vonto’s mission is simple, to help small businesses thrive by enabling better decisions and actions. Download the free app today to see what Vonto can do for your business.