If you’re only visiting your business accountant once a year at tax time, you’re not making the most of an invaluable resource. A good accountant is a godsend for your small business – and he or she can help you with so much more than your tax debt.
Finding an accountant you trust gives you access to a financial expert who can help you get your start-up established, troubleshoot issues you're likely to face every day, suggest practical strategies for growth and more besides. Here’s a list of business advice you probably didn’t know you could ask your accountant to help you with:
- Setting up the right strategy. When you're just starting in business, you need to know if your great idea will actually put moolah in your bank account. A good accountant can help you test your concept thoroughly before you jump in feet first. They can help you determine the best business structure you’ll need to succeed – whether that’s as a sole owner, corporation or partnership – and advise you on how to approach the financial side of your business plan to make you more attractive to investors and lenders.
- Implementing the complete processes. Your accountant can give you advice on how to set up your invoicing, accounts payable and receivable processes the right way. They can help choose which accounting software that will make it easier for you to track expenditure, make sure you’re paying the right amount of GST and streamline your tax documentation. They can even help you set up a business bank account, apply for an Australian Business Number (ABN) and submit company and partnership applications.
- Saving money. Yes, accountants help you save money by minimising your business tax debt and ensuring you’re compliant with all the necessary regulations when it comes to employees, contractors and so forth. But they can also show you how to streamline your operating costs and boost your revenue. Sometimes it’s useful having a sympathetic expert cast an eye over your process and books to see if any efficiencies can be made – remember, accountants see every make and model of small business, and they know what works.
- Helping you get paid. Unpaid invoices are the bane of small business owners. Accounts in arrears reduce your cash flow and make you feel like your business is wading through quicksand. Plus, it can be really stressful not knowing when the next paycheck is coming in. Luckily, your accountant is an expert when it comes to making sure you get paid on time. He or she can take over the time-consuming responsibility of chasing your debtors by setting up automatic reminders to send to your customers and sometimes even calling businesses that fail to respond on your behalf. If that doesn't work, they can also source a good debt financing company or a debt collector to take care of the process for you.
- Achieving your goals. There are many reasons why you might decide to create a small business – it’s rarely just for the sake of it. Your accountant can help you figure out what you’re getting into the business for in the first place – for financial security, to have more flexibility to spend time with your family, or because you've seen a vast gaping hole in the market. Once they’ve determined what’s important to you, they can help you set goals and track your progress towards them, making it more likely you’ll realise them faster.
Running a small business is a marathon, not a sprint. Your business accountant is there to make sure you last the distance. Call today to discover how we can help you boost your bottom line.