4 reasons why you shouldn’t hide from your accountant

- December 10, 2020 3 MIN READ

Sometimes, the best time to get expert advice is when you’re too embarrassed to do it. This is as true about seeing doctors as it is about consulting with your accountant when your finances are a mess. If it’s overwhelming to you, it’s most likely to be salvaged and straightened out with the help of a professional.

We rely on the experts when we are out of our depth, that’s why they’re there. However, there are far greater reasons not to hide from your accountant, writes Sonia Gibson.

Finding your way out of a financial mess

man rubbing eyes in front of computer

1. Facing insolvency? Your accountant can minimise the liability you have

Financial droughts can result in new problems springing up constantly. Legal woes are a concern that every director or business owner needs to take advice on.

Director liability is a real danger. Although the legalities around insolvency for businesses with less than $1 million in debt are changing, it is still fraught with danger.

Your accountant will work with you to find ways to honour your commitments. You still have a moral obligation to pay your suppliers to prevent a domino effect of businesses crumbling.

2. Record-keeping a mess?

If your record-keeping makes you want to tear your hair out, it’s probably not going to be a cup of tea for your accountant either, but it is part of their specialty.

Much like seeing a doctor with a festering wound, the longer you take to turn up and ask for help, the worse the situation becomes until you lose the limb completely. Also, like seeing a doctor, an accountant can help you to heal the wound and set up a proper care protocol.

For your books, this means your accountant will set up a system of record-keeping that you will need to follow on an ongoing basis. Your accountant can advise you on the correct tools and software programs to use that will simplify this task and make it easy for you.

3. Are you working in the business and not on the business?

Sometimes businesses grow rapidly and we forget about those systems and processes we set up when we started out. It’s not unusual for directors to get so involved in serving their clients and sourcing new leads that they forget to service and maintain the back end of the business.

As a result, the business’ paperwork and books get messy. Tax season arrives and you have chaos to try and deal with. It’s completely overwhelming.

Take the mess to your accountant. Work together and create a process that will facilitate the growth of your business while keeping your admin and record-keeping neat and easily accessible.

Two women sitting at desk looking at business documents

4. Your accountant can identify solutions (you didn’t know were available)

You’re an expert in your field. You understand your clients, their needs, and you understand the intricacies of your line of work in ways that your clients do not. That’s why they make use of your services.

It’s the same with your accountant. Your accountant is up to date on the latest changes in legislation and the latest financial relief strategies from the government. Your accountant has spent a great deal of time learning how to work with numbers and forage business growth in the most unlikely of circumstances. They can do this because they are trained to do this and they are immersed in the industry.

This specialised insight can have an impact on your business decisions – you may have options at your disposal that you didn’t know about.

A final word of advice

Don’t drown in the mess! Chaos is usually the result of overwhelm, and then it also exacerbates it. It’s important to have a rock-solid workflow in place when it comes to managing your business finances, keeping records and handling your billing system.

Sometimes, the process you had when you started out was working fine when you had a small portfolio of clients – but as that portfolio grew, you also outgrew your system. It’s amazing just how fast chaos can set in!

It’s okay if you don’t know how to manage these processes. It’s okay not to have all of the answers. Your accountant can help you to create a growth-proof system that expands as your business does.

The system has to work for you – meaning it must be easy and quick to use. There’s no one-size-fits-all strategy, that’s why your accountant can draw from the common best practices to create a system that fits into your business’ schedule.

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