How to Help your Accountant Help you

There are many things that you can do to help your accountant give you the best help for your business.

Your accountant is human like anyone else. They make mistakes, they forget appointments, they forget to return your phone calls, they often appear not to understand you, they can’t work tax miracles for you when you make high profits, they are easily misunderstood, they are hard to get hold of and their fees continually appear too high.

You must appreciate that you are not the only client that your accountant is responsible for. Having said that, many accountants need to shake their ideas a little and take note that it is their clients that keep them in business. They need to remember that good service is the key to a successful accounting practice.

It takes two to tango so if both parties understand what is required from each then things would work much smoother for the benefit of all.

Here are a few suggestions to consider that would help your accountant give you the best service:

  1. Be clear from the beginning.
    When you have that first meeting with the accountant make sure that both of you understand what is required from each other. Your accountant must be clear on what he or she has to provide so that the requirements of your business are met. Set out the services that you will need and the type and amount of attention that you expect.

  2. Ask for assistance.
    If you find yourself in trouble ask quickly for assistance. Most accountants are more than happy to help if asked. You cannot expect your accountant to rectify a situation or save you from a problem if you have not kept in touch or asked for advice.
  3. You are not the only one.
    You are only one client that your accountant has to look after. Your accountant may have 200 to 500 other clients that need attention at any one time so be a little patient if your accountant is not available when you call.

  4. Keep communication open.
    At all times keep in touch with your accountant and keep him or her informed of your progress as well as problems in your business. This will enable things to be put into place to resolve your problems or plans for avoiding potential problems on the horizon.

  5. Ask for updates.
    Make sure you have put in place a system whereby your accountant can update your business constantly with financial information that shows the progress in your business. Your accountant should be able to extract information from your transactions to enable full details on your current performance that would produce strategies to improve your business further.
  6. Be prepared to pay.
    The old saying that you get what you pay for applies to your accountant just like it does to any other professional. If you feel your fee is too high have a meeting with your accountant and set out your concerns. But remember, if your accountant is performing the services that you require and the accountant is meeting their contractual obligations to you, then pay the fee, and pay on time when you receive the invoice. If you don’t meet your side of the contract and pay for services rendered then you cannot expect your accountant to go out of the way in the performance of duties to your business.

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