About Accountants

Don’t be “Part of the Problem”
Sometimes business owners neglect to see their accountants because they are too busy with other things or because they do not want to pay high fees. Both these reasons are rather silly and can result in extra costs to your business.

Most people do not mind paying fees if the accountant is able to demonstrate that they are worth the money spent. Even though a software program can prepare financial accounts and tax returns it is still important for the accountant to interpret the data extracted in order to finalise taxation and enable decisions by management to take place.
Business owners need to appreciate the value added benefit of a good accountant and be happy to pay fees for the services that the accountant will give to the business – resulting in higher profitability.
It is important that a client does not get in the way and become part of the problem. It is no use trying to fix things later when problems have arisen when those problems could have been avoided by consulting an accountant early.

Bean Counter or a Tax Specialist?
Some accountants are known as bean counters. Other good accountants are good business advisers as well as tax specialists. If the accountant is a good business adviser you can be confident that the business will receive specialist. If the accountant is also a tax expert then the minimum amount of taxation will be incurred. Many accountants have basic knowledge of tax but they do not specialise in this area.
Many accountants therefore may know little about tax planning. It is not that the accountant is incompetent or lazy, it is just that in this world of specialisation an accountant cannot hope to know everything about the latest tax saving strategies unless they specialise.
It simply means that if tax reduction is a big need in your business you will require the services of an accountant with specialist knowledge in the area of taxation. Make sure that your accountant is prepared to represent you in a fight, if necessary, with the Tax Department. If your accountant is not prepared to stand with you, but is more concerned with their reputation then find another accountant quick!
Your accountant is there to represent your interests and not to protect their interests. If your accountant is simply a bean counter (but you need top tax help) then they are no more than a good bookkeeper and you should think twice about retaining their services.

The Main “Problem Areas” in your Business
An important factor is the wide variety of business contacts that your accountant may have. This network is very important because your accountant is able to link you up with other businesses that can result in lower costs or increased work for you. A good accountant is more than a bean counter, and even more than a tax specialist. A good accountant is one that is totally concerned with every area that could help make your business more successful and are always keeping their eyes open with that in mind. Ask your accountant to check your problems.
You need to check with your accountant if your company or business has problems in any of the following areas:
  1. No strategic plan in place
  2. Financial reporting is poor
  3. Your business is dependent on debt or borrowed money
  4. You have no financial budgeting or forecasting in place
  5. Your cash management situation is non-existent
  6. You find yourself continually under stress and are overburdened
  7. Your business is constantly late with paying taxation on your behalf 
  8. Your business finds it hard to adapt to changes or improvements
  9. Your business does not feel confident about its future