If you already have an accountant, you likely understand the importance of trusting your business’ finances to a professional. However, despite already having an accountant, you may still feel a little in the dark when it comes to the rest of your business’ financials.
Because of the efficiencies that cloud accounting software provides, more accountants today are going beyond the basics and giving their small business clients strategic business advice to help them save money or boost revenue. This highly collaborative relationship is leading modern accountants to fulfill the role of the trusted advisor for many small business owners.
It’s easier than ever to establish this type of relationship with an accountant so you can get a better picture of your business’ financial health and run it with more clarity and confidence.
How an accountant can become your trusted advisor
An important piece of this collaborative accountant-client relationship is cloud accounting software—it’s nearly impossible to maintain this type of relationship using desktop accounting software. By working with you in the cloud, on a single general ledger, a modern accountant will derive the value from your real-time financial data and give you meaningful advice to help you run your business insightfully.
A trusted advisor can help with strategy, enabling you to figure out what’s important for your business. They can work with you to set goals and give you tools to measure your progress by creating a set of key performance indicators (KPIs) or dashboards using your cloud accounting software so you can check them around-the-clock. They’ll help you troubleshoot if things aren’t working out and readjust as needed.
Cash flow is the lifeblood of any business, and in an industry like health and wellness that is heavily influenced by seasonality, accurate knowledge of cash flow is critical. Your advisor should help you better understand your business’ cash flow by predicting these ebbs and flows and coming up with strategies to manage them.
An accountant will work with you to plan ahead for future growth and expenses. Whether you’re thinking about opening a new location or hiring more staff, an accountant can produce accurate and rigorous budgets and forecasts to give you confidence when you’re scaling your business.
You’ll make many big decisions over the course of being a business owner, and a quality accountant will be able to collaborate with you to ensure your business is a success—providing all of these services and more.
Establishing the relationship
Your accountant likely already has these types of services to offer, it may just be a matter of reaching out to them and figuring out a service offering that works for you. Whether it means them taking on a Virtual CFO position or more of a financial advisory role in your business, a modern accountant or accounting firm should be able to provide as little or as much advice as you need without charging you for a higher level of service that goes beyond what you need.
Set up a time to speak with them about the type of advisory services you’re looking for, and go in with a bit of an idea as to how in-depth you’ll need these services to be. A modern accountant will be able to work with you to figure out a package that suits.
It’s more important than ever to find an accountant that you trust and work well with—if your current accountant isn’t able to provide the level of advisory services that you need to understand your business' financials fully, it’s easy to find one who will be able to help. Just a simple search online will yield a multitude of qualified advisors from across the country and even the world. If you’re feeling a little too spoiled for choice, the Xero Advisor Directory will help narrow down the selection process. With the ability to search for an accountant with specialized expertise and industry, and even by location if you’d prefer someone local, the right accountant for your business is just a click away.
Without an accounting degree, there’s only so much you can do with numbers. Be proactive when it comes to your business’ financials—don’t just seek an accountant, find an advisor that will become your business’ partner.