Relying completely on accounting tools and your understanding of the subject can be one of the costliest mistakes you can make in your business. Working with an accountant who is licensed and qualified can save your business from many unwanted situations and can help to reduce your tax bill significantly.
When you decide that you need the services of a professional accountant or bookkeeper, you must have a clear picture in your head about what to ask them and when. It is important because you want to ensure what is best for the business and asking the right questions is the first step in this process. Here are some key questions that you should ask an accountant before hiring them for their services.
Working with an accountant – Key questions
What will be the mode of communication, and how often do we need to be in touch?
This might seem like an obvious question; however, effective communication is the key to building a healthy relationship with your accountant. Decide early on about your need to meet face to face or via calls or emails. The frequency of your meetings should also be decided in case the accountant is working for you part-time. Even if have hired a full-time accountant, you will need to schedule a weekly meeting to understand how your business has been performing.
How can working with an accountant save you from excessive tax liabilities?
Preparing your documents to file tax returns is a tedious process that usually requires the services of a professional accountant. You must always ask accountants about their plan to save you from excessive tax burdens as well as filing an unblemished record of your financials. An accountant can help you to decide on your tax credits or deductions, which can be claimed, and any new laws that can help your business in any way.
What are some key areas that need to be consulted about regularly?
A professional accountant can understand the dynamics of your business early and should be able to keep you informed about the critical factors that can affect your business. Your accountant should have detailed knowledge in areas such as corporate taxing, financial modeling, HR planning, and GAAP. While working with an accountant, they must be able to help you make certain decisions, like hiring a full or part-time contractor and renting or buying a certain property.
The key is collaboration and if your accountant can work with you and convey information without any confusion, you might taste success sooner than you think.
How to nurture my business?
For development, it is necessary to build a financial model from scratch, exactly to the requirements of your business. The model should be realistic and must account for strengths as well as weaknesses. You do not want your business to be performing well on paper while failing. Explain the current scenario and your future ambitions for the business to your accountant and ask for a financial plan, which should help achieve those objectives.
What is the plan to manage the cash flow?
The job of an accountant is to manage your current cash flows and forecast future ones. A plan needs to be devised so that there is always some room to maneuver when times are tough, and you are not stuck. All your receivables and payables go through the system that is devised by an accountant and nothing should go overlooked or missing.
What is the value of my business?
DCF (Discounted cash flow analysis) is a method used by accountants for the valuation of a business. Apart from your tangible assets, an accountant must be able to correctly estimate the fair market value of your business. Based on the overall value, you can further identify the aspects of your business that offer the maximum value. An accountant may require some time to accurately value your business, so do not expect an immediate answer. Working with an accountant to assess your valuable aspects of the business can be advantageous in the overall scheme of operations.
This question is more related to legal matters and should be asked by your attorney, however, some of the financial matters in a contract must go through an accountant as well. The attorney and accountant, with your collaboration, must be able to correctly determine the legal and financial boundaries of a contract. Critically scrutinize each contract for any possible clauses or points that could hurt your business in the future.
What are some special considerations while working with an accountant?
Every business has its unique needs, which require a certain approach. Similarly, the accountant also must feel at ease while working with you to give 100%. Be honest with your accountant, and do not hide anything because things will be disclosed at the time of auditing. Also, if you want your accountant to help the business develop, take care of their concerns, and talk to them if they have any issues.
The key to your business success depends on you collaboratively working with an accountant in your business. Asking the right questions at the start will ensure that you hire someone who is aligned with your goals and can handle all the financial matters concerning the business.About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual bookkeeping, providing service to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks™️ file, critical financial documents, and back-office tools in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of certified US-based accounting professionals provide bookkeeping, record storage, performance reporting, and controller services including training, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, process and controls advisement, and bill-pay. With flat-rate service plans, Complete Controller is the most cost-effective expert accounting solution for business, family-office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.