Is an accountant only necessary when it comes to tax time? No! An accountant is an imperative asset for any small business. Having the right accountant work with you to build your small business is like finding the missing puzzle piece that completes your puzzle. They are essentially a business partner; not all accountants will understand your needs.
David Strachan is an independent Accountant who has been operating his own business Elevation Accountants & Advisers since 2003. He has kindly shared with First Class Wealth some hot tips for entrepreneurs looking to start their own small business.
1. What can the right accountant do for a small business?
A lot! The right accountant can help a small business owner protect what they have worked so hard to achieve. By acting as a partner/mentor/leader/advisor the right accountant can help you achieve your financial objectives and a lot more!
2. What are the common pitfalls that small businesses fall into in their first year of operation?
Not speaking to the right accountant of course! We see many small businesses that haven’t sought the right advice from the get go and are now playing catch up as we work with them to identify an appropriate structure based on their current position and where they see themselves down the track.
It’s important to have a plan in place of where you think you will be and where you want to go, however, it is always best to seek advice before acting to ensure that all basis are covered.
3. What would you consider is an essential foundation for growth of a small business?
Having a clear plan, and being realistic about your goals and aspirations. Engaging the right advisors that can assist you from the outset to help setup/steer you through all the challenges that a small business face.
4. What should new small business owners look for when searching for the right accountant and what questions should they ask?
It’s important to find an Accountant that clients can relate to, one that can break down the technical jargon and advise them in their language. One that cares and takes the time to sit down and explain the obligations and risks that small business owners need to understand.
The first question for any new business owner is to ask the questions. What should I do and how do I do it? What are my responsibilities? What are my options? What are the risks and have I got them covered?
5. How do you find an accountant that you like?
By making some phone calls. Before committing, make the effort to go and see them and see if they can provide the level of service you are looking for and most importantly whether you think you can build a long term relationship with them. Relationships are so important in all aspects of business and having a good relationship with your accountant is no different.
Referrals or recommendations are really important. Most of our new clients have been referred by either existing clients or Advisors that have had a great experience with the service being provided by our firm.
6. Is there a right time for someone to come see an accountant? Is it only at tax time or are there things to consider prior to this?
Anytime is the right time. Remember the old saying “you don’t know what you don’t know”. You should conscientiously ask yourself “have I got this all under control” and if you can’t comfortably answer that you should be seeking advice.
Whilst there are a range of reasons to see your accountant, it’s most important to see them prior to anything major, may it be the early planning stage of a new venture, a major commitment or restructure, entering into or execution of any agreement, or purchase of a property.
7. What is unique about Elevation Accountants & Advisory that makes it stand out from the crowd of accountants out there?
There are many Accounting firms out there that provide the professional services we do, however, we believe that by instilling, in our staff, the values of “relationship management” as the fundamental core driver behind what we do, this is the basic principle for success.
If we focus on building strong relationships with our clients which have been built through trust and integrity through the delivery of our professional services, the foundations for the future have been set. Our goal is to “partner” all clients for life!
If your passion is to develop a business that requires forward thinking (commercial Insight) with a team that has the experience to know what may/may not work then we believe Elevation can assist you.
If we can’t do what you want to do, or don’t have the required skills, we can refer someone to do it for you and can actively “hold your hand” along the way if necessary.
For more information about Elevation Advisory please visit their website http://elevationadvisory.com.au