As a business owner, every move you make impacts your bottom line. Even the decision to appoint an accountant can make subtle differences in your financial performance which eventually shows up in your profit and loss. Because of this, it’s important to choose the right accounting firm for your circumstances. Here we review the things to consider when choosing to appoint one of the best accountants in Adelaide for your needs and the benefits it will bring to your business.
Top Considerations When Engaging an Accountant
Finding one of the best accountants in Adelaide should be based on four important factors:
Expertise: You don’t want to go with just any accountant. Instead you want an accounting firm that has expertise in your industry. An accountant who specialises in small businesses advisory or nurturing startups, for example, will understand the special needs and opportunities for smaller businesses and provide valuable insight that will improve your financial situation.
Experience: Experienced accountants have learned through years of practice the deep knowledge and wisdom of their profession. That deep experience can be passed onto their clients to help them succeed. Because accounting goes well beyond financial statements and tax return preparation, an accountant with experience will find ways to optimize systems and improve your business strategy. This in turn helps you maximize after-tax profit which then stimulates further growth and ultimately builds the accumulation of wealth without undue risk.
Team Support: While you may choose a sole accountant providing services from their home office, nothing beats having backup from an entire team. For example, an accountant on their own will be strapped for time at tax season, which means you might not have their full attention, or worse, be beholden to tax office requirements. Similarly, they might not be available when you need them if they have too many clients. A dedicated team at an accounting firm ensures you get the attention you need, and you see greater value for money for their services. A large firm on the other hand, due to their corporatized culture, is often obliged to “pass you down” to a more junior staff member, who may be less experienced and often, due to staff fluidity, may change from year to year
Chartered Accountants: While this should go without saying, ensuring your accountant has the proper credentials is a must. Chartered Accountants are generally recognized as possessing the “Gold Standard” of accounting qualifications, with the assurance of high ethical standards and excellent training.
When you consider these four factors, you are more likely to find an accounting firm suited to your circumstances.
The level of service provided has a huge impact on your financial position. If you want to know your accountant is there when you need them, choosing a local practice makes more sense. While large inner-city firms have plenty of flash and an aura of prestige, they may not be all they are cracked up to be. It can be easy to get lost in the bureaucracy of large firms where too many layers of management can lead to a lack of personal service and the risk of being passed from person to person. A local practice with the same top-tier experience has the familiar team support you desire but without the risk of getting lost in the crowd. You can even benefit from their local professional network finding the best specialist advisors available for collaboration on special projects.
Find a Silent Partner
A good accountant does not view clients as paying customers. Instead, they look at their clients like family and consider themselves as being your silent partner with a special interest in your success. While they might not be directly involved in running the business, the recommendations they make and their knowledge of everything from taxation strategies to helping negotiate important transactions will really help you feel they really are in your corner. They are there to help throughout the year – not just be ready for tax time. Your accountant may assist your special interest in:
- Helping you manage your cash flow
- Optimising taxation outcomes
- Risk evaluation and management
- Effective structuring of entities for future succession, effective control and reducing asset risk
- Improving your credit score
- Negotiating better interest rates and payment terms in finance negotiations
- Helping you understand your breakeven point
- Showing you ways to reinvest in your business and build wealth
- Positioning business owners for future exit from their businesses.
They should be your financial wizard offering advice to keep your company on track and successful.
How to Know Your Accountant Brings Value
Once your accountant is on board, how do you know they bring value? They should be assisting you in key areas, including:
Growing your business
A good accountant keeps their eyes on your financial performance and ensures you have the groundwork for growth. They are able to provide a financial model that allows you to review your financial position easily on a monthly basis while also helping find opportunities for growth and tax-effective strategic moves in your market. That’s why it’s so important to find an accounting firm that understands your industry.
Clamping down on cash flow
An accountant who provides insightful cash flow projections allows you to remain proactive in your business decisions. You can be responsive to your operational needs and understand when you might need to have financing plans in place to get through projected shortfalls. Prudent cash flow management guides the efficient use of capital.
Knowing your break-even point
Good accountants use metrics to monitor profit and loss. They can tell you your break-even point to help make important decisions such as pricing structure to help improve profitability. When you know your break-even point, you get better at understanding how much you need to earn to cover your costs, as well as evaluating alternative business propositions.
When your accountant produces an accurate business valuation, they estimate your enterprise fair market value in excess of tangible assets. They examine your financial strategy and perform an analysis to provide an accurate valuation. As they become your trusted partner, they can help enhance your value proposition where you might fall short compared to the competition. This allows you to rise to the challenge and make business decisions that help you maximise your unique value and ultimately gain more market share and increased enterprise value.
Your profitability is impacted by the contracts you negotiate. While an accountant is not a lawyer, they can advise on payment terms that work in your favour. This is for both contracts you sign with your clients, as well as contracts you enter into with suppliers, as well as for the sale or purchase of significant business assets.
Each business and industry has its own trading environment and accounting challenges. As mentioned, finding an accountant with experience in your area of business is a good first step. However, they must demonstrate their experience by providing specialised accounting advice and point out tax opportunities you might not be aware of. They also assist in making you aware of government-funded opportunities that help assist your business.
In order to make the most of your accountant’s services, ethical behaviour and open and honest communication is always important. With this comes the confidence and trust that, through honesty, you always know where you stand. Your accountant is privy to sensitive information that impacts your financial position and often personal circumstances as well. Trusting your accountant can be difficult at first. Faith can be placed in a demonstrable track record, sound management, satisfied clients and happy staff. If you choose the right accounting firm for your circumstances, you are more likely to find a partner who brings the value you need to succeed and grow.
If you are looking for a local accountant conveniently located on the city fringe in Adelaide, book a complimentary discovery call with our team today. We also do not charge for our first face to face meeting with new or potential clients.