When you are in business you need to trust people to help you, be part of the team, whether that is as an employee, a partner, or as an external resource. External resources may include anything you pay for like your banking, your business accountant, even your cleaner.
All these suppliers are there to help you make your business run more smoothly, it’s only right that they are fairly remunerated for their services, but it’s also up to you to ensure no one is slacking. It is a strange fact that most businesses would notice immediately if the cleaners weren’t doing their job, and give them a hard time for it. Yet if their professional advisers aren’t pulling their weight they are more likely to get away with it – at least for a time. And you don’t need me to tell you who is on the higher day rate!
To make a relationship work closest to its best potential both parties need to contribute, and in business that might mean simply spending time with the other partner, in this case the accountant, and sharing plans and desired outcomes.
Your business will be better equipped to succeed if you have a plan, even if you don’t get around to writing that down.
Writing a business plan need not be difficult, and you can always find someone to help you. Once it’s written down it doesn’t mean you can’t change it as circumstances demand, but it does mean that it is easier to share with members of your team who you might not see that often.
Arrange meetings with your accountant every few months, and certainly as you approach your year-end and the end of the tax year.
Their advice could save you a lot of money at that time – but be prepared to be honest about what you are trying to get out of the business. If you don’t need to take every penny of profit then you might be better off putting an amount into your pension before the end of the tax year.
When you are planning a big purchase it is worth a catch up with your accountant too.
That might be buying assets that are obviously for the business, or something like a car that you consider to be more for your own use, but that still can be applied as a business purchase.
If you don’t keep the accountant up to date then you can’t expect them to be able to make suggestions, but likewise they should be asking you questions as well to find out more about what you are trying to do.
You should regularly challenge all your outgoings with a view to ensuring that everything is paying its way and delivering excellent value for your costs.
Your accountant will gradually become a bigger cost as your business grows. Keep on top of the relationship and ensure you are at least getting great value, and ideally saving considerably more than it is costing you through benefitting from their good advice.