14 Jul 15 Things to expect from your accountant in a recession
Some business owners see their accountant as an individual that can provide a simple set of services. Their accountant does their tax returns and payroll, that’s it. And unfortunately, they fail to take full advantage of what their accountant could do for them.
As accountants, we spend our days looking at numbers. Economic growth and decline. Money in and money out. We see some businesses succeed, and some fail. And we know numbers. We know money.
Your accountant can look at your cashflow, and tell you what your financial situation will be in 6 months. They can plan where and how you spend your money to minimise your tax bill. They can analyse your sales process and help you increase your sales.
Taking full advantage of your accountant’s expertise and knowledge can be the most powerful decision you ever make for your business. Utilize the full extent of their expertise to not only survive in business, but to rebuild, restructure and grow.
All good accountants understand that business owners want more support from their accountant to help them beat the recession. We, as many other firms, have geared up to be able to deliver this support.
We have made this simple checklist to help you ensure that your accountant gives you all the proactive support and guidance you need to beat the recession.
If there are any points on this list where you feel like your accountant is lacking, you should absolutely bring this up with them and ask them how they can give you the extra help you need.
The SUPPORT YOU SHOULD EXPECT
- Diagnostic review and report to identify the key options for strengthening your cashflow
- Explore all the possible sources of cash to see which have the most potential for you
- Give you a performance measurement and improvement system – and help you summarise everything that really matters on a Balanced Scorecard or One Page Plan – to give you all the information you need to make better decisions and get better results
- Help you understand and manage your breakeven point so you are more able to survive falls in demand
- Benchmark you against others in your industry to identify the areas where you can most easily improve
- Create an initial improvement action plan covering all the key areas listed here
- Attend regular meetings with you to help you continually update your action plan in the light of new issues, information and opportunities as they arise
- Produce regular cashflow forecasts to ensure your plans can be funded & you do not get into financial difficulties
- Give you free access to a library of relevant “Beat the recession” resources e.g. videos, software, reports and more.
- Identify which key profit drivers has the greatest potential for you
- Review the strategies that lie behind the profit drivers – prioritise and action them
- Identify and manage your profitability by customer and/or product line – so that you can build on your higher profit areas and deal with your lower profit areas
- Analyse your sales pipeline – & use sales improvement software to identify how to drive sales up
- Evaluate alternative pricing strategies using software – since getting your pricing right is usually the fastest and easiest way to increase the profitability of sales
- Review ways to improve your debtor collection
If your accountant cannot help you fully in all the above 15 key areas, or you want a second opinion for free from a professional accountant who can, you can schedule a phone call with one of our expert advisers to find out how we can help you.
Alan Davidson is a Chartered Accountant, director and founder of Pentins Business Advisers, entrepreneur and author of the Amazon best-seller “Achieve Your Business Vision”. With over 25 years of helping businesses succeed, Alan knows how to build a business with real value, while avoiding costly mistakes.