Every business needs a strong hand on the tiller. To thrive, you need strategic consideration directing how you grow. And, regardless of whether you’re a large corporate, an ambitious SME, or an enthusiastic micro-business, you need to know where you’re trying to get to. Such statements are well understood, of course, but to put them into practice actually requires a lot of thinking. For a business to grow, someone has to anticipate the hurdles ahead, proactively pursue a strategy for business development, have a good grasp of the facts and figures, and plan.
Most business owners understand this kind of focus is needed. However, when they’re in the thick of it day in, day out, they often lose sight of how to leverage the theory. For example, they’re aware of the need to plan for growth, but they don’t necessarily have a clear idea of where they are at any point in time. They also know their market well, but they’re not always aware of the gotchas waiting round the corner for an expanding business. So, how do they move forward?
Business owners who have the foresight to turn to seasoned professionals for advice, support, and help are the ones most likely to enjoy continuing success. And the kind of professional who can help bring some assurance to their growth is their accountant.
Your accountant is your best business friend
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how great your marketing plan is, how dynamic your employees are, or how teched up you are, if you haven’t got a grip on the finances, you’re working blind.
When people talk about their accountant, visions of number-crunchers slaving over a calculator spring to mind. And yes, in every type of business those financial details matter; so having a trusted partner who will ensure the accounts and tax returns are compiled and filed on time will make a difference. However, that’s only a small part of what an accountant can bring to the table.
With the right financial team, you can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your financial reporting. You’ll enjoy regular analysis of your business activities, and you’ll benefit from financial risks to your business and profit opportunities being identified early on. Plus, you won’t have to be the one liaising with the likes of HMRC and banks etc.
How do you choose the right accountant?
Of course, every business deserves the best and someone who has considerable experience of working in a comparable business should be top of your list. An accountant with that background will understand your industry, know what traps to look out for, and have a good feel for how to spot new opportunities. And on top of that, they’ll bring a whole raft of additional benefits you can enjoy.
They’ll take care of the details
An accountant will ensure key reporting is carried out in a timely way and provide financial oversight. They will track your cashflow and report to you on a regular basis, flagging concerns before they appear as problems in the business. They will also help you get to grips with your debtors and reduce the delay in you receiving payments. Cashflow is still king.
They can free up your time
Keeping a firm grip on the finances is time-consuming, particularly if it’s not your specialism and you just want to get on with running your business. So having a qualified and experienced individual carrying out that work on your behalf frees up your time and saves you money. Remember, they’ve already traversed the terrain your business is crossing with regard to finance, so they can work quickly and effectively on your behalf. Which means you can focus on seeing through the strategic plans you have for growing your business.
They will prepare budgets and forecasts
If you’re in strategic planning mode, you can’t operate without a clear picture of where your business currently is and where it is hoping to go. You need information to make your plans and a good accountant will provide considered forecasting supported by appropriate budgets.
They analyse and offer decision-making insights
To make a decision quickly you need accurate, up-to-date information to hand. Whether it’s regarding your cashflow, your key clients, or other KPIs, your accountant can help pull this information together and drive your business forward.
They make sense of the data
An ambitious business owner can suffer from information overload. A good accountant will make sense of the data at their fingertips and present it to you in a meaningful way. For example, they’ll assess profitability across market sectors and help you outline profiles of profitable customers etc. With their input, you’ll be able to increase margins, control business costs, and snap up opportunities.
They flag risks early
A switched-on accountant proves their worth by enabling business opportunities, but they also help prevent disaster by spotting risks in advance. They’ve trodden this path before, and they know what to look out for.
They’ll ensure you’re compliant
There’s no point in missing a filing deadline if you don’t need to. The VAT man, HMRC, and other regulatory bodies are on the lookout for abnormalities, so missing a deadline just raises your profile in the wrong way. A good accountant, therefore, will ensure all your accounting and financial statements are submitted in a timely fashion.
Nothing is certain in life – except death and taxes, of course – but tapping into all the skills and knowledge of your accountant will help to reduce uncertainty. Their expertise can provide you with the information you need to make key decisions for driving your business forward in a controlled way. And if taxes are one of the few certainties in life, they’ll at least ensure yours are paid on time too.
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