It’s common to think that accountants only manage the books and ensure the accuracy of financial records. In reality, however, accountancy revolves around a wide variety of tasks and responsibilities, and is constantly evolving as technology is starting to play a bigger role in their day-to-day activities.
No matter the exact tasks, though, one thing is certain: accounting professionals play a crucial role in running any business, and it’s important to realise that. As their role evolves, it makes sense to make the most out of the skills and the expertise of your accountant and establish a strong collaboration with them to guide your financial decisions. Provided that they have the right skills and knowledge to do so, that is.
Whether you’re a business owner or an accounting specialist yourself – here are the 5 things accountants should never say to their clients if they want to have a fruitful accounting partnership.
What should accountants never say to their clients?
1. “Accounting software and integrations are useless.”
It might not seem like it at first, but the use of accounting software and various integrations has become increasingly popular. No wonder! The right tools can easily save both business owners and accountants time and money on manual data entry, and also increase the accuracy future analysis.
There are plenty more benefits of using technology to one’s advantage, and if the accounting partner is not willing to do so, they might not be able to serve their clients properly. In fact, as the role and responsibilities of accountants are changing, staying on top of technological trends and being open to leveraging them is necessary to keep up with the industry.
2. “You don’t really need to know how much money is coming in and going out.”
Business owners often feel the need to keep up with all invoices and their status and check whether they have enough cash to cover the upcoming bills. And rightly so! Cash flow constraints can often lead to a business failing.
These details might not be that difficult to keep track of when using special software – but oftentimes, staying on top of one’s finances is much more challenging than that. Especially in the hospitality industry, which requires a high level of involvement in the operations, and the use of both an excellent POS system and accounting software integration to have control of business data.
Accountants should be able to explain how much the business is spending each month, find ways to cut costs wherever possible, and make sure the software is set up properly. Actually, no business owner should ever wonder about their cash balance. With some assistance, it becomes a lot easier to get a solid grip on it and determine what’s left to grow their business.
3. “I don’t think I can help you with pricing your products or services.”
There’s no doubt that pricing is vital for any business out there, no matter the size. Basically, if the price is too low, the owners might not be able to cover the necessary costs, leading to unsustainable losses. On the other hand, when the price is too high, they might struggle to attract customers and sell enough products, resulting in the same outcome.
Interestingly, it is common knowledge that many smaller businesses tend to underprice their products or services. But it doesn’t have to be that way, especially since accountants can help immensely with a pricing strategy. After all, they work with many clients, offer similar services and have a good understanding of market demand, including the prices offered.
4. “It’s hard to tell what your best and worst selling items are.”
When running a retail store or a restaurant, financial statements can provide crucial guidance. By reviewing them carefully, it’s easy to tell when exactly you’re selling the most, how much inventory and how many employees are needed to meet the estimated demands, and what promotions make the most sense at a given point of time. Why is that valuable? Perhaps there are items that sell rarely or there’s a need to clear out the inventory.
As a matter of fact, financial statements contain a lot of relevant details that can help with determining the best opening hours, staffing plans and popular (or unpopular) items in the product range. There’s no doubt that accounting partners can read such statements like no one else.
5. “There’s no need to set any business goals.”
If only it were that simple! Setting goals is vital for any business. What’s more, it’s the accounting partner who can give the best financial advice tailored to the specific organisation, and keep the owner accountable with the outlined plan while they’re at it. In order for the accounting partnership to be beneficial, both sides have to be able to work and communicate in a timely and transparent manner.
When adding the right tools to the mix, both parties can actively monitor finances to see whether the business is heading in the right direction, making adjustments to the initial plan, if necessary. In fact, a good accounting partner should figure out how exactly to track the client’s strategic efforts, and explain how this relates to the financial performance and being on track to meeting specific goals. This way, businesses can actually get closer to achieving their goals and act almost instantaneously when something gets in their way.
Is your accounting partnership working?
These are a few of the things accountants should never tell their clients. In reality, accountants can easily become the most trusted business advisors, and the above-mentioned cases are just some of the examples of how fruitful cooperation can be in the long run.
As a matter of fact, an effective accounting partnership is something that both parties should strive for. Business owners have to realise that accountants can offer much more than just a tax return, while accounting partners need to be willing to share valuable insights and data-driven advice. If they’re only talking about taxes, they’re probably not making the most of the accounting partnership.
What can definitely help facilitate such a partnership is the use of accounting technology. Without the willingness to take advantage of it, accountants and bookkeepers might have a tough time advising comprehensively and effectively, especially since the industry is becoming increasingly more data-driven and technology-oriented.
If you’re looking for a tech-savvy accounting partner to help your business or you’re working as one yourself – you should see what Amaka and its advisor’s hub has to offer. It was created with accounting technologists in mind, who are eager to take the data-driven approach and advise their clients accordingly.