We are all familiar with the saying: Just because I am the one delivering bad news doesn’t mean I created it.
I wonder how you would feel if you ever got bad news from your accountant?
I remember when I had just started in practice. My business partner had clients who were a 3-man partnership involved in the construction industry. Their business had been going well and prospering for several years. They had gotten used to enjoying the fruit of their success, good cars, good living and a good level of drawings which they and their family could enjoy. Then the recession of 2008 came along and the construction industry contracted dramatically.
But the partners continued to enjoy the same level of drawings as before. When the final accounts were completed it was obvious that, with the reduction in their business, the level of drawings which the partners were used to was unsustainable. So we called them in for a meeting. We told them quite clearly that, if the drawings were maintained at the same level the business would soon run into financial difficulties and would almost certainly collapse.
So what did the partners agree to do? Why that decision was easy, they changed accountant.
And six months later the business folded.
So what would you do if you got bad news from your accountant?
Maybe you have never got bad news from your accountant. Perhaps that is because your business has gone from success to success without any storms ever appearing on the horizon. Or perhaps it is because your accountant doesn’t like to give bad news. Because I have subsequently discovered that our experience with those partners is not unique. I know of several accountants who can recount a similar experience.
So the accountant is reduced to preparing your annual accounts and telling you how much tax you have to pay. And you are letting a valuable source of knowledge and experience go to waste when you could be using it to help grow your business. After all your accountant doesn’t only know about finance. They have knowledge and experience of a wide range of businesses, they generally have a huge range of contacts and they know how to get things done. Have you thought about making your accountant your business advisor? Involving them in strategic decisions and making full use of their knowledge, experience and contacts?
Why not talk to your accountant and ask if they would be prepared to adopt the role of business advisor to help you grow your business? You may find that they are happy to fulfil that role. Or if they do not see themselves in that role and they only want to do your annual account and tell you how much tax you owe why not talk to us.
We are Clear Accounting NI. And you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 02895216165.
But if you ask us for advice and you don’t like what you are hearing, don’t forget. DON’T SHOOT US WE ARE ONLY THE MESSENGER!