Is it time to consider switching accountants? (It’s easier than you think!)
The 5 KEYS to Selecting the Right Accountant to Ensure Success for Your Business
The right accountant doesn’t just file your taxes. The right accountant can save you money and help you expand your business. Finding an accountant that can also serve as a trusted financial advisor can mean increased revenues, better cash flow and greater success for you and your business. The wrong accountant can be costly. Mistakes in tax filings, lack of tax planning and inability to offer sound business advice can cost your business both time and money.
Welcome to Week 4 in our 5 week series highlighting the keys to consider when you are looking to select an accountant, and how to use your accountant effectively in your business.
So far, we have covered KEY #1 – TRUSTED ADVISOR, KEY #2 – VALUABLE CONNECTIONS and KEY #3 – OPEN AVAILABILITY.
This week we are focusing on how your accountant is using technology to help your business.
KEY #4 – TECH SAVVY. Don’t get stuck in the old way of doing things, free up time and resources by choosing an accountant that maximizes available technologies to meet your business needs.
Why is it so important for your accountant to be on the cutting edge of technology solutions? First, it shows that they are serious about solving your business problems. Technology is important in staying in the forefront of any business, and accounting is no exception.
By automating an accounting system, filing taxes electronically, being able to log into systems remotely in order to update general ledgers, providing remote access tools and client portals, a technology driven accounting firm saves your business both time and money.
The first thing you want to ask is what software programs they use for client data. Can your accountant assess the system you are using and make recommendations based on your business needs and industry? What is important here is that your accountant understands how you, as a client, will use your business data in order to make sure you are using the right tools to grow your business.
You can always ask for references and ask an accountant’s current clients about the systems that they are using, how long it took them to learn to use them, how effective they are and how much support they receive.
Having remote access to your information makes the accounting process more efficient and should also make it more cost effective. You can update your client information on a regular basis and your accountant can access that information immediately in order to answer questions or prepare for future tax planning.
A tech savvy accounting firm should also use technology to lower their administrative costs and improve their response time with clients. By increasing their firm’s efficiency, they should have more time to give your business the attention it deserves. In addition, tech savvy accounting firms have the ability to recruit and retain top staff.
In technology, actions speak louder than words. Be sure that your accountant is walking the talk. Make sure that your accountant has a strong web presence. Are they utilizing any social media or blogs? Are they promoting software or online tools that can help build your business? If your accountant isn’t utilizing technology to grow and build their own business, then they are in no position to advise their clients on how to do so.
Check back next week when we cover our next key:
KEY #5 - - Interview, Research and Inform. Don’t just employ these 3 key items during your selection period, but consistently evaluate your accountant to be sure that they are continuing to understand and meet your business goals.