Is your accountant right for you?

Is your accountant right for you?

We recently started working with a client who had been with his previous accountant for over a decade. While going through the handover, we discovered that this particular accountant was doing a lot of things wrong and could be doing a lot of things much better. I don’t mean they were making mistakes necessarily (although in this particular instance, there were a LOT of mistakes), it was more the communication, the outmoded methodologies, the lack of focus, the apathy towards the client.   

This got me to thinking, and after a conversation with my senior team, it turns out that this is fairly common during a handover. The thing is, on many occasions, the client doesn't realise that their accountant could be doing so much more for them.  

So, here’s our top 4 mistakes we think accountants are making and what we do to solve them:  


Mistake #1 - Your accountant doesn’t spend enough time on your business

If your accountant is stretched too thin, and aren’t spending the appropriate time on your business, then you could be missing out. You’ll know this if:

  • Your accounts and returns are consistently filed on, near or after statutory deadlines
  • You rarely hear from them from one year end to the next
  • You get your accounts done but you get very little advice
  • You have to chase them to get things done

You might also find that your fees are lower than they should be if your accountant is making a mistake. It’s a fact of life, in accounting as in many other things, that you often get what you pay for.  


Mistake #2 - Your accountant is not up to date with the latest technology

Change is difficult. We understand that. Many accountants are therefore still stuck in the past when it comes to technology.


You’ll know this if:

  • Your accountant still works off spreadsheets
  • Your accountant asks for physical paper documents from you 
  • They are unable to recommend cloud accounting software for you to use in our business

From the off, Acumenica recognised that being at the leading edge of things was what was going to help our clients. We are fully in the cloud and are genuinely driven to implement best practice in our business, which in turn helps your business. 


Mistake #3 - Your accountant is focussing on the wrong things

Some accountants think that compliance is all that matters. They are only interested in getting your accounts right and filed on time, and that your tax return reflects exactly what you should pay. The services provided are generally carried out after the fact and therefore any advice cannot be immediately applied and implemented to make a real difference. 


You’ll know if your accountant is coming up short if:

  • They tell you on 30th January what your tax bill due on 31st is
  • They ask you to explain a transaction in your account from eighteen months ago
  • When you ask them about your tax bill they say “Well you could have done X but it’s too late now” or “next time, do Y”

Because our systems allow us real-time access to your accounts, any advice we can give is meaningful and timely. When we make a suggestion or recommendation, it is based on your financial situation now, not eighteen months ago. If this suggestion is to save you tax, for example, or to improve efficiencies, implementation eighteen months earlier could, and should, make an enormous difference to your bottom line.


Mistake #4 - Your accountant doesn’t really understand your business

To a lot of accountants, a client is a client is a client. They will take on all businesses. At Acumenica, we’re a bit more picky than that: We only work with businesses that (a) our people want to work with, and (b) that we can make a real difference to.  That’s why only work with business from specific sectors. More than that, it gives us a deeper knowledge of what these businesses need in turn making our service offering much better. You’ll know your accountant isn’t specialising if:

  • They don’t have a portfolio of clients working in the same sector as you
  • They haven’t struck partnerships with other professionals and service providers that streamline with your type of business: think banking, insurance, software etc
  • You have to explain to them how your business operates


Next steps

Right, we know, change is difficult. But if your accountant is coming up short, there could be serious consequences for the business. If you’ve read this far, it must at least be in the back of your mind that your accounting provider could be improved.


The next step is to book a call with an Acumenica accountant so we can find out a little more about your business and how we can help you. Definitely no hard sell and no obligation. 

Visit our Contact Page to get in touch.