Some of our Scottish partners had a visit from the Chief Executive (Anton Colella) of the Scottish Institute recently. Amongst the topics for discussion was the need for the general public to understand more of what a Chartered Accountant does. Viewing your accountant as a business adviser, not just as a professional trained in traditional accountancy and tax compliance services, could boost a businesses’ profits. ICAS have now launched a new website to demonstrate the difference a Chartered Accountant can make – see the website http://www.trustedinbusiness.org.uk/
In our business, in addition to performing routine accountancy duties, a large part of an accountant’s day is spent advising clients on their budgets, profitability improvement, and operational procedures – and performing other tasks not often associated with accountants.
To find out how we can help develop your business, ask yourself the following questions:
- How can my accountant help improve my business’s growth, efficiency and profitability?
- What procedures may need fine-tuning to help me achieve quality output?
- In what ways can my accountant help me operate on a more cost-effective basis?
- How can my accountant help me minimise my tax liabilities?
Always keep your long-term goals in mind. Running your business more cost-effectively can be achieved only if you have the vision to project your goals into the future.
Frequent cash shortages, lack of a solid business plan to guide the business, and steady decreases in profitability are all warning signs that a business is heading towards a potential financial crisis. It is crucial to evaluate your business’s structure and performance before it manifests these danger signals.
We can help you focus on how to improve your profitability by analysing all the elements of your business. Reporting on profitability is a standard procedure, but helping create it by providing intelligent, entrepreneurial advice is what Greaves West and Ayre strive for.
Many clients do not realise we can do many things which they might not expect including:
- Developing a comprehensive business plan
- Compiling the data you need to secure finance for your business
- Preparing budgets and making projections
- Acting as a referral source to help you find a solicitor, banker, etc.
- Devising the best structure for your business, and advising you on when to incorporate
- Tightening internal accounting controls
- Advising you on the acquisition and implementation of a computer system
. . . and often, if there’s a service we are unable to provide ourselves, we will be able to refer you to someone who can advise you.
What you want from an accountant
Understanding what we can do for you is a start. By treating us as a wealth of entrepreneurial know-how, you can obtain quality advice on a variety of topics that extend far beyond traditional compliance work:
- Call us. Never hesitate to ask us a simple bottom-line question. If you are debating whether to buy or lease equipment or are concerned about the costs of your insurance coverage, the answer could be just a phone call away
- Use us for both business and personal financial issues. Sole traders or partners often find their tax paperwork overlaps with business and family finances. Using us to handle both will help you establish an integrated approach
- Schedule time to discuss your finances. If you start planning early, you might find that we have more time to help you improve your bottom line
- Plan for major financial events before they occur. If you contact us when you are anticipating a major event, such as an inheritance, you could reduce your tax liability
- Use our contacts. We are an excellent resource for helping you network with other professionals
So in short – don’t be afraid to ask us about your business – it might be the most valuable conversation you have!