Going to your accountant can be one of the most important aspects of being a business owner or an individual. However, if you want to ensure you are getting the most out of your relationship with your accountant, there are a few key topics to be aware of. By asking these questions, you can make sure your accountant is helpful, effective, and a reliable resource in the future.
Here are our top five questions to ask your accountant.
1. How can you help me with my taxes?
An accountant should be able to deliver specific, tangible solutions to your tax issues. While the answer to this question will vary depending on your specific situation, generally speaking, your accountant should be able to provide you with a list of suggestions on how to minimize your tax burden. You should also be given an idea of how long it will take and how much it will cost you.
2. What can I do to manage my cash flow better?
Cash flow management is something that should be at the top of any business’s to-do list. Unfortunately, a lot of the time, businesses don’t truly manage their cash flow, leading to a host of problems, including bankruptcy. If your accountant is unable to assist you with cash flow management, you may want to find a new accountant.
3. Do you offer other services that are outside of your main area of practice?
No one person or business is an expert in everything, and if your accountant can offer you additional services that are outside of the typical accounting services, you should take advantage of them! For example, if you’re an author, your accountant should have no problem with creating an agreement to handle your bookkeeping. If your accountant doesn’t have any additional services to offer, they may not be the right accountant for you.
4. Could I benefit from a different business structure?
If your business is not getting the return you expect, it may be time to consider a tax structure best suited for your business. For example, if you’re very seasonal, a sole proprietorship may no longer be the best structure for you. If you are looking into a new tax structure, talk to your accountant about your options. This is one question you shouldn’t be afraid to ask.
5. What are my business’s main tax and financial reporting deadlines?
It’s important to know your reporting deadlines, especially as it pertains to taxes. If you are self-employed and have to file self-employment taxes, you should have a schedule of all of your self-employment tax due dates at all times. You should also have a schedule of your reporting deadlines for payroll, sales tax, state and federal taxes, and so forth. A good accountant should always be able to tell you your deadlines.
6. Are there any upcoming changes in tax law or accounting standards that might impact me?
Keep an eye on upcoming changes to tax laws or accounting standards. This can help you with your tax planning, predictability and budgeting. Changes to tax laws or accounting standards can also impact your tax deductions or the way you report your business’ financials.
7. Do you have any recommendations on collection policies for faster sales?
If your business is experiencing a cash crunch and you need to get sales back on track, it may be time to consider a few collection strategies. It can be tempting to just let customers slide on the bill, but this can have a negative impact on your profit margins if you’re not careful. Discuss with your accountant how you can collect debts from your customers or avoid collections from customers altogether.
As a business owner, your time and resources are important to you. You don’t want to waste your time or energy, so you should make sure you’re getting the most from your accountant. By asking these questions and following the above tips, you can make sure that your accountant is a great fit for you.
BarettStacey Accounting is your go-to professional when it comes to reliable accounting and bookkeeping services. Our team offers everything you’d expect from a traditional accounting firm and more. From managing your taxes to bookkeeping and cash flow forecasting, our team can do all the work for you. Partner with our team of accredited accountants today!