My advice? Test your adviser!
By: James Shipp Date: 3 February 2017
Category: Great Yarmouth,Lowestoft
This week marked the end of the busiest month of the year for accountants. For many business owners the process of filing their tax returns, and paying any tax due, creeps up every year and is never short of a surprise. There are often unexpected liabilities and last minute, rushed meetings with advisers but it doesn’t have to be like that.
A good adviser should make the effort to understand you and your business in depth, and work with you to prepare you, not just for filing deadlines, but for all of the other challenges that your business will face.
All too often we see decisions such as the choice of accounting software, or even the financial year-end, chosen by an adviser to suit their own convenience, rather than what is best for the business concerned. Challenge your accountant to be adaptable, grow with you and diversify their service offering to suit you, not them!
A proactive adviser will emphasise the importance of being organised and filing returns early, working with you to plan for the tax payment. The advantage of working with a qualified tax adviser will also pay dividends when planning how to mitigate tax, structure remuneration and time your investment in equipment, property and vehicles.
That proactivity should extend beyond the basics as well – your accountant knows your business better than most, so should be coming to you with suggestions on how it could grow or become more profitable, not waiting for you to brief them.
No-one likes incurring unnecessary costs, so an adviser should be able to demonstrate value for money – not just by avoiding late filing penalties and reducing potential tax liability, but by adding value to your business. No-one likes nasty surprise bills, which is why many of our clients pay us by fixed standing order, spreading the cost of good advice.
Most important of all is the personal chemistry – working relationships where both parties click are so much more productive. Sadly, the ‘better the devil you know’ attitude commonly prevails, often to the detriment of the business. Strange, in a world where we check every year to see if we are getting the best deal for our car insurance or our energy provider, that so many businesses don’t take the same approach towards professional advice.