When posing the question ‘what makes a good accountant?’ not so long ago, a lot of stereotypical images sprung to mind of someone huddled behind a load of ledger documents, a calculator and pencils. However, in this technical age what makes a good accountant has evolved considerably. Today’s great accountants have become a consultant to your business rather than just a mathematical tool. So in today’s tech age, what makes a good accountant?
1. Finances, Tax and Business Models
FIrst and foremost they have to be great at the basis of their profession still, being a master of finances and tax and be keeping up to date with any legislative changes. You need to be able to trust your accountant is crunching the numbers correctly and giving you the best advice for your business. They should be able to provide real time, monthly and yearly cash forecasts and focus on metrics from leads to money in the bank, like conversion rate targets and number of returns, not just tax outcomes.
They should be able to understand your business and help create your business model if you’re just starting out, or evaluate your already existing model on a regular basis and tweak it if necessary. They should be challenging your thinking on how you should run your business.
2. Easy to do business with
Your accountant should also be easy for you to do business with, you should always understand their deliverables, services and fees and you should always be able to get hold of them. In today’s technical age having a website is an absolute must as is offering various forms of communication channels. Some great ideas are having contact us forms available on your website and live chat options, the firm and/or individuals being on social channels, offering virtual meetings through Skype or Google Hangouts and of course the usual email and phone line. Providing a combination of these means you are catering to your clients various lifestyles and providing them with options so they can choose how to easily reach you.At Interactive Accounting we offer fixed fee packages, with transparent services and deliverables that are paid for on a month to month basis rather than in a yearly lump sum. All of our packages and services are available on our website for clients and prospects to view at any time. We list out the inclusions and deliverables under each package so businesses can choose what exactly they need and they can even add on any additional services that they may require as well. We make this process as easy as possible for our clients with a simple 3 step process on site that they can sign up with and they will be contacted by us within twenty-four hours as well.
3. Utilising Technology Themselves
Lastly, being in this tech age your accountant should be utilising the technology available to them and your business to provide you with the best services possible. In order to provide you with real time updates and let you be able to take charge of your accounts from anywhere, accountants should be using cloud accounting software. At Interactive Accounting we are a 100% Xero accounting firm as we believe in utilising the best technology for our clients to provide them with the information they need to run their business anywhere and anytime. We can even set you up on Xero and train you how to use it, so your business is making the most of the software.We don’t just stop at Xero though and we like to recommend other software add-ons in the Xero ecosystem that integrate with Xero and can manage all of the aspects of your business. These can be anything from CRM systems, job management, point of sales software or inventory systems. We believe this is the way forward to scale your business, we have even developed our own implementation branch focused on the Xero ecosystem called Your Modern Practice. As technology is ever evolving, we believe your accountant should not be complacent and always be open to adapting and changing in order to always provide you with the best services possible. Do you have anything to add? Add them in the comments below.