Accounting professionals can both put out fires and try to prevent them..
You’re probably used to calling in a specialist when your furnace goes out in January. Or when your car blows a head gasket. These same professionals can also do preventive maintenance, inspecting your expensive equipment at regular intervals, to catch potential problems early and avoid expensive repair bills.
Do you have a similar relationship with a financial advisor? This is more than a good idea: It can prevent problems ranging from using the wrong sales tax for a purchase to a full-blown catastrophe that takes days to untangle and may affect your standing with customers, suppliers, and creditors.
Financial advisors can take preventive measures by, for example:
- Creating and analyzing monthly and/or quarterly financial reports. There are probably reports that you run on a regular basis, like aging accounts receivables and payables, sales by product and or service, and sales tax liability. There are more complex financial reports that you should be seeing periodically, like Trial Balance and Income Statement. An accounting professional can help you interpret them.
- Helping you plan for taxes year round. If you’re not accustomed to thinking about income taxes until after the first of the year, you may be missing out on some opportunities to minimize your tax obligation. A financial advisor can work with you throughout the year to help you do smart tax planning.
- Preparing your company for needed financing. Dealing with banks and other financial institutions when you need a business loan can be anxiety-producing. Accountants know the ropes here.
- Tuning up accounting software. Financial software doesn’t usually just crash with no warning. There are signs. Your accounting professional can help ward this off by performing periodic maintenance.
- Setting up new processes like payroll, and training staff. You’ll save time and money if you learn how to use a new financial solution thoroughly before you start using it.
Accounting professionals can also help when something has broken. They can:
- Evaluate cash flow and suggest solutions. Most small business experience cash flow problems at some point. Fixing them may take professional help.
You could figure out yourself how to deal with a cash flow problem like this. An accounting professional, though, can help you find solutions that you might not have considered.
- Troubleshoot software problems. If you haven’t kept up with maintenance and you suddenly can’t access your company file, you’ll need immediate assistance.
- Advise you before and during a tax audit. This is another sweat-inducing situation. Accounting professionals can work with you as you deal with the IRS.
- Untangle Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable snags. If transactions have been entered incorrectly or the wrong accounts used, you’ll need an accountant to help you retrace your steps and find the problem(s).
Financial advisors usually offer multiple levels of engagement with clients. Let us know if you want to find out how we could best serve you.