Why do business owners seek the advice and council of new business accountants? Don’t you have one already? Is your current business account unsatisfactory in some way? Are you disappointed with their results? Why?
It seems unlikely in the extreme that a business would have been successful for five, ten, or twenty years without qualified business accountants on the payroll. So what’s up?
Typically, from my experience, business owners like you who are looking for a new see for accounting firms in Melbourne relationship are looking for someone to help navigate the complexities of current and future tax laws and the hard to understand tax regulations faced by all businesses and businesses like yours in particular. Aren’t you looking for someone to provide tax planning advice so you can make the most of your day-to-day and long term efforts?
Naturally you want someone more technically savvy than the business account you already have or you would not be ready to consider making a change, or is there another reason? My observation is that while business owners expect their accountants to understand the tax laws and how they apply to them, they are also see for accounting firms in Melbourne they feel comfortable with.
During their initial interviews with business accountants – where they will most likely come to the conclusion whether this one or that one is the best accountant for them, they will most likely make their decision based on their “gut feeling” about the person they will be telling their deepest darkest secrets to for years to come.
Naturally see for accounting firms in Melbourne small business accountants, all professionals for that matter, want you to ask them questions during those initial interviews. They are ready for that with volumes of pat answers. What you should be looking for are the kinds of questions they ask you. Each time they ask a question it tells you a little more about their point of view in tax matters and many other things.
Of course you are looking for the best planning for your business you can get. However if you don’t like their perspectives on matters not related to tax laws you may hesitate to take them seriously on the issues for which you are engaging them. You are not looking for a new buddy, see for accounting firms in Melbourne should not be some sort of popularity contest and this is not a “rent-a-friend” proposition.
Nevertheless you need to respect them on several levels in order to work with them successfully over time. As a successful business owner you have a well-developed and ultra-sensitive BS detector, so based on what you hear during that first interview, yes interview – you are interviewing them for this important role in your business, you will be able to tell who you’re dealing with if you are listening.
There is a test that I always recommend called the NIH Syndrome Analysis (Not Invented Here Syndrome) that will help you see them for who they really are. Small business accountants, for one reason or another, often fall into the trap of believing that the last good idea to come along was theirs. And if they know more about you and your business than anyone else it becomes easier and easier for you to go along with their brilliant ideas without question.
The bankruptcy courts and tax court records are littered with examples of situations where business accountants and other professionals let their clients go down the wrong paths quite innocently and quite unintentionally – because they were blind to the ideas of others.
Tax planning, planning period, is a never ending process and the landscape and opportunities are in continual flux. Unless your small business accountant is willing to listen to you, keep up to date via continuing education certifications, and call in specialists on your behalf when they are in doubt, you are not going to be pleased with the results.
Here is a simple tip. Listen for them to say, in response to a question you ask, “What would you suggest?” or “What do you think?” or “What have you heard?” or “What do you think might work here?” or something along those lines. Listen to their reply to your reply. If they ask your opinion and offer relevant feedback, something your BS detector deems worthy of the sort of person you want as a professional advisor – you are on the right track toward the selection of the right small business accountant for you.
If they do not ask “What do you think?” or something similar, they are depriving themselves of the current, and possibly best, thinking on the subject because you know your business better than anyone and you have been thinking about this for some time and no doubt have discussing it with your mastermind group of successful contemporaries.
Also, if they don’t ask “What do you think?” it’s not possible for them (and you) to test their assumptions. You will never know when they do not fully understand the problem, issues, history, etc.