To survive in this brave new world, it’s not enough to be a good accountant. It’s not enough to be a trusted pair of hands. The old ways of doing things are outdated. Expectations have changed. They have evolved. Sure, you should expect them to be highly competent and professional, to give great advice and relieve the burden of managing your finances.
But these days, there are four major differentiators that you should consider.
1. You should expect them to get back to you FAST
You should not accept delays in communication in this day and age. There is no excuse for a slow turnaround. Do you hear, “can you wait until I get back to the office?” Increasingly, you are able to work on the run and be productive from anywhere – and so should your accountant.
2. Look for them to be cost-efficient
The financial crisis shook things up in ways that are unlikely to revert. Budgets are tighter, expenses harder to justify. The focus isn’t just on reaping profits but on streamlining processes for maximum efficiency and minimum waste. This applies to accountancy fees too. Ensure that your accountancy costs are competitive and your accountant is really earning his money.
Many accountants can now offer cloud computing which can reduce their costs and obviously yours.
3. Ensure their technology is up-to-date
Scarcely a day goes by without a flash new app or B2B solution that aims to revolutionise the way we work, and forward-thinking businesses are always on the lookout for ways to make their working lives as well-connected, tech-serviced and easy to manage as our personal lives have become.
Make sure that their system is compatible with your needs and they have effective means to collaborate and communicate with you in real time. It is essential they are always improving efficiency and turnaround and making sure they are always working with you, rather than against you.
4. Expect them to be a Partner, not a supplier
Most businesses today want more than a service provider: they want a strategist. They want someone who can contribute to their overall business objectives, using their expertise and resources to contribute to the bigger picture, too.
Accountants are perfectly placed to share insights and learnings with clients. Consulting on how to use the cloud to streamline cash flow, cut unnecessary outgoings, improve internal communication and boost productivity, go over and above the usual accounting advice of the past, but should be standard offerings in today’s market.
Make sure your accountant is your partner.
Thinking about changing your accountant can be daunting. At KFMS we aim to cause you as little disruption as possible so that you can continue to focus on what is important to you running your business,