I regularly read comments on Social Media from people saying things like:
‘I don’t like my accountant’
‘My accountant makes me feel like a naughty school kid when I make a mistake’
‘Why in the world would I ever want to attend my accountant’s anniversary BBQ’
I find comments like this so frustrating (although not surprising – I know lots of accountants!)
The reason these comments frustrate me is that I strongly believe that business owners should have brilliant relationships with their accountants. They should feel happy; possibly even excited to pick up the phone to speak to their accountant.
And here’s why:
If your accountant invited you to their Annual BBQ, it is very likely that there will be other business owners there. Maybe some of these business owners could be potential customers of yours or useful contacts! Now, consider the scenario where you have a great relationship with your accountant. You might even call them your friend. You rock up to their BBQ and they stop their conversation so that they can introduce you to everyone. Maybe you even have a good time and get new business as a result.
Accountants are very well-connected people by nature. Many of them have clients in a wide variety of industries and professions. They are prime for making introductions if you tell them what kind of people you’re looking to connect with. It’s unlikely you’re going to be having these discussions with an accountant you don’t like. It’s more probable that conversations will be minimal and those that do happen are short.
When you need to know something, like ‘can I put (insert something absurd here) through my business?’, it’s so much easier to phone your accountant and get an immediate answer from your own personal expert, than trawling through the internet or asking Dave from the pub. For one, your accountant’s advice should be tailored to your business and your personal circumstance. The internet won’t know those. So, if you want to claim for your brand-new American style fridge freezer and 3-piece-suite for ‘the office’, the answer might be different if your accountant knows ‘the office’ is actually your dining room.
Your accountant should want to make time to help guide you through the complexities of your financial affairs. This often includes educating you on how to do things. This could be using your accounting software more effectively. Or explaining the tax consequences of the method you use to pay yourself. A business owner needs to be made to feel adequate, even if they don’t know something. That’s the point of hiring an expert! And it helps you to improve your control over your business finances.
So, the next time you see or hear someone say they don’t like their accountant. Tell them they desperately need a new one!