Small business owners have ninja-level decision-making skills. How many decisions do you think you made last month? You found a contractor to help you deliver a project. You hired an administrative assistant. You determined year-end bonuses for your team. You found a speaking coach. You planned your cash flow needs for the next 90 days. You calculated a chunk of cash to withdraw from your business. How do you make all of your decisions? Who helps you gather data to inform your decisions? Who has expertise and an opinion that you value? If your accountant is not coming to mind right now, continue reading!
What is an accountant’s job?
An accountant’s job is to communicate information that improves your decisions. There are three facts that position accountants to be a natural choice as an advisor to your business. Fact #1: Your accountant has a deep understanding of your goals, trends, budgets, strategies, struggles and strengths because of the process of creating your financial statements and tax filings. Fact #2: Your accountant brings an outside perspective to your table. Your business is like a glass jar and sometimes you need someone to read the label on the jar. No matter how smart you are, you cannot read the label from inside the jar. Fact #3: Your accountant is a neutral observer that is not emotionally entwined with your success or failure. They should be holding pom poms and cheering for you to win. But, ultimately your success or failure does not alter your accountant’s career path. These facts mean that a dreamy accountant is providing you with informed, unbiased advice that makes your business more successful and more enjoyable to lead.
What should you look for when hiring an accountant?
Your dreamy accountant has to be the following 3 things.
- Be cool! You should be fully entertained and inspired having a cup of coffee with your accountant and discussing anything that you think is cool. If you don’t want to chat with your accountant about simple things like weekend activities, then you will not want to chat about complex ideas either. So you will never have important and useful conversations.
- Know your industry! You should spend more time receiving information from your accountant than you do giving information to them. There is immeasurable value when your accountant already knows your software, knows what your industry leaders are saying, knows how your industry will be affected by current economic trends, knows common benchmarks, etc.
- Be respectful! You should know that your accountant is hearing you. When you reach out, you should expect a reliable response within 24 – 72 hours. It will also be helpful if your accountant communicates the ways you like to (email, phone, text, Zoom, Slack or in person).
You deserve a dreamy accountant!
Let’s think about how many decisions you will need to make next month. Is someone communicating useful information that improves your decisions? To find your dreamy accountant, ask your colleagues for referrals. Who are their accountants? Interview as many as it takes until you find the cool factor. I promise, dreamy accountants are everywhere.
What else do you want to know? If you still have question on this topic, feel free to email me at [email protected]. I may answer your question in my next blog.
Disclaimer – We have not included all possible restrictions and complexities. It is crucial that you consider more information than we have written here. Always discuss your specific scenario with a professional accountant.
Image credit: Hillary Colvin