Updated: Jul 11, 2018
With online systems now processing accounts, here’s how to make use of your accountant, writes PAUL DAVIES, to plan, analyse, restructure and grow your business.
We recently held a property seminar in conjunction with Xero. When we were demonstrating the Xero system, one of the seminar participants said to me: “With the new online systems doing all the processing for our accounting, we won’t need an accountant”.
I agreed with her and I explained to her that we don’t like doing processing – we can’t do the processing in a cost effective manner and after spending four years getting a university education and three more years training and exams to become a chartered accountant – it is not a good use of our skills.
In addition we have to complete a minimum of 40 hours of training per annum to satisfy the membership requirements of our institute, the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ).
There is a big difference between a chartered accountant and a tax agent. Tax agents just register with the IRD – the IRD have no professional requirements.
As a chartered accountant licensed to offer the public services, we have additional requirements. Our systems and methods are regularly audited by CAANZ to ensure they meet professional standards.
You will be aware that accountants can prepare accounts and tax returns – this is the compliance side of our job and it has been our bread and butter.
But accountants can also do the following:
Prepare budgets and cash flow analysis.
Prepare rolling financial forecasts for your business.
Benchmark your business and show you where you can improve your profits.
Review the integrity of your financial information to ensure the financial information you see each month can be relied upon.
Re-structure your debt to ensure you are getting the maximum interest deductions.
Assist with buying or selling a business.
Value your business and put in place with you a plan to maximise the value when you do sell.
Analyse your revenues and margins and finding ways to improve both. This can be completed in conjunction with bench marking.
Recommend and assist with the implementation of better methods of managing your debtors and improving cash flow.
Plan you tax payments and restructure your business to minimise your tax.
Prepare with you a business plan and coach you to achieve that plan.