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Running a business

5 questions first-time business owners should ask their accountant

Congratulations on taking the giant leap into the world of small business. Whether you’ve started an online e-commerce store, a freelance business, or your very own shop front, the ups and downs of running a small business can be challenging, but very rewarding. To achieve success, you need to know your numbers and that means getting an accountant onboard right from the start. Here are 5 questions every business owner should ask their accountant.

1 Is my business financially healthy?

What better way to assess the financial health of your business than asking your accountant. Not only are they qualified, but if you use cloud accounting software, they’ll have real-time access to your financial records. They can see where money is going in and out and spy any areas of improvement. You can also chat to them about your break-even point and profit margins to ensure you are on the fast track to succeed.

2 How is my cash flow?

One of the key financial areas, and pressure points, for many small business owners is their cash flow. Understanding what is coming in and what is going out, is key to your long-term growth. An accountant can help look at your books and determine how healthy your cash flow is, and if there are any ways to improve. Your accountant can also help troubleshoot any issues or deal with unpaid invoices.

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3 Can you help me grow my business?

Every small business owner wants their business to grow, but not everyone thinks to ask their accountant for advice. An accountant can not only review and analyse your financial records but offer advice on long-term business strategy. If you have ideas on how to grow or expand your business, discuss them with your accountant and ask their opinion. They may have concerns or encouragement that can help when deciding your next steps.

4 How can I prepare now for the next tax season?

Accountants know tax and they can help ensure your business is compliant and aware of any relevant tax laws. Ask them about the rules and regulations you should be aware of, which may include GST and BAS. Discuss potential tax deductions and if you have staff, the legislation surrounding payroll. It can be hard to navigate through all the government requirements – this is where the guidance of an accountant is priceless.

5 What can I be doing better?

Many accountants are not just tax experts, but they can also offer valuable financial insights. Nobody will know your business as well as your accountant, so ask them what you can be doing better. Where are some areas you can improve? Are their any expenses you need to watch or ways to improve cash flow? An accountant can offer a professional but objective opinion on your business finances. Don’t be afraid to take on their advice and review any changes with them in a few months time.

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