It’s true. Your accountant may be an undercover agent. Many accountants are more than they appear to be. I’m not talking about being an undercover agent for the government in relation to your taxes.
No. I’m referring to the fact that he or she has the ability to be a Virtual Chief Financial Officer (Virtual CFO) or outsourced Financial Controller for your business, but they might be—for you—flying beneath the radar and remaining the typical “just does your tax” accountant.
What Can Your Accountant Do?
As a Virtual CFO your accountant—if they are skilled in management accounting—can add massive value to your business. They can help:
- Avoid cash flow crises (and if they’re tech savvy, they’ll do that by using predictive cash flow tracking apps)
- Protect your family’s assets from inherent business risks.
- Eliminate unnecessary expenses in your business.
- Grow your business by focusing you on the numbers (the Key Performance Indicators, or ‘KPIs’) that matter the most, right now.
- Get clarity and a sense of control and direction by setting up real-time KPI dashboards that display how your business’ KPIs are tracking, and which you can easily check via your smartphone or tablet device.
- Free you from tedium by helping you and your team eliminate needless manual data entry and lower-level bookkeeping tasks by setting you up with cloud accounting systems like Xero, where the transactions come in via bank data feeds, rather than requiring manual data entry, and then can be coded (categorised) using learned rules.
- Question your business model and business direction
- Ensure you set up a legacy for your loved ones through Estate Planning.
- Ensure you have a clear exit and harvest strategy for your business through Succession Planning.
- Ask you the hard questions you might be avoiding asking yourself.
- Eliminate—if they are up-to-speed with cloud computing and the app ecosystem approach—various apps and databases in your business that you are manually updating. This will save you time, money and avoid errors.
- Reduce your debtors and make debtor follow-up efficient and automated.
- Automate your invoicing processes.
- Connect your point-of-sale system to your bookkeeping, accounting and inventory management system to make your business easier to manage.
Why is Your Accountant Undercover?
Your accountant can be a catalyst for your business success and your family’s financial well-being.
But most accountants—despite having these skill-sets—remain undercover.
They don’t tell you about the full range of their skills. They don’t tell you about all these (frankly, profoundly useful) services and systems they could help you implement in your business.
Why is that?
- They’re busy.
- They’re shy.
- They fear rejection.
- They figure if you want something, you’ll ask for it.
- They don’t want to appear ‘pushy’.
- They don’t want to be seen as ‘selling’ anything to you.
Based on these fears and limiting beliefs, they remain undercover. (And as a result they, sadly, fail to fulfil their potential for adding value to their clients.)
And your business suffers as a result.
From one business owner to another, I suggest you send this article to your accountant. Put it to them: Are they in undercover mode? Are they capable of helping you with those areas listed above? If so, ask them. “So why haven’t you told me about this before?”
More importantly… as a business owner, it’s time you busted your accountant’s cover. Tell them you’re onto them. Tell your accountant you want a meeting to discuss these management accounting and ‘CFO’ level services that they’ve been keeping to themselves.
And tell them you want action. Ask for a fixed price on a monthly retainer for the services. Tell them you’re happy to pay that because it costs far less than hiring an in-house Accountant/Financial Controller/CFO and you’ll get more value being supported by them and their team, than by having all your eggs in the one basket with an employee “in accounts” who may or may not work out or actually be all that great at what they do.
So, are you up for it? Are you willing to bust your accountant’s cover?
MC Carter runs Practice Paradox, an Australian-based agency that provides digital marketing for accountants.
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