What to expect from your accountant for the money you pay

We’ve talked before about how much it costs to work with us at Golding. We think it’s really important to be open about how we price, since we don’t believe the bronze, silver, gold package structure gives you the best value. 

That being said, it doesn’t matter whether your accountant offers individual pricing or a one-size-fits-all deal if you don’t know what value you are getting at all. 

“Too expensive” and “too cheap” are completely subjective if you don’t know what the price means, and what it gets you. We’re okay with being told we’re expensive, as long as our clients understand the real value of our work, and the processes and time involved to help them get results.

We want to give you a good idea of why an ‘expensive’ accountant costs what they do, and show you the kind of value you could be getting for your money. 

A personality fit and an understanding of your business

It may sound unnecessary to be a personality match with your accountant, especially if you have preconceived ideas about what an accountant’s function is. You don’t need to be best buds with the old white dude that does your taxes once a year, right? 

Actually, a good accountant is like a business partner. Someone you can bounce ideas off. Someone who will take the time to understand the workings of your business so they can support your growth in all areas. Yes, we can help you save tax – but more importantly, we can help you understand your business and finances so you can take big opportunities (and avoid pitfalls). We can help you turn your entrepreneurial idea into a living breathing profit-making venture. 

With that in mind, you want your accountant to be someone who shares your values. At the very least someone you’d have a pint with. See if we’re your kind of people. 

They don’t mind you contacting them

Beyond ‘not minding’ you picking up the phone when you need to, you actually have a relationship with your accountant. For too many years, Accountants were a once-a-year deal, but you can expect a good accountant to care about your business, and be available for ad-hoc queries. With any service there will always be a limit to how available your accountant is to you – our clients respect our time while still knowing they can contact us if they need to chat. 

You know what’s being done, and you can expect to be replied to within a reasonable time frame 

Your time is money. We try to respond to any question or queries we get within 24 hours – even if it’s just to let you know we’ve received it and we’re working on it. Nobody likes radio silence. You want to know how things are progressing and know you’re being heard. 

This all comes down to communication, and this communication does work both ways. We can only do our best work when clients give us the information and paperwork we need in a timely manner. So you can expect a good accountant to hold you accountable too! [Link to Partnership agreement]

They’re using the appropriate technology, and it’s mutually beneficial

We’re living in a digital age… bla bla bla. The point is, there’s tech available to you today that will make doing business faster, easier and more efficient. If you are:

  1. Still paying for manual processes and excel spreadsheets only
  2. Your accountant doesn’t use tech to make their own processes more efficient
  3. you’re not being encouraged to use tech to make your life easier

Get outta there! 

We use (and advise) Xero over Sage Online and Quickbooks because we believe Xero has built a future proofed software. This blog details all our reasoning behind it, if you want to review for yourself. The important point is, we don’t insist our clients use Xero for our own personal gain. We gain plenty from it in our own business, because it saves us a tonne of time. But that’s the only reason we recommend it to you – because we know how good it is!

Transparency when it comes to fees

We come back to the point on pricing. You always want to know what you’re paying for. You don’t want to be getting surprise bills from your accountant. On the contrary, a good accountant is there to help you make sure you’re never getting money surprises you didn’t see coming. That’s the benefit of really understanding your finances and always having a grasp on your key numbers. 

No errors – or at least honesty if an error is made

Accuracy is vital in accounting – it’s the basis of bookkeeping.  Having accurate and up to date financial information gives you the power to make key decisions in your business. You can analyse your data and identify trends, evaluate key metrics and prepare for your future with budgets and predictions.

This brings us back to the point about technology. It is far easier to get accurate information when you’re not relying on manual data entry and digging out receipts from the sofa. See what you can do when you have accurate numbers here.

We all make mistakes. None of us can pretend we’re perfect – even the best businesses cock up every now and again. But you want to know that your accountant won’t bury their head in the sand and ignore you if a problem arises or a mistake is made. That helps no one. We don’t do BS’ing here – we believe in owning up and finding a solution fast. 

Get to know the full scope of what your accountant does

Right now you might not need the full bells and whistles support. You might not need budgets and cash flow forecasts. You might not even be ready for an employee. 

But if you choose the right accountant, they will follow along your journey with you, and be able to support you as you grow. Get to know what your accountant can do for you, so you know you’ve got expert help when you need it. Chances are, if you’ve chosen the right partner, they’ll be telling you what’s coming before you even realise you need it! 

If you’re reading this blog and thinking “I’m paying XYZ and I’m not getting any of this” then it’s time to look for a higher value accountant. We’d love to talk. 

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