As a start- up, it is crucial that you find an accountant early on who will partner with you to help you and your company grow. If you find an accountant who understands your business, they can essentially guide you in the right financial direction.
Many start-ups come to an accountant too late in the game when big decisions have already been made and significant challenges and costs could have been avoided. What tends to be overlooked by start-ups and new business owners is that an accountant can offer a lot more to a start-up than just monthly reports and running figures.
A good accountant can partner with start-ups and act as an advisor on many business related decisions, which can ultimately be the difference between succeeding and failing. The role of an accountant and that partnership is multi-facet and often under utilised.
What can an accountant offer?
A good accountant will be an advisor to you. They will understand your business and the industry sector you are in. Your accountant will help anticipate the common pitfalls and issues that can and do arise. They will also be able to assist you with your policies and systems.
As an advisor, your accountant’s goal should be to help guide you to grow the business financially. They can assist and advise you on managing your cash flow and budget as you expand and help to ensure you calculate the risks.
Your accountant should be advising you on the correct structure for your business that is specific to your industry, size, growth projection and objectives. Overtime, this structure may need to change and your accountant can advice around timing and planning for this. Choosing the wrong structure can be a costly exercise for any business and should be avoided.
Your accountant should teach you and advise you on how to manage your budget and cash flow, which can equip you with the tools you need to run a profitable business. However, more often than not, in a start-up where you are time-poor, your accountant will be able to hold you accountable for the deliverables and assist you in sticking to your budget.
TECHNOLOGY & SYSTEMS
A good accountant needs to be across the latest technology and systems to help streamline your accounting and financial procedures. In doing so, they can partner with you and educate you on the appropriate software for your start-up business. Any start-up should have the latest technology and systems in place, so that your time and efforts can be streamlined and perform at the highest efficiency. Working in a paper-based environment, is no longer sustainable or efficient in this era. Especially in accounting.
If your start-up booms and you don’t have the correct systems in place to support that massive growth, you can essentially become undone as quickly as you grow. Unfortunately this is a common challenge that start-ups can typically avoid, if they are getting the right advice from the beginning. Just like when a business hasn’t got a website that supports the traffic to their site, if the systems aren’t inherently built for the growth projected, they will inevitably crash.
Your accountant will have experience working with businesses and ultimately seen what works and what doesn’t. By allowing your accountant to take on the role of a mentor, they can offer their first-hand experience and act as a sounding board. Working with someone you trust, who you can workshop the big decisions and ideas with, is invaluable to any business new or old.
Engaging an accountant from the beginning enables you to remain focused on your core competencies and establishing and building your business, while the secondary but equally important bottom line is being managed.
Essentially, the sooner you engage an accountant in your start-up, the more structure and better equipped you will be for growth and risk. It is never too soon to be putting systems, policies and technology into place for your business and seeking the right advice.
Source via Kristallis