When you think of an accountant, you probably think one of two things: tax, and bookkeeping.
While that’s the bread and butter of the accounting world, the face of accounting is changing. There’s so much more your accountant can offer that you might not even know about — services which go beyond simple tax and bookkeeping services.
Your accountant can also act as your adviser, and help you work towards your holistic business goals. Read below to find out how an accountant can help you and your business.
At Liston Newton Advisory, our role is to act as your personal business adviser, provide you with support and guidance on all things accounting — and more. Get in touch with our business accountants to find out what we can do for your business.
When you ask yourself 'what does an accountant do', your first thought is probably something to do with numbers.
At a high level, that’s accurate. Your accountant is there to provide financial support to your business. But they can also provide business strategy support. After all, you want to make your business profitable — so it makes sense that you would speak to someone who understands finances.
Your accountant can work with you to focus on your business goals, and provide you with strategies to achieve these goals. They’ll work with you to:
- Determine the necessary KPIs to work towards
- Establish what you can spend, and where (ultimately boosting your revenue and enable your business to grow)
- Help you transition out of your business and hand over the reins, when applicable or necessary
Cash flow support
Your accountant can help you weather the changing market, and ensure your business is able to manage its cash flow successfully.
As professional financial strategists, they will work with you to:
- Forecast your cash flow
- Put processes and spending plans in place to ensure you’re always on top of your expenditure
This ensures you have the necessary funds to pay staff and suppliers. This way, you'll always have a sensible financial plan in place for the future.
Manage your debt
One key service your accountant provides is debt management. They can:
- Look into how your debt is structured
- Develop a strategy to help you manage it in a sustainable way
- Provide advice on bank borrowing strategies
- Help you determine the bank and loan that’s suitable for your business
Your accountant is able to provide support for refinancing, and can advise on whether you should use spare money to reinvest into the business, or if you're better off paying existing loans.
If you’ve got unpaid invoices lying around, your accountant can help you set up payment methods that take care of them for you.
For any invoices that your business really can’t handle at present, your accountant can even look into debt financing for you. This is a service where a business buys your unpaid invoice from you, and then follows up on the payment themselves.
Support for loan applications
When it comes to applying for loans or securing funding, your accountant understands what lenders want to see in an application. They can help you create a presentation that pulls together your financials, forecasts, business history, and your overall business goal, into one compelling story.
If you ask some 'what does an accountant do', they probably won’t think 'storytelling'. But this is exactly what a loan application is — it’s telling your story.
Your accountant knows which charts and graphs will provide a strong visual story of your business’ progress, which demonstrates accurately the opportunity your business provides.
When you’re starting to think about what services do accountants provide, financial planning probably comes into it. But they can also help you with budgeting.
Your accountant is an expert at managing your finances, so they can provide you with an accurate, future-focused budget that provides you with a factual picture of your business’ incomings, expenses, and growth.
They can help you:
- Identify all your costs
- Get accurate forecasts of your sales
- Monitor your budget to ensure you stay in line with your financial goals
Streamline your accounting with cloud accounting software
What does an accountant do? They also provide IT services.
Probably not the answer you expected, but your accountant can work with you to:
- Optimise your accounting software
- Streamline your banking processes
- Take advantage of the benefits of cloud accounting
They can help you set up the right software platforms and systems that can automate many of your regular accounting processes. You’ll be able to use this software to make your sales, income, and expenses all move between your accounts on autopilot.
They can help you set up:
- Automated invoicing
- Overdue payment reminder emails
- Set up mobile accounting dashboards
- KPI tracking so you can manage your business finances through your smartphone or tablet
They’ll help you migrate your financial data from one software platform to another, so you don’t miss a thing, and ensure your data security is up to scratch.
Unbeknownst to you, there’s probably a lot of inefficiencies hiding in your business. It could be things like staff hours and irregular payments, not monitoring your utilities, or even in the physical (or digital) space that you occupy.
Your accountant can look at all your costs strategically, and help you identify any inefficient or unnecessary expenses.
They’ll be ruthless; but with their help, your business will be trimmed to its most agile and efficient form possible.
Support in setting up a new business
There’s a lot involved with setting up a new business, but did you know that your accountant can support you in this too?
Your accountant can help you navigate your way forward, and provide advice on:
- Business structures
- ASIC registration
- GST and tax obligations
They can help you develop strategies to make your new endeavour tax-effective, and ensure proper compliance.
Your accountant enables you to focus on running your business — they’ll take care of the rest.