By Sophia Auld

Accountants are way more than glorified bean counters. In fact, yours probably has plenty of ideas for helping your business do better.

However, national research shows few businesses seek strategic or risk management advice, despite the unprecedented challenges many have faced over the past year. According to Scotpac CEO Jon Sutton, the SME Growth Index shows only 18 per cent of small businesses seek strategic planning assistance. Furthermore, only 14 per cent get M&A advice and just one in 10 seek expert help with risk management.

There’s no reason to go it alone when expert advice is readily available. These questions will help extract crucial information from your accountant’s brain, so you can build a better business.


1. How can I pay less tax?

Lets’ face it, everyone wants to limit lining the tax department’s pockets. Talk to your accountant about how to keep more of your hard-earned cash. For example, ask whether spending to get a tax deduction (to immediately claim depreciation on capex items, for example) is going to cost more than you save on tax.


2. How can my business be more efficient?

Typically, efficiency revolves around good processes and technologies. Your accountant can advise you about accounting software to automate record-keeping and tax processes, saving you time, money and energy.


3. What changes could I make to help my business do better?

Your accountant is an expert in taxes and finance, and after working with you for a while, an expert in your business. They can steer you towards opportunities for growth and away from potential problems. Your accountant can analyse your financial position, see if anything is holding your business back, and help you plan for future opportunities.

Your accountant also stays up to date with constantly changing financial regulations, and most likely has an ear out for emerging trends. It’s worth checking in regularly for their advice.


4. What is my break-even point?

This is the point where your total sales equal your total expenses. Knowing this is essential for pricing your products and/or services, setting budgets and controlling costs.

Your accountant can calculate your break-even point, so you know whether your business is making a profit, just breaking even, or losing money.


5. What drives my revenue?

If you want to increase your profitability, knowing what drives your revenue is a good place to start. Depending on your business, your accountant might suggest approaches such as reviewing your pricing strategy, generating more leads, converting more leads into customers, or finding ways to sell more with every transaction.


6. How can I manage cash flow better?

Cash flow is key to running a profitable, sustainable business. To ensure you maintain a positive fiscal position, ask your accountant whether you can do anything to better manage the movement of money through your business.

They can help you analyse your cash flow, pinpoint problem areas, and create a plan for solving them. They can ensure your business is future-ready by creating a cashflow forecast. You could also ask whether cashflow or invoice finance could help keep your financial situation in balance.


7. How do my results compare to those of your best clients?

Your accountant probably works with many business clients, some of whom are doing better than others. Why not draw on the knowledge of what their most successful clients are doing? You might be able to implement some of their strategies to bolster your own bottom line.

We offer a range of flexible finance solutions to help businesses access the capital they need to grow. Speak to us today to explore your funding options.