How to get the most out of your accountant from starting up to getting out
"A good relationship with your accountant that extends beyond tax season can yield valuable information and contacts when it comes to your business’ sore points"
August 6, 2019 by canadiancontractor
By Mahyar K. Hansotia, President of Sobel and Company, Professional Corporation
Do you only speak with your accountant when it comes time to filing taxes? If so, your relationship is falling short. As a business owner, you could be missing out on valuable insights and guidance that goes beyond balance sheets and tax deductions. In fact, a good accountant can provide year-round strategic advice that can help boost your bottom line.
Many contractors rely on their accountant for basic services such as bookkeeping, tax filing, and financial statements. But beyond this, a good accounting firm offers experience across several disciplines and proactively asks about your business goals, in order to help you reach them. Their exposure to other clients gives them valuable insight to business operations and client solutions that can help you create efficiencies, maximize savings and grow your business.
Beyond tax season matters and financial records, a good accountant can also provide added value when it comes to:
Setting up the business. If you’re just starting your contracting business, your accountant can help determine which business structure is best for your circumstance (i.e., sole proprietorship, corporation, partnership) including share structure and shareholders. They can also advise on instances when it may be advantageous to change the structure, such as moving from a sole proprietorship to corporation. Especially as a new business owner, it’s important to build a network of advisors that you can trust to provide sound advice and feedback.
Planning an exit strategy. Whether you’ve just set up shop or ready to retire, every business owner needs to think about a succession plan early on. This isn’t just about retirement, it’s about safeguarding the business in the event of a divorce or other unforeseen circumstances. Whether you choose to transfer the business to children, sell to key employees or to a third party, an accountant can provide valuable guidance and assistance several years before the sale to make it more attractive to a potential buyer. They ensure the transaction is done smoothly, efficiently and most importantly, as tax efficiently as possible.
Boosting profits. Many contractors often don’t have the time – or even the inclination – to focus on spreadsheets and number crunching. Your accountant can focus on the financials instead, and provide insight on cash flow patterns, business financing, or property leasing and purchase to identify areas for growth. And they can interpret your financial data into an easy-to-understand summary, so you can focus on doing more of what you do best.
Finally, a good relationship with your accountant that extends beyond tax season can yield valuable information and contacts when it comes to your business’ sore points. Their wealth of experience with other clients allows them to offer ideas or potential solutions that have helped them or their clients weather similar situations.
Sobel and Company, Professional Corporation is focused on business owners of small- to mid-sized companies, as well as large corporations, who are looking for financial acumen and strategic business expertise over and above traditional chartered professional accountant services.