Any start-up, MSME, or new business will benefit from a working relationship with an accountant. Since they may not have enough capital to hire their finance team yet, freelance accountants help these entrepreneurs get their finances for compliance and business growth.
These situations make it necessary for business owners to shop for the right person who understands their needs, be it an accountant for bloggers, an accountant for e-commerce, or accountant services online.
But as far as interviews and working relationships go, specific questions shouldn’t be asked to figure out who the right candidate is or get the job done in a shady manner.
Here are the top three questions you should never ask your accountant and the compelling reasons why!
Question #1: Can You Find a Loophole Around This?
Double books, dishonest tax classifications, and even questionable filing practices are a no-no in accounting. Never compromise on your taxes.
Asking this question is not worth the risks. It will destroy your working relationship and result in dire business consequences.
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) takes tax evasion and other tax-related infractions. For instance, failure to submit taxes punctually instantly accrues a penalty unit amounting to $222 every 28 days you fail to pay.
Subsequently, continued failure to meet your tax obligations results in the maximum penalty of ten years imprisonment on top of other financial penalties gained over time.
Question #2: Can You Do a Physical Task (Which Can Be Automated)?
Accountants for bloggers and accountants for e-commerce all have the same function: regularly compute your ROI, financial statements, and expenses. Those are their primary responsibilities to you, nothing more, nothing less.
Do not give them other work such as balancing a physical chequebook or depositing the income physically to the bank.
The reason for this is one word: automation. These days, accountant services online exist for the sole purpose of crediting, debiting, and remitting funds to the right people. Thus, there is a lack of paper trails since these documents can be scanned and saved on the Cloud!
Instead of sending your accountant physical receipts for their organisation and filing, arrange them in chronological order, take clear photos, name each receipt accordingly, and forward them via email! These virtual methods make accounting more efficient and effective since all the work can be done online!
Your accountant will also be grateful to you for making their workload much easier since they track your financials throughout the year!
Question #3: How Is the Business Performing?
An accountant’s responsibility does not include reporting on your company’s performance. That’s your job as the owner! They may generate analytics and metrics of your sales and overhead for your review, but accountants never have the agency to interpret on their own what the data means and how they can help your business.
They can help you with collating the report, but understanding how they work in your favour or make better decisions is on you.
A much better question to ask them is: How would you perform if you were the owner? This approach simulates a mentor-mentee role where the accountant can guide you based on experience and leave the outcome to you.
Accountants exist for one purpose: sorting out your finances. Always maximise their expertise by focusing on their core functions without other side tasks or unrelated work. Doing so could very well be the start of a beautiful working relationship and slow but steady business growth. Just remember never to ask them these three questions.
If you require accountant services online, The ECommerce Accountant is here for you! We’re a group of virtual business advisors for online stores and influencers with services that take care of your finances so that you can focus on growing your business. Book your free strategy session now!