5 Questions You Should Start Asking Your Accountant

Business owners often turn to their accountants for help on bookkeeping, but few companies seek strategic or risk management advice.


Many have weathered challenges in the last year, but they should not avoid these conversations. The following questions can help extract crucial information from your accountant’s brain and will help you build a better business.


1) "How Can I Pay Less Tax?"


While this might seem counterintuitive, the question helps make your accountant a more valuable business partner. The question can also help your accountant identify any tax planning opportunities.


For example, you might have a bunch of equipment that you depreciated years ago that is still useful. Perhaps you can make the argument to the Canada Revenue Agency that it is still active and needs to be depreciated again. Or, maybe your accountant can figure out a way to shift some income outside of Canada’s tax net.


2) "What Is Holding Me Back From Growing?"


Successful businesses are constantly growing, but many don’t take the time to fully understand their growth limitations.


An accountant can help you understand the resources you will need to grow so that you can make sound hiring, technology and infrastructure decisions. You will also learn the steps you need to take to grow and the tax implications of each.


Your accountant should guide you through the process by using a number of analysis tools. For example, your accountant should know how to perform a business model analysis and how to use the resulting information to make the smartest investment decisions.


3) "How Can My Business Be More Efficient?"


In most industries, business owners constantly seek opportunities for efficiency improvements. They do this to remain competitive, but it also helps cut costs and increase profits.


Accountants often play key roles in efficiency initiatives. They can make recommendations on how to improve internal operations and suggest ways to automate existing processes.


Your accountant can also make some of the necessary arrangements—for example, by setting up a new computer program or negotiating with a vendor.


4) "How Can I Make Business Better?"


Business owners should always be striving to constantly improve their operations and their service offerings. If you can’t think of any changes you’d like to make, your accountant should be able to point them out to you.


Accountants deal with many businesses in a similar industry, so they see everything from new software systems that have changed the game to marketing best practices that have been highly successful.


5) "What Drives My Revenue?"


This is one of the most important questions you can ask your accountant. By identifying your revenue drivers, you can focus your marketing efforts on the activities that provide the most value to your business.


For example, if you sell an expensive service, you will likely focus your marketing efforts on building referral relationships and getting positive mentions in the media. If you sell inexpensive products, you might work to build the number of merchants selling your products or you might try to expand into other geographic markets.


Every business has a unique revenue model. Not only does your accountant understand the intricacies of your industry, but also she should have a good grasp of your revenue drivers.


Conclusion


Avoiding a crisis is always preferable to reacting to one. That’s why you should consider working with an accountant who can advise you on critical business issues—for example, tax planning and growth management—before your business encounters a problem.


Find an accountant for an online business that can answer all the right questions. At The ECommerce Accountant, we provide financial consultancy to help you find more efficient ways to boost sales and maintain your business. Get in touch with us today to learn more.


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