4 Reasons You Know You Need a New Accountant
Financial statements have high value when they are timely and accurate and when they are presented in such a way as to lead to good decision-making. The ROI of any investment, including producing those statements, is clearly increased when the cost to produce them is reduced. Your accountant holds the keys to the value you are getting out of your investment in financial statements. How do you know whether they are truly performing or whether it is time to find a new accountant?
Ask yourself the following questions.
Timely Financial Statements
Begin by asking yourself if you are constantly asking for reports that weren’t delivered when promised. There are always a million reasons why reports might be late. Your accountant may try to put the blame on faulty processes, bad information, or even you in some way. There are no good reasons why accounting transactions can’t be maintained in nearly real-time. If your accountant isn’t making progress or can’t figure out how to work around the obstacles that stand in the way of timely financial statements, it’s time for a change.
Accurate & Reliable Financial Statements
Next, once you have the financials, do you have faith in them? Or rather, do you find yourself doubting their veracity? Perhaps you even find yourself asking to review the detailed financial statements to ensure all expenses are being coded properly. Rest assured, this is not the best practice. These activities are time-consuming and a waste of your valuable time. While some of this may be necessary at the beginning of your relationship with your accountant, if it is happening on an ongoing basis, it’s time for a change.
Thirdly, reflect on how often you look at a financial statement, glance at a couple of relevant numbers like gross margin and net income, and then simply set them aside until next month. Are you getting more and better information than this? A good accountant is regularly digging deeper into WHY things are happening. They review trends and analyze sales and costs by channel, segment, region, customer, etc. Their purpose is to seek and understand the drivers of success or failure. In turn, they should be presenting those learnings to you in ways that lead to good decision-making. If your accountant is leaving this kind of analysis up to you, it’s time for a change!
Finally, ask yourself if your accountant is keeping up with the latest technologies and ways of automating transaction processing. Frequently even good accountants get busy and get stuck in the ruts of doing things the way they were done last month. There are so many new low-cost accounting systems that make it easy to integrate with outside data sources (such as banks, merchant processors, website shopping carts, EDI data sources, CRMs, etc.) that a little investment now could cut down on manual processing substantially. Is your accountant standing in the way of making these changes happen? If so, it’s time for a change!