We’ve spoken before about the danger of an ‘armchair accountant’, when it comes to unlocking your business’ potential. A lot can be said about the power of a finance team that moves with the times – and the nature – of your brand. But shouldn’t there be a clear checklist for seeing whether your current service is good enough?

That’s just what we’ve done. RJF have outlined the five best practices that, without exception, should inform your next hire when searching for accountancy firms.

5 Best Practices All Accountancy Firms Should Abide By

Thorough reporting

Covering every base is the first and most critical aspect of a good accountancy firm. The quicker you know what they’ve uncovered, the better you can plan for things like tax, pensions and withdrawing money from the business. Failure to proactively prepare and deliver reports and documentation is nothing short of lazy. Ideally, your accountant should ensure you have these on time with commentary that helps you get your head around the numbers.

Person-to-person visits

It’s a small ask, but one that many accountants choose to ignore. As good as digital tools can be, nothing beats personal contact together in the same room. This is a chance for the two of you to share ideas, get a true sense of how each party works, and discuss how you can improve your relationship moving forwards. Pre year-end meetings are especially useful for identifying ways to minimise your tax bill.

Help with a thorough business plan

A long-term finance strategy is invaluable for any business. You can’t build a sustainable model without a sound grasp of things like cash flow and profit margins. Gold-standard accountancy firms can take this all in their stride, ensuring you have an intricate understanding of your finances.

Guidance on growth

Lower-tier accountancy firms may hit a brick wall when advice goes beyond the strict remit of ‘accounting’. You may find they’re unable to suggest how you will attract investment, or expand overseas effectively, for example. With the right partner by your side, you can confidently plan for the future knowing that you’ve fully scoped out the risks and opportunities ahead.

An eye on exit options

Selling shares or the entire company requires a level of wisdom to achieve and maximise your pay-out. When an exit is on the cards, you’ll be searching for contingency – a route to liquidation, or price targets for a security trade. The same goes for a merger. While some accounting services are well versed in this, others will balk at the potential complexity of the exit, failing to see where elements can protect or harm your success.

RJF go much further than most accountancy services. We have well-rounded business experience; that’s one of the founding principles of our group, and we use it to help our clients make informed decisions. Speak to us for more details on the accountancy firm you’ve been waiting for.

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