When it’s time to pay your company’s taxes, it’s natural to turn to a tax professional for help. Did you know that your bookkeeper can provide more than just data entry and reconciliations? Accounting professionals can also provide business insight reviews (BIRs). According to Intuit, 89 percent of small business owners who use professionals to advise their companies say they are more financially stable and successful.
How can a small business benefit from having a regular Business Insight Review in addition to tax planning, and what should you expect when meeting with a financial professional for a BIR? Here are important points to keep in mind:
Prepare a regular meeting agenda and use it every time you meet. Spend just a small amount of time evaluating what’s happened in the past and focus the bulk of your meeting on being proactive in planning for future growth. Have spreadsheets from previous meetings available and do your homework—know ahead of time what you want to cover, while still being open to what your advisor suggests.
Expect some glitches, especially if this is the first time you’ve worked with the company. You may need to correct their interpretation of your financial statements; they may need to ask for information in a different format.
Video meetings during the pandemic don’t always run smoothly. Don’t get stuck in a rut with one video conferencing option; companies who provide online meeting resources have stepped up their game and added new features in the past several months.
Ask if there are video resources available. There may not be time to ask all of your questions, or questions may occur to you post-meeting, but if there are tutorial videos you can watch on your own time and then show your team, it can be time saving. Some companies will record a video with updated information and provide it to their clients; ask if the company you’re using provides such an option.
Ensure that your team is well versed in the software your company uses. If QuickBooks is your go-to, be fully familiar with the details of all that your company can do with it. It’s good use of everyone’s time if you don’t have to stop a meeting to have a feature introduced or explained to your team members.
Schedule regular monthly meetings at a predictable time (e.g., 10:00 am the first Friday of the month). Honor your advisor’s time by giving them plenty of advance notice if you can’t make your scheduled appointment.
Request a financial plan, if you don’t already have one. For some new business owners, the thought of creating such a plan is overwhelming. Rely on the experts to help you come up with a viable way to manage income and outflows; it’s why you’re working with them.
Listen to suggestions. There is more to being a successful company than just the bottom line; your advisors may have insights into the effects of overtime, company morale, or operational issues. Keep an open mind, remembering that they may have a more objective view.
As your business grows, so should your realization that you can’t always do what you need to without professional assistance. The next time you think about talking to your tax bookkeeper, stop and consider what other help may be available to you.
We at Affordable Bookkeeping and Payroll do not only compliance services, but we are also profitability and growth advisors. If you are looking for assistance to understand your financial position, determine where some necessary changes may need to take place to improve your margins, or create a plan for growth, contact us today for a discovery call to see if our services are right for you. We can be reached at 310-534-5577 or [email protected].