When we looked previously at outsourcing and how that can have a massive impact on your small business. We all have those need to do jobs that take us a lot longer to complete because we don’t enjoy them, we aren’t really skilled enough and they end up taking us longer than they should. For me that’s washing up and accounts. So with my kitchen refit I had a dishwasher installed and part of my degree I did a unit in accountancy.
The 4 D’s :
Dishwasher is going great, however accountancy is not my thing meaning it’s time to look at the 4D’s :
- Do it – tried and failed.
- Delete it – not sure HMRC wouldn’t be too chuffed!
- Defer it – unfortunately there’s the matter of the Tax return deadline and well quite frankly your business needs to be aware of it’s financial standing on a regular (not yearly basis).
- Which leaves delegate it.
What do you need in an accountant?
Well apart from the obvious love of numbers and grasp of T-accounts, what exactly do you need from an accountant? Remember not all companies offer a book keeping service for example, some expect you to do that yourself. If you are rubbish at even keeping your basics in order you will need someone to help with this. I personally think small business owners, especially entrepreneurs struggle to delegate tasks as they hate handing over control and worry that outsiders don’t have that vested interest we do. Delegating tasks enables you to balance the needs of the business with the needs of individuals involved. Why do everything you do if it is not improving your life? An accountancy firm can help look at things from a different perspective.
So what would your perfect accountant look like?
Mine would be interested in my business as a whole. Being able to help grow my business and not just reporting what happened last year. That extra set of eyes to say we spend a lot of money here could we look at changing suppliers? Someone who sets up systems that work for my business instead of expecting me to slot into one of their ready built systems.
I want to work with an accountancy firm that is knowledgeable about other areas that may impact upon my business outside of just tax, such as marketing, growth, investment. Someone who is able to plan and help execute if necessary an exit strategy or my retirement. I don’t want to outsource to anyone who isn’t as dedicated to my business as I am, Contractor Unlimited do not accept clients who they cannot add value to. What a great philosophy to have. I’m also interested in working with people who have a diverse set of skills not just accountancy and tax, you need someone who can put them in the context of my business. A one size approach doesn’t fit all. You also need someone who is qualified and able to take care of the basic tax compliance and keep you on top of changes to legislation.
Most importantly when it comes to outsourcing is to do your research, meet and discuss with people your business make sure they are the right fit. Also seek recommendations from previous or current clients. Have you outsourced your accounts? I’d love to hear how you found the process as someone who is desperate for help but finds it incredibly hard to let go!
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