How To Change Accountants7 Reasons why we Could be the Firm to take Your Business to the Next Level
“Before you make the decision to change accountants you really need to think about what you want from your accountant. Do you just want tax returns and compliance or are you looking for a business advisor who offers strategic business development and marketing advice?”
Steve Griffin - Partner
Let’s be honest, not all accounting firms are the same. Most accounting firms could be described as ‘general practitioners’ with great technicians who focus on tax and compliance services. Other firms offer services beyond compliance and have developed expertise in specific industries and niche markets like business start-ups and self-managed superannuation funds.
The general practitioners view the tax return as the end of the client process while the firms who provide business advisory services and focus on helping clients grow their business and their wealth view compliance and tax returns as the start of the process.
The decision to change accountants can be stressful, particularly if you have had a long term relationship with the firm or a particular partner or principal. Before you make a decision you need to think about what you want from your accountant. Do you just want tax returns and compliance or are you looking for a business advisor who offers strategic business advice including marketing direction to help you grow your business?
Here at MGR Accountants we recognise the fact that business owners need tax returns but they really want five things beyond compliance work including:
- GROWTH – help me grow my revenue and my wealth
- PROFIT – help me improve my business profitability
- CASHFLOW – help me understand and free up my cash flow
- ASSET PROTECTION – help me protect my assets
- SUCCESSION – help me plan my business sale or succession plan
Choosing an accountant who understands your business, your industry and your needs can mean the difference between boom and gloom. Within the firm we have developed expertise in some niche markets and some specific services and work with clients who are committed, pro-active and ambitious business owners. If you want to grow your business revenue, profits and personal wealth in the digital age your choice of accountant or advisor is critical.
We strive to earn your trust and that means we need to understand what makes your business and industry tick so we can help you take advantage of emerging opportunities. We do more than just prepare financial statements and tax returns and marketing success necessitates strategy, tools and people who implement. We want you to work SMARTER not HARDER and in the process build a more financially rewarding business and better lifestyle. We will introduce you to some intelligent software programs and tools designed to automate your marketing processes.
As pro-active accountants we believe we have a responsibility to help our clients build a more efficient, profitable and valuable business and we have identified 7 key areas that distinguish us from other accounting firms.
We believe our marketing skills are one of the things that set us apart from other accounting firms.
In the digital age, your marketing could be the difference between success and struggle for many businesses. Traditional media and marketing methods like newspapers, television, radio and Yellow Pages are in decline and being replaced by new forms of media including social media, websites and YouTube. The next generation of consumers have adopted these forms of media and to be successful you also need to embrace change.
In business, if you keep doing things the same way you’ll continue to get the same results. You now need to be working ON your business, not just IN your business and if you’re chronically busy let us introduce you to some breakthrough marketing strategies and business automation tools that could transform your business into a smarter, faster and more streamlined operation. When you combine strategy with technology and tools you can change your future financial outcomes and build a more financially rewarding business and better lifestyle.
Because you only get one chance to make a first impression we assist clients with the development of their website including the content, functionality and SEO. Your branding and website must resonate with your target market and we work with you to create a website and brand that drives more traffic, leads and sales. You need a social media strategy and blog plus we can also help you with video production, mobile technology and digital publishing. Most importantly, we walk the marketing talk.
❷ HELP YOU MINIMISE THE COST OF COMPLIANCE
We truly understand that compliance is a ‘grudge’ purchase. It doesn’t add value or grow your business so our objective is to help you minimise the cost of compliance. We want to be your business advisor not your bookkeeper so the process starts with identifying the right accounting software for your business. We match your business needs with your level of accounting skill and where required, we train you to use the software.
We support a number of software programs like MYOB, QuickBooks and Cashflow Manager and love working with cloud based software solutions like Xero. Quality records not only save you money but they create capacity so we can spend more time working with you ON your business.
❸ HELP YOU KNOW YOUR NUMBERS
Our mission is to help you fast track your business success. We want you to spend more time working ON your business and if you understand the four ways to grow a business and the key profit drivers in your business we can talk you through profit improvement strategies. Using intelligent software we can then quantify the profit improvement potential in your business.
‘Knowing your numbers’ lets you make more informed business decisions. Using industry benchmarks we can analyse the performance of your business and compare it against your competitors so you know what is working in the business and what needs working on. Most importantly, we talk you through the numbers so you have a clear understanding of the impact of any price changes on your margins and profits.
❹ CREATE WEALTH
Improved profitability means little if it doesn’t translate into a more secure and prosperous financial lifestyle.
Accordingly, we also provide wealth creation services and use tax effective strategies like self- managed superannuation (SMSF) and negative gearing to help you build wealth. Tax planning and tax minimisation are key service offerings in our firm and these require the right business structure and forward planning.
Over the past few years negative gearing and SMSFs have become niche services within the practice. Of course, once you build wealth you also want to protect your assets which is why we also consult with clients about risk and succession planning.
❺ WE LISTEN AND CARE
We are pro-active rather than reactive accounting firm. We listen to our clients and adapt to their changing needs. We are responsive and have introduced business coaching and marketing services over the past few years because of the demand.
We run client seminars to educate you on the latest marketing, business growth and superannuation strategies. We recognise that we only exist because of our clients and your success is our success.
❻ OUR PEOPLE
Confidentiality, integrity and professionalism are assured and our dedicated team of accountants are committed to ongoing professional development so you enjoy access to the best technical tax and accounting advice available. We aim to be your trusted business advisor and listen to your needs, speak your language and no job is too big or too small for the team. We believe our offering is unique and our pro-active team is incredibly passionate about helping you succeed.
❼ PERSONAL SERVICE & GUARANTEE
A lot of accounting firms claim to deliver personal service but we believe we offer you ‘old fashioned’ service. We pride ourselves on being accessible and guarantee we will always return client phone calls and respond to email queries as soon as soon as practically possible. We visit you at your premises wherever possible because these site visits give us a valuable insight into your systems, software, processes, people, equipment and future needs.
We listen to you and tailor our financial solutions to your needs. You won’t get delegated down the chain for important work and our systems and processes mean your work won’t sit idle for weeks or months. We aim to turn compliance work around very quickly and efficiently so we can turn our attention to planning and growing your business.
Our clients keep telling us that we deliver value for money and we strive to earn your trust and future referrals.
A lot of business owners agonise over the decision to change accountants. This is understandable where the accountant has been a trusted advisor for years and almost extended family. However, the decision to change accountants is a business decision so you don’t have to make excuses or feel uncomfortable.
The way we do business in the digital age has changed. The internet and Google dominate and websites are the modern version of the business card. Social media ,search engine optimisation, digital publishing, video and mobile technology are ‘the new rules of business’ while traditional media and marketing methods like newspapers, television, radio and Yellow Pages are in decline. The technology revolution has changed the business landscape forever and the next generation of consumers have accepted these forms of media. To be successful in business, you also need to embrace these changes and that might necessitate a new business advisor to guide your business through the process.
Once the decision is made it is a relatively simple process.
Basically the new accountant sends the outgoing firm an ‘ethical clearance’ letter asking if there is any reason why they should not accept the engagement. They also request copies of documents and financial records including prior year tax returns and schedules. The outgoing accountant is obliged to pass on the information. Generally speaking this is a formality and your former accountant should not charge for handing the information over to us. If you have an outstanding account they might withhold the files until payment in full is made.
THE NEXT STEPGiven you are already browsing our website, the easiest way is to call or email us. Provide us with a few basic details and we will put the wheels in motion by contacting your current accountant.
Of course, if you’re not quite ready to make the move that’s fine and we recommend you simply subscribe to our Business Accelerator Magazine. This newsletter will give you an insight into how we help our clients beyond their tax and compliance needs.
If you're a committed and ambitious business owner looking to accelerate your business success we invite you to book a free, one hour introductory consultation to discuss your business or marketing needs. You'll get practical business, tax, marketing and financial advice designed to help you build your business and grow your wealth. To book a time, contact us today on (03) 5443 8888 or complete your details in the box at the top of this page.