To the blog for small and medium sized business (SME) owners.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Your First Accountant

We joke about them, ridicule them, try to avoid them but in most cases they are one of the first professional people we turn to upon starting a business.We try to “hit the ground running”, but in the lonely and busy life of the business owner, there is always someone or some organisation that requires information and this holds us back.

We are not always qualified to, or want to, provide endless information or fill in forms ourselves, so we naturally turn to the professional.Who is this Professional in question?


The much maligned individual is the butt of many jokes, but choose the wrong one and the joke is no longer funny.

Making the right choice is essential. All owners of start up, small and medium sized businesses can AVOID the pitfalls in choosing the wrong accountant for their business. Make the wrong choice and the consequences may be catastrophic.

How do you choose the right accountant. The areas to consider when taking your decision include:

1 Making the Right Choice – the ProcessUnderstand the processHow do you start?
2 The Services Offered - Understand what services your accountant actually offers
3 The Contract, the Fees, the WorkUnderstand the costs
4 Service Level - Agree the contact arrangements and the frequency
5 Tax Planning Meeting - Ensure you organise a tax planning meeting BEFORE you year end
6 Fee Payment Schedule - Agree the basis on which the accountant will be paid
7 Changing Circumstances - Remember circumstances change - build flexibility into your agreement
8 Referred Services - Your Accountant should be a good referee
9 Non Accounting Services - What does your accountant offer?
10 Testimonials - Ask for references from satisfied clients
11 A Friend or foe?

Read the whole of Your First Accountant ebook for free and refer it to your friends and collegues.

A Solution Resource for the Business Owner

A continuing problem faced by the owners and directors of small and medium sized businesses is that of finding relevant and easy to understand information to help them solve the problems encountered in business life.

Those 'problems' may be of the enjoyable kind. A growing, profitable and cash rich organisation that is expanding further. Or, as perhaps is more common, a not so comfortable environment may exist of declining sales, low or non-existent profits and a shortage of cash.

In either case it may not always be possible (perhaps economic constraints do exist) or necessary to engage professionals to seek advice on issues that may arise. However, for the small and medium sized business owner the process of taking decisons on matters outside their area of experise may be daunting.

Check out SME Business Solutions for help in solving your business problems.

Solutions for Small Medium Sized Business

Small medium sized business owners seek help in many areas. Business development, business planning, raising finance, cash management, merger, acquisition and human resource are key areas to be addressed.

To achieve success company strategy, including sales strategy, marketing strategy and pricing strategy will be determined as well as; linking these with the plans for accounting, finance, manufacturing, quality and; human resource within the business. DAW Consulting will help you develop your strategic business plan.

The small business entrepreneur may not immediately realise three factors that determine success. The need to focus on the business as opposed to working in it, maintain a turn key philosophy and understand the business development process. Understand more on what makes a successful business entrepreneur.

Adequate finance is critical to all business. The business owner may arrange the bank account and accounting services, however, the negotiation of business finance with a bank or finance company, the selection of appropriate accounting software, the preparation of business plans including cash flow forecasts and the development of a management information system may be beyond the skills of the small business owner. DAW Consulting can help with arranging funding for your business, learn more on the subject.

Change management will be undertaken by business as a matter of course. Technology changes, customer demands or directional changes enforced by corporate bodies will all impact on the culture of the business, resulting in new business envionments. Ensure your organisation's ability to master change is robust and employ the relevant experts.

A short term form of finance that may be beneficial to some business owners is a bridging loan. Normally available to 'bridge' the time gap between purchasing say property and receving funds from thesale of existing buildings or land.

Small medium sized businesses may consider raising cash against the business assets in other ways. Read more on other business solutions.