- December 15, 2020
- Posted by: Paul Foster
- Categories: Business activities management, Business financial help, Small business financial help
What’s worse? Going to the dentist or going to the accountant?
How much fun is it to sit with your accountant as they go through every line of your financial statement? Aren’t they speaking an entirely different language? For me, it is excruciatingly painful – and I was trained as a CPA!
Although I got out of the “tax compliance” business in order to focus on the “increasing cashflow and freedom” business, some clients still have me sit in on that annual meeting with their accountant. We typically try and get the accountant to keep it short, and then after they leave, I explain what they said!
It would be funnier if it weren’t true!
The solution: Respectfully but assertively ask them not to go into their spiel. Ask your accountant to answer two simple questions:
- How much tax do I owe?
- How much is your bill?
Back when I owned a public accounting firm, I learned that no one cared about the financial statements. So what I did was give them a choice at the start of the meeting of how to proceed. And guess what? No one chose the long version! They, as well as I, were delighted when I stopped making them suffer through that gruelly financial statement presentation!
Re-active instead of pro-active
Last year is over and so is last year’s financial results. What is happening this year? The key to minimizing your tax bill is to plan ahead. Your accountant should be proactive and help you plan for this year before it’s over. “I wish you would have called me on this sooner”, is not what you want to hear next year.
The solution: Call them. Take charge and be pro-active yourself. Help them to help you. Ask your accountant to do a quick review. With today’s technology, you can have a Zoom call, share your screen, and they can review your year to date results with you. It’s a small but proactive investment of time that could save you a lot.
But shouldn’t they take the initiative? Yes, but if they don’t, you suffer, not them. That’s why you need to take charge. They might be too busy putting out fires to think about your tax planning! The squeaky wheel gets the grease: make some noise!
Understanding more about these weird reports
I’ll be honest, I have actively tried to escape from those extended accounting meetings for a few years now! But the reality is that after almost 40 years of working with both the accountants and the business owners, I actually understand both better now than ever. With my experience, I’m grateful to have the ability to translate “accounting” speak into a language business owners understand. I can sort through the paperwork and pull out the parts that actually might be useful!
I have realized what might come easy to me, isn’t that easy for everyone.
That’s why I would like to create a resource for business owners to use to understand more about their financial statements – without making them go back to school! I also don’t want to make any wrong assumptions about what exactly business owners want.
I invite you to share with me your two biggest questions or concerns about your financial statements. You can trust it will be a private and confidential conversation. Just email me and ask me your two most burning questions or concerns. I promise to personally respond within 2 business days.
I look forward to hearing from you.