The accounting profession has greatly changed over the years and the needs of business owners has increased due to the competitiveness and speed of change in every industry.
In selecting any advisor there are two main questions a business owners should ask:
- Do I like the advisor because I feel he/she is authentic and will understand me as a person and a business?
- Does the advisor and his/her firm have the skills and competence to deliver on our business expectations?
As to questions an accountant and his firm should be able to answer: Accounting and tax questions are table stakes. The accountant of today needs to get in the weeds and develop a full understanding of the business and their industry to provide proactive advice and sophisticated tools to help business owners in the following ways:
- Gather management information to understand how the business is performing beyond the balance sheet and income statement. This can be anything from understanding inventory analysis and other cost management indicators.
- Develop KPI’s (key performance indicators) which are leading indicators for a dashboard to help a firm understand where they are going and the progress they’re making toward their goals.
- Engage in business forecasting, which can help a business develop needs re: staffing, equipment, and other resources
- Help pull financial data into a format that allows the business to access capital
Keep in mind, most small business owners don’t have, or can’t afford staffing to address all of these skill sets.