Choosing the right accountant is a huge decision for you and your business. It’s got to be someone you can trust, who can provide you with real value and allow you to do more of what you’re passionate about. And as the accounting world continues to shift, traditional ways of working are slowly becoming replaced by smarter, more intuitive business models designed around the client. Consequently, choosing a local accountant or even a family friend won’t necessarily provide you with any additional value.
As nice as it is to regularly meet face-to-face, we understand the importance of finding an accountant who’s the right fit for you and your business. Someone that understands you and your why, and someone who can help you to grow and to achieve your business goals. And that might not be the local accountant along the road. There might be an accountant based 20 miles away that could provide a better service for your business than the accountants in your town or village. Value is so much more important than location.
Cloud-based accounting software such as Xero gives both you and your accountant access to your finances. It also allows you to keep an eye on what your accountant is doing, meaning you’re always on the same page. This could potentially eliminate the need for some face-to-face meetings, saving you valuable time that you could be spending growing your business. Xero also connects to over 500 other apps, meaning you can use it really flexibly and in any way you like.
Accounting software such as Autoentry also allows you to digitally scan and send receipts straight to Xero, meaning you don’t have to physically send your accountant a stack of paper receipts. Genius!
Communicating with your accountant through video calls or digital apps could also save you time travelling to their office, and it’s often more convenient for everyone. Nowadays, accountants need to be accessible and quick to respond to clients’ issues. Technical support like Slack means you don’t always have to meet face to face or have a 20 minute phone call about those financial niggles. We’re online at any time of day to answer clients’ questions and to provide technical support for them.
And the added benefit of Slack means that all of our clients are part of an online community where they can ask each other questions and share information, supporting and proactively educating one another. This is something we use because it provides clients with additional value and personalised support. And when you’re happy, we’re happy.
Modern accountants need to provide more than just bookkeeping for their clients. It’s their duty to explain what the numbers mean, in plain English, however many still choose not to do so. In fact, an accountant is perfectly qualified to help you with business growth and strategy. At Ashton McGill, we work with our clients using tools like The Business Model Canvas to help them think differently and to grow their business. Design thinking is a huge part of our culture and what we do, and studies from The Design Council have shown the financial benefits of investing in it.
So, in today’s online world, it’s not necessarily any more convenient using an accountant because they’re based in your local area. An accountant who understands you and checks in with you regularly could ultimately provide you with a better service than a local accountant.