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How an accountant can benefit your company

When you run a business, it’s natural to do everything you can to be successful. Everyone that runs a company knows that if they fail to work efficiently, their competitors will soon catch up, and take some of their market share. This the case whether you are working out of affluent rural areas of the Wirral like Heswall and Caldy, or the more built-up locations like Prenton, Spital and Birkenhead. In both kinds of market, if you take your eye off the ball, your competitors will soon step in and take over your clients.

As a result, most business owners work hard to be the best. They ensure that they hire good staff, train them well, and provide them with the right tools. After all, that is the best way to make sure that a workforce produces good results, and works efficiently.

However, when a firm get busy,some things start to be missed. Inevitability, certain aspects of running a business slip down the list of priorities. How well the office is run is usually the first thing to be neglected. Sadly, in this part of the business, there is a tendency to allow matters to just evolve.

The importance of running an efficient office

In most companies, tasks like the payroll, accounts, procurement and human resources tend to be neglected. This is a shame because a well-run office can make a huge difference to a company, regardless of the sector in which it operates.

Today, we are going to take a look at one particular group of back office tasks; specifically those that can be carried out by an accountant. Here, we are going to show you how hiring a good firm of accountants can benefit your business.

Improve profitability

A good accountant will start by putting in place robust processes. They will make sure that all of your company’s expenses are properly recorded, as well as its income. This is important because it lays the foundation for everything else.

With precise accounts data, that is kept up to date, you are in a position to pull off accurate profit and loss reports on a regular basis. Being able to do this is vital to the overall profitability of your business. Pulling off these reports regularly allows you to quickly identify products or services that are losing you money.

They also allow you to quickly work out whether you need to raise prices when things change quickly. For example, after the Brexit vote, the pound lost 13% of its value – a situation UK business owners knew was not likely to be resolved overnight.

Those with up-to-date accounts were able to model the impact this drastic change was going to have on their company, and do so quickly. They were then able to plan accordingly, instead of running into issues a month or two down the line.

Most successful entrepreneurs build flexibility into the way they work because they know that things like the Brexit vote can turn their world upside down. Often, the business owner has zero control over these things. For example, Wirral was one of the few areas of England that voted to remain in the EU, but this fact does not stop firms from having to deal with the financial fallout from the majority vote elsewhere. Those that are ready, and that have the information they need to hand, can analysis the situation quickly and make the necessary changes to minimise damage to their business.

Improve your company’s cash flow

Improved cash flow is another key way you benefit from employing a good accountant. Regularly pulling off accurate cash flow reports allows you to spot pinch points months in advance. This gives you the time you need to source funding to take you through that difficult trading period.

Your accountant can even help you to get a better deal on the finance you need. They can produce reports that show potential lenders that you are in a position to pay the money back, which makes it more likely that financial institutions will lend to you.

Most local accountants are well connected. Whether your firm is based in a busy commercial area like Birkenhead or one of the border towns like Ellesmere Port, your accountant will be able to point you in the right direction. The fact they have other clients in the area means they know which lenders will lend to your kind of firm, and have a good idea of the criteria they use.

Identify outstanding invoices and get them paid

It is also possible to hire a firm of accountants that will take care of debt collection for you. They will put in place an effective system to pick up which of your customers have failed to pay their invoices. You then have the option to chase payment yourself, or let your accountant do so.

Your accountant can also make sure that your invoices are generated and issued on time. Naturally, this is extremely important, yet many firms get into the habit of invoicing late. Often, this happens when they are busy. Unfortunately, issuing invoices is just one of those jobs that end up being forgotten when employees are stretched. There is a tendency to focus 100% on delivering orders or services, which means that other tasks start to slip and remain undone.

The same thing happens with paying suppliers. An awful lot of companies habitually pay their invoices late, even when they have plenty of cash in the bank.

This is a very damaging habit to get into. It leaves the supplier at risk of going out of business, and creates a poor working relationship between you. Usually, when you are in trouble, and need a discount or more time to pay, your suppliers will not feel inclined to help.

A good accountant will make sure that your invoices are paid on time wherever possible. This also ensures that you are never burdened with late payment charges.

Keep you within the law

For any business, staying on the right side of the law is a challenge. The fact that rules and regulations in the UK change virtually every year makes it hard to keep pace and comply.

An experienced accountant will keep track of the changes that impact your finances, and help you to plan to comply. Therefore, when there is a change in company tax law, or employee pay regulations, you will know how to deal with it. This will help you to avoid being prosecuted or fined.

Help you to motivate your staff

Potentially, an accountant can take full control of your payroll. They have access to high quality tools that allow them to carry out this important task much more efficiently than you can. There is no need to hire a payroll team, train them, buy equipment and software for them, and keep it up to date; your accountant does that all for you. Paying your staff on time and accurately is very important for staff morale.

In addition, if you want to motivate your staff by using a reward scheme, most accountants can help with this too. They can model the system you are thinking of using so that you are fully aware of how much it will cost to run. Potentially, they can also help you to set the system up, and run it properly.

Free you up to focus on your business

Perhaps the biggest benefit of employing a good accountant is that you have more time to focus on your core business. For example, you can spend more hours on your marketing, and the delivery of customer service.

Hire a good accountant

Of course, to get these benefits you need to employ a good accountant with the relevant skills. Therefore, before signing the contract, you need to check exactly what is included in their service. That way if you want any additional services, you can have them added to the deal.

Posted by Mark
August 2, 2016

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