5 questions you didn't know you could ask your accountant

5Qss

Are you using your accountant to their full potential?

Sometimes our clients don’t realise that there are many areas of business and finance - in addition to the standard accounting type services, that we can assist with. There is more to our abilities than just crunching numbers - we are also here to help to make sense of those numbers and help you make informed business decisions and improve your financial position and profit.

We have outlined below just some questions of the many types of questions you can ask us:

How do I develop an exit strategy from my business and how much could it be worth when that happens?

 
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Coming to terms with the fact that one day your business will have to function without you can be difficult, but there are a number of options available for an effective succession or exit strategy that you’re comfortable with. You may want to continue owning the business but be “hands off” or prefer to step away altogether through a sale or handover. Either way, we can work with you to design an effective strategy to ease the transition.

In planning the strategy, it may be important to undergo a business valuation to independently assess and estimate the value of your business as a whole, or just the assets. We can assist with that and with any ideas to maximise the after tax proceeds.

Take a look at our succession planning and valuations pages for more information.

What can I consider in an asset protection strategy to reduce any business risk on my family assets?

 
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As an SME there are a number of potential risks your business could face which could have dire consequences on your business and possibly upon your personal assets should an effective asset protection strategy not be in place. This is something that cannot be left to the last minute; instead a strategy should be in place well before there is any claim made against you.

Inherent risks are dependent on your particular business and the industry, however there are risks that are common amongst all businesses.

We can talk to you about those risks and if necessary work with an experienced solicitor to design an asset protection plan to prevent or significantly reduce the risks by protecting your business and personal assets.

Should I be making more business profit for my effort?

 
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We know you’re in business to make a profit, yet sometimes despite your efforts and a healthy volume of sales, you are still not getting ahead. In addition to cashflow advice (discussed below) we can analyse and review your business expenses and tell you how they compare to similar sized businesses in your industry.

By working with you to help reduce your expenses and to increase your cashflow it should improve your business profit. Find out more about profit improvement here.

How regularly should I be re-considering my will and my estate planning in general?

 
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There is no precise time frame in which you should re-consider your will, however it is important to review the details periodically. Similarly if there is a change, or soon to be a change, in your family circumstances or in your assets and liabilities.

Our main goal is to protect your family’s wealth and identify any opportunity for tax savings through your estate and then we work with an experienced solicitor to ensure that your Will, Enduring Power of Attorney, and Enduring Power of Guardianship are all put in place.

We can even assist as a joint executor of your estate.

For more information visit our estate planning page.

How can I improve the cashflows from my business?

 
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Through working with you to identify areas of strengths and of weakness that may be impacting your cashflow, we can then offer solutions on how to improve it. The most common methods of cashflow improvement to consider are:

  • Use creditor payment terms to your advantage
  • Review your pricing and terms of trade
  • Sell any unused or non-essential business assets
  • Consider early payment incentives, both from your suppliers and to your customers
  • Lease business assets instead of buying
  • Renegotiate loans and other finance facilities

If you’d like to discuss any of these questions or have more of your own, please contact us today – we’re here to help.