- Rachel Allen
- 19th Feb 2020
My accountant doesn’t want to talk to me!
Thankfully the days of the introverted, grey accountant who couldn’t look you in the eye are mostly gone, but that doesn’t mean that your accountant has fully embraced his or her role as a key part of your business.
Many have a large number of clients and simply want to process your numbers and move on to the next client. Catching up with you once a year to do your accounts and tax return, and only contacting you again if you haven’t paid your bill!
But, what can you do when your accountant is one of these but you need more than just a tax return completing?
1) Train to be an accountant yourself – probably a little extreme and, having done it, not the most exciting way to spend over three years!
2) Find a different accountant – again this may be on the extreme end of the spectrum, but actually, given the numbers of awesome accountants who are fully engaged with the additional services they can supply to their clients this is not as difficult as it once was.
3) Step up and push for answers – as the fee paying client who has to sign the tax return at the end of the year you have every right to ask for and expect full explanations of everything that they have done for you. This is not to say that you need to understand exactly how they have done the calculations (I mean, that is what you are paying them for) but it is worth understanding the principles behind what they have done on your behalf and why they have done it. Then you can sign your tax return with confidence. Unfortunately though, if you don’t know the questions you should be asking then how can you push for the answers? This is where option number 4 comes in.
4) Find an accounting/finance coach. They are not as common as accountants or even plain coaches but they are becoming more popular and they can act as a middle person between you and your accountant. They can help you to understand what you need to know about your finances and to work out the best way to use your financial information to further your business. They can help you build the confidence you need to speak with your accountant, to know the questions you should ask and then help you to decipher the answers to these questions.
As a coach myself, specialising in accounting and finances, I have worked with clients who like and appreciate their accountant, but wish that they had the confidence to ask the right questions. Some felt embarrassed that they didn’t have more basic finance knowledge and some were moving into new areas such as VAT registration or incorporation (becoming a company) and didn’t know what they didn’t know.
Through my stand alone Confession Sessions and through my coaching packages we can work through one or more areas of your finances, identifying gaps in your knowledge (and filling them), building your confidence to speak with your accountant and developing an action plan to truly get on top of your finances, both physically and emotionally.
This latter is all about getting confident with your numbers (it is not about maths skills but understanding which figures you need to know and watch and how to do this), and clearing away the mental blockages that can get between you and your finances. Again, not an area of expertise for many accountants but a great area to work through with your coach.