Often, business owners scramble to meet with their accountant when the ATO is on their doorstep, they need finance, or some other crisis has arisen. What’s even worse, is sometimes business owners may not even have an accountant they can call, particularly in the early days of their business.
Usually this scramble for help can been avoided by having a relationship with an accountant so that you can call on them when you need it. Your accountant should be one of your most trusted advisors and should be seen as a valuable resource to your business as it grows and matures.
So, to pre-empt the crisis, here are 3 signs that you need to see your accountant or find a new accountant ASAP.
1. You have not spoken in a while
Your accountant should be one of your most trusted advisors. If you have not seen them in a while, called them or even emailed them, you should get onto that ASAP. Frequent communication should exist in any client/ accountant relationship. A great accountant is there to help and advise you, this can’t happen if you don’t communicate with them.
By keeping in touch, rather than only at a time of crisis, you can reduce the risk of issues arising and keep your business on track and firing…without any surprises creeping up on you.
2. You have some overdue lodgements
Sometimes it is easy to accidentally let important lodgement due dates slip by without realising it. But if you are missing those dates, and missing them frequently, you could be at risk of some nasty penalties from the ATO.
Staying on top of your lodgements is important so that you stay in the ATO’s good books. Even if you can’t quite afford to pay the tax you owe to the ATO, it’s always better to get it done and lodged and then organise payment later. You and your accountant should work together to ensure that your lodgements are completed on time. To start with, reach out to your accountant and ask them what information they need from you, get it to them promptly and well before the due date, so they can complete your work on time.
If you do have some outstanding lodgements you need to get them up to date as soon as possible. The ATO has recently received a $1 billion increase into its audit budget for this year, so that means lots more small business compliance audits. Now is a great time to prepare for the 2020 Financial Year and get everything in order.
3. You don’t know how your business is going financially
Do you know how your cashflow is trending or what your profit and loss or balance sheet looks like? As a business owner this is vital. It can help you understand what is working well and what may need tweaking. Your accountant and bookkeeper are there to help you see and understand how your business is tracking financially. If you have no idea on how your business is tracking right now, then you need to reach out to your accountant and bookkeeper ASAP.
Are you seeing any of these signs hanging over you? Now’s a great time to book in for a catch up so you can launch into 2020 with a great accountant in your corner.