Do you run a small business? If so, you’ll no doubt be aware of all the tasks of which you need to keep on top. The problem is that it can sometimes distract from the important things on which you should be focusing. Instead of concentrating on what you do best, you may get tied up with some of the more mundane aspects of running your own business. Auditing, annual reporting, distribution, cleaning and maintenance all need doing – but that means taking up time that you can’t afford to spend.

So why not bring in expert help to cover off some of those jobs? For a start, it saves you time that could be otherwise spent on growing your business. Secondly, you can benefit from a specialist level of knowledge in certain areas. Hiring an accountant, for example, can be such a helpful move when managing your balance sheet and financial statements. If you do bring in an accountant, here’s a look at four ways in which you can help them to help your business thrive.

What is an accountant and what do they do?

In a business context, an accountant is a specialist professional who can come in and deal with your money matters. If you decide to hire one, you’ll no longer need to be so hands-on with all those various accounting and bookkeeping tasks that can take up so much time. They’ll bring a high level of knowledge and experience to the task, too, so everything is covered – financial statement and audit preparation, preparing a cash flow forecast, and annual reporting.

An accountant won’t just deal with your financial ins and outs, either. They also ensure that you meet all your tax obligations and help with financial due diligence if buying or selling a business.

There are a couple of things that you may want to do before you hire an accountant. First, you’ll want to know how much their services are going to cost you so be sure to get an idea of their fees. Second, it can be a good idea to hire an accountant with recognised qualifications – it’s not hard to find a chartered accountant near you. Then, find out how they can help your business.

How to help your accountant help you


1. Treat them as your partner, not a contractor

Found and hired the accountant whom you think is right for your business? Don’t forget – it won’t just be a one-way street. It’s important to build a solid working relationship with your accountant so that they have the best chance of helping you. Of course, they’ll be able to deal with the finer details when it comes to balance sheets and financial statements, but they can do so much more besides that.

There are formal and informal ways to build this relationship. One example of a formal task is to appoint your accountant to deal with HMRC for you. You also need to feel as if you can both talk to each other frequently. This doesn’t have to be particularly formal, either. You can put periodic meetings in the diary – but, equally, there’s no reason why you can’t have ad-hoc, web-based chats.

2. Set clear and realistic expectations

At the start of any relationship with your new accountant, be upfront and honest. Openly share your hopes, ambitions, targets and challenges. Give your accountant a full insight into you and your business. Definitely make them aware of anything that they’re going to need to know about your cash flow, financial audits, internal control reporting and liabilities.

At the same time, don’t be overly grand with your aspirations. Your accountant can help in a lot of ways but they can’t transform a business overnight. It’s also a good idea to ask questions to find out how best they can support you. If you want an accurate cash-flow forecast, for example, ask how they can help you do that. It saves any awkward conversation, if nothing else.

3. Keep on top of your income and outgoings

It can be hard to keep on top of every little detail as the owner of a smaller business. When you are a one-person operation or part of a small team, your time is stretched thinly across each area of the business. It’s well worth putting in the effort to know your balance sheet inside out, though. It can help your accountant hugely if you have details of all of your income and outgoings.

Now that money-management tools for accountants and business owners offer paperless documents, you’ll no longer have a physical paper trail to back everything up. Still, keeping hold of your recent financial transactions (paper or digital) puts your accountant fully in the picture. That helps them to advise you on a day-to-day basis – but also prepares you for any internal or external auditing or annual reporting needs.

4. Use tools and software to organise your accounts

Today, there’s no shortage of useful tools and software to help to get your accounts in shape. For some business owners, these can be enough to get the job done without expert help but, if you want to be 100% sure that your finances are in order, your accountant will explore how to use tools and software to your benefit. Of course, that’s something on which to agree when you hire them.

Pulse, for example, is a service that we offer to SMEs and their accountants. It gives you all the financial analytics and oversight of gross margin data that you need to make informed decisions. For accountants, it contains all the details that they need to create accurate financial audits, reports, and filings. Combined, this puts your business in a fantastic position to stay one step ahead.

How Pulse can help you and your accountant

Pulse offers many benefits to your business and your accountant. The data insights that you can get will help you to enhance your financial position and growth strategy. And it can do this without the need for you to invest in specialist resources to do so. Not only that but the way in which it collects data is designed to free up your time to focus on things that’ll take your business to the next level.

The bottom line is that Pulse accounting software can put your finances on the right track. For business owners, this means getting more of the essential data and detail in one place. For your accountant, it means all the data needed for auditing, cash flow forecasts and all other financial statements is in one central place. So why not read more about what Pulse can do for you today?