Having access to reliable, informed advice always makes doing business easier. Even the most accomplished and experienced of business people cannot hope to answer every question that can arise along the way.
It often makes sense to seek out professionals who are well-equipped to weigh in on important business-related matters. Your accountant can easily end up being the most trustworthy and qualified business advisory consultant of all. There are four reasons in particular why accountants often excel in such roles, a brief look at each of which follows.
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Your Accountant Abides by a Well-Defined Professional Code of Conduct
Many entrepreneurs have broad, general skill sets that they develop over time on an as-needed basis. Business owners also tend to be quite resourceful and flexible in their ability to respond to unexpected challenges.
Those characteristics can be assets, but they can also give rise to a dangerously freewheeling approach to business and financial matters. Being able to solicit advice from someone who has a more structured, formal perspective on things can serve as a helpful counterbalance.
Many professional accountants are members of groups like the AICPA that promulgate standards of professional conduct. Sticking to such guidelines sometimes make accountants seem a bit stiff and ceremonial in the eyes of others, but that is a matter of mere perception. When you ask your accountant for advice about a financial problem or opportunity, you can be sure that it will reflect a variety of carefully considered, well-established professional standards.
Your Accountant Has the Ability to Analyze Complicated Financial Situations
Most financial questions that business owners seek help with involve at least a bit of complexity. Accountants specialize in analyzing and clarifying even the most complicated of financial arrangements.
Whether that means putting together an enlightening cash flow statement or highlighting rewarding tax reduction strategies, your accountant has the skills and knowledge needed to be a helpful financial advisor. That is not always true of other types of professionals to whom entrepreneurs and business owners sometimes turn for advice.
Your Accountant Has an Awareness of All the Relevant Laws and Regulations
Staying on the right side of the law is always the best policy, but how to do so is not always clear to every business owner. Have your accountant weigh in on a financial question, and you can be sure that the advice that follows will reflect a deep understanding of all the applicable laws and regulations.
That can easily end up being invaluable, as many business owners who have had to pay fines to the Internal Revenue Service will agree. All accountants are required to maintain mastery of the laws and rules relevant to their work, and that informs the financial advice they provide in useful ways.
Your Accountant Has Access to Plenty of Information
Advice is often easy enough to come by, but it is much less often truly well-informed. There are plenty of supposed experts who will happily serve as consultants to businesses they know nothing about and with which they have no intention of becoming more familiar.
Your accountant will already have plenty of knowledge about your business and how it is positioned in financial terms. Your accountant’s knowledge of hurdles your company has overcome in the past can make for more helpfully contextualized financial advice.
There are other reasons to turn to your accountant when you need advice about how to help your business overcome financial challenges. The four above are some of the best and should be taken into consideration in just about every case.