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Your accountant does so much for you every single day. You might not be great with numbers, and you definitely do not have time to deal with every minute change in tax law. That’s why you hand your books over to a professional. If you’re like most small business owners, from time to time you call your accountant up in a panic over something and they quietly assure you everything will be okay – then they make it okay.
So, we say now is a great time to give back. Let them know how much you appreciate them by doing a few simple things to make their lives easier. Not only will they love you for it, the changes will actually help them make your business run more smoothly.
Think back to when taxes were due in April. Did you walk into your accountant’s office with a huge box full of receipts and other paperwork with a wide-eyed look on your face? Many business owners have done this in the past, and accountants are used to it.
However, they shouldn’t have to be used to it, and it certainly won’t endear you to them. It’s time to get organized! If you don’t have a system for filing your paperwork, get one started now. All your receipts need to go together in different folders for easy access – receipts for materials in one, others for gas in another one, so on and so forth.
Another great idea is to use Shoeboxed to digitize all your receipts throughout the year. Shoeboxed then integrates with small business bookkeeping app Outright, which will sort your expenses into handy digitized reports. No (actual) shoeboxes required!
Don’t Hold Back
Nobody likes to hear bad news– or to deliver it either. But if you’re deliberately withholding information from your accountant, it’s your business that gets hurt in the long run. Also, it makes your accountant’s life harder which means their “love level” will drop.
Of course you may be leaving stuff out because you’re just not aware of it. Sometimes we get so bogged down as business owners the world around us disappears. You don’t realize how much money has come in and out because you’ve constantly got your nose to the grindstone.
So if your accountant tells you that you overspent on printer paper, don’t tell them they did anything wrong. You might just not know the whole story. If you know ahead of time you spent way more money than you wanted to (even after they told you last month to cut it out), don’t lie and say everything’s fine. They’ll find out!
Prepare Ahead of Time
You’re busy, but your accountant is likely doubly so. After all, they don’t just deal with you; they have tons of other clients who are just as frantic and worried about their money as you are. So when you walk into their office and only have half the paperwork you need, they’re going to lose their mind
Make sure you have everything you need ahead of time. If you’re unsure what to bring, call them up or send them an email so you can get a list. If you think you’re bothering them, think of how much more “bothered” they’re going to be when you come rushing in with “extra” paperwork on April 14th.
Lastly, when you end a meeting with your accountant, ask them if there’s anything you could do for “homework” that will make their lives easier. They’ll surely be able to think of something you can do that will make the process smoother. If not, they’ll at least appreciate you thinking of their needs.
How do you make your accountant love you? Let us know in the comments!
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