Allowing someone else to deal with your money requires a lot of trust. But that said, many people are nervous to meet with an accountant. Here is our four-step sequence for learning to trust your accountant.
1. Identify Your Fears
Ask yourself: What am I really worried about regarding my accountant?
Everyone’s answer will be different. You might realize your nervousness actually lies elsewhere in your business. You find some actual specific pain points with your finances: taxes! paying employees! spending! Or you might just find, you simply don’t like your accountant.
This last point is certainly a valid concern. Not all accountants are created equal. Maybe you a hard time communicating with your current accountant. If that is the case, find yourself a new accountant that you’re more comfortable with.
2. Take a look at your recent numbers
In step one, you clarified your emotions. Now, you’re going to get a numerical perspective.
Find key numbers for the last three to five years — yearly tax returns are a good place to start — and write the answers to these four questions:
- How much income did both my business and I receive?
- What the total expenses both my business and I accrued?
- How much did we each pay in taxes?
- How much did we each earn in profits?
Continue on to step three.
3. Speak with your Accountant
It is now time to speak with one or more accountants. Start by visiting your current accountant. If all you receive from that visit is bluster and jargon, find an accountant you can trust.
With whichever accountant you meet, focus your meeting on these three questions:
- What are the answers to the four fundamental questions above?
- How can I be more involved in my own finances?
- How can I trust you as my accountant?
The answers will speak volumes. You can expect a clear breakdown of the basic numbers and what they mean, practical tips on how to prepare for key parts of the financial year, and a walk through of the accountant’s process.
4. Commit to Trust and Understanding
Much of the hesitation for working with an accountant stems from a lack of understanding. Many people don’t understand what they are paying their accountant to do.
Learn more about your personal finances and learn more about your accountant’s process. As your understanding increases your trust will too. Then you’ll finally be able to get some sleep at night.