This is true, whether you realize it or not. The regular compliance work that your accountant does on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis gives us accountants a lot of intimate knowledge about your business, about your investments, and about your family. It’s not meant to make you uncomfortable, but to do our work, we accountants ask a lot of questions. Consequently, we know a lot about our clients, their businesses, their investments, and their families. This allows us to be a trusted advisor and gives you the opportunity to leverage the lens that your accountant is looking through to help you make decisions about your operations, your estate, and your portfolio.
Outside of the annual tax return and reviewed financials, what is it exactly that accountants can help you with? Here are some thoughts to consider:
- How often do you meet with your accountant? A quarterly review of your financials and benchmarking analysis can help you see where you measure up to your competitors.
- Is your business stuck in a rut? That same benchmarking and historical knowledge that your accountant has of your business and industry can give you more insight into what can get you out of it.
- Are you thinking of expanding? Let your accountant help you put the right processes in place to handle the growth. They can assist with valuations that you will need to get any stock options or executive compensation that you might need to attract new talent.
- Speaking of new talent, how is your retirement plan? Not just for you, but for your employees? Let your accountant know what you want out of your retirement plan and we can help you decide what will work best for your situation.
- Wish you could retire? Your accountant can help you with succession planning. And if you don’t have anyone in mind to take over the business, the best person to ask about the economic and tax consequences of a buy/sell agreement is, guess who, your accountant.
- Starting a new business or interested in buying one? Is someone offering you a share in their company? Who best to ask about making sure the economics of owning a business and the tax effects of said ownership are living up to your expectations than your accountant? Don’t let a binding legal document set a trap for you that your accountant might have seen if you’d just given them the chance to review it.
- Getting a divorce? It’s a difficult time for all the parties. You should know that you are taking all the steps to ensure that there are no surprises after the paperwork is signed.
- Are you philanthropic? You should be taking advantage of all the ways that giving to charity can be used to leave a legacy to those most in need. If you’ve never heard of a Charitable Remainder Trust, then call your accountant.
Your accountant knows a lot about you. But you know more. S/he is good at listening and can be an active sounding board to help you think through ideas and tough issues as well as present options, so you are more confident and can better control life-changing decisions. Get the help you need and call your accountant today.
Rachel M. Schlepp, CPA
Rachel is an associate principal with Dalby Wendland’s Glenwood Springs office. Her career in public accounting spans over 16 years and she has worked with multinational businesses and small companies just getting started. Rachel’s expertise is in the areas of federal and multi-state tax for businesses and high net-worth individuals. She specializes in several industries, including real estate, construction, professional services, and not-for-profit. Rachel attained a bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in finance and master’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in accounting from Colorado State University in Ft. Collins. Rachel is a member of the American Institute of CPAs and Colorado Society of CPAs, serves as Advancement Chair for the local Cub Scout pack, and serves on the finance committee for Valley View Hospital Foundation.