When running a business or setting one up, you may assume that you don’t need to involve an accountant until it is time to prepare a set of accounts and file a tax return.
This underestimates the added value of having a knowledgeable and experienced professional on your side at all times.
You can either choose to engage an accountant or a chartered accountant.
Both will ensure that you meet your tax and financial reporting compliance obligations.
However, only a chartered accountant will have the knowledge and experience to be able to advise you on all aspects of your business.
Anyone can call themselves an accountant with little or no training or expertise.
Relying on an inexperienced individual could be detrimental to your business and financial prospects.
A chartered accountant is a member of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (previously NZICA).
In addition to four years university study, a chartered accountant has undergone three years of mentored, practical experience, together with a rigorous study component to gain membership.
Chartered accountants have to maintain standards of integrity and undertake regular technical training in order to retain membership. This means that chartered accountants are experts who are up-to-date on the latest business issues and committed to ongoing professional education.
Using a chartered accountant is a smart investment and your assurance of quality and expertise. In addition to the standard compliance services of preparing tax returns and GST returns, chartered accountants can provide a wide variety of business related services such as the following.
Business plans and strategic plans
When running a business it’s easy to focus on promoting and selling your product or services rather than considering what obstacles you may encounter growing your business. A chartered accountant can provide a second opinion of any plans you develop. He will also have an excellent understanding of what costs and hurdles you’re likely to encounter, as well as providing useful advice on tax and other parts of your business.
An accurate business plan, backed up with efficient tax planning, will provide the foundations for a successful business.
Budgets and cash flow projections
It is essential for any business owner to have an idea of cash flow to ensure funds are always available to meet costs. These projections can be complicated and if prepared incorrectly can be detrimental to the success of a business. Many businesses have failed due to unrealistic cash flow forecasts.
A chartered accountant will be proficient in the preparation of accurate cash flows to help your business to run smoothly.
Systems, software and accounting
Running your business efficiently and being able to produce meaningful reports is fundamental to the success of any business.
A chartered accountant will know which systems will benefit you the most, thereby ensuring you have all the necessary financial information you need to make your business profitable. Installing good systems from the outset or changing systems will help you to run your business more efficiently and profitably.
The majority of businesses need to borrow money at some point, either at the beginning or when they are looking to expand. Borrowing from a bank may not be the best option for your business.
A chartered accountant will be able to suggest a number of alternative options, such as venture capital or grants. All forms of financing have their advantages and disadvantages, and being able to draw on your accountant’s expertise will help you decide on the most appropriate option for your business.
Using a chartered accountant to help you set up and run your business isn’t an excessive luxury. A chartered accountant will become your trusted advisor and your investment in them will reap rewards for years to come.
DFK Oswin Griffiths Carlton is a firm of chartered accountants providing the full range of business advisory and taxation services. Our experienced staff can advise you on all aspects of your business from both a domestic and international perspective.
Steve Darnley is an Associate Director at DFK Oswin Griffiths Carlton based in Auckland. For further details, please contact him on (09) 3793890. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
DFK Oswin Griffiths Carlton is the Sponsor of the ‘Best Businesswoman of the Year’ category of the Indian Newslink Indian Business Awards 2014.