4 Reasons You Know You Need a New Accountant

July 23, 2014 By Casey Foote

4 Reasons You Know You Need a New Accountant

Financial statements have high value when they are timely, accurate, and when they are presented in such a way as to lead to good decision-making.  The ROI of any investment, including producing those statements, is clearly increased when the cost to produce them is reduced.  Your accountant holds the keys to the value you are getting out of your investment in financial statements.  How do you know whether they are truly performing or whether it is time to find a new accountant?

Ask yourself the following questions.

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Timely Financial Statements

Begin by asking yourself if you are constantly asking for reports that weren’t delivered when promised?  There are always a million reasons why reports might be late.  Your accountant may try to put the blame on faulty processes, bad information or even you in some way.  There are no good reasons why accounting transactions can’t be maintained in nearly real time.  If your accountant isn’t making progress or can’t figure out how to work around the obstacles that stand in the way of timely financial statements, it’s time for a change.

Accurate & Reliable Financial Statements

Next, once you have the financials, do you have faith in them?  Or rather, do you find yourself doubting their veracity?  Perhaps you even find yourself asking to review the detailed financial statements to ensure all expenses are being coded properly.  Rest assured, this is not best practice.  These activities are time consuming and a waste of your valuable time.  While some of this may be necessary in the beginning of your relationship with your accountant, if it is happening on an ongoing basis, it’s time for a change.

Proper Analysis

Thirdly, reflect on how often you look at a financial statement, glance at a couple of relevant numbers like gross margin and net income, and then simply set them aside until next month?  Are you getting more and better information that this?  A good accountant is regularly digging deeper into WHY things are happening. They review trends, and analyze sales and costs by channel, segment, region, customer, etc.  Their purpose is to seek and understand the drivers of success or failure.  In turn, they should be presenting those learnings to you in ways that lead to good decision making.  If you’re accountant is leaving this kind of analysis up to you, it’s time for a change!

Streamlining Technologies

Finally, ask yourself if your accountant is keeping up with the latest technologies and ways of automating transaction processing?  Frequently even good accountants get busy and get stuck in ruts of doing things the way they were done last month.  There are so many new low-cost accounting systems that make it easy to integrate with outside datasources (such as banks, merchant processors, website shopping carts, EDI datasources, CRMs, etc.) that a little investment now could cut down on manual processing substantially.  Is your accountant standing in the way of making these changes happen?  If so, it’s time for a change!

Casey Foote, a partner at Advanced CFO Solutions with over fifteen years of management experience as a controller and CFO and has also owned and managed construction and real-estate development businesses. He earned his MBA degree from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business with an emphasis in finance and his Master of Accountancy and BS in Accountancy degrees from BYU’s Marriott School of Management.  His passion and unique talent for modeling, analytics and forecasting, make him a valuable resource. Very few have his aptitude for assisting businesses streamline accounting systems and finding innovative solutions for the complexities of their business environment.

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