We were recently asked this question at a networking event:
"How do I get my accountant to proactively suggest solutions to me, rather than me always asking them?"
We could have rattled off something about the overused phrase "proactive accountant". The truth is, it doesn't matter how proactive we are, we have to be proactive with relevance.
Typically, an accountancy firm will send out newsletters to all of their clients about:
Whilst some of this information can be useful, most of it is irrelevant to a vast majority of clients. Capital Allowance changes or cloud accounting won't mean much to someone who doesn't run a business. Inheritance Tax changes probably don't mean a lot to someone in their 20s.
As accountants, we WANT to understand and only give you relevant information.
The easiest answer is, we need to get to know you. This might include information about your:
This naturally takes time, similar to any relationship building. But, it pays dividends. To be even more efficient, you could go one step further. Introduce your accountant, financial advisor (IFA) and solicitor to each other so they can build a relationship too.
After all, how can you expect your accountant to provide relevant and useful solutions when they don’t know the full picture?
Ask your accountant out for a coffee or beer. We can't promise a scintillating conversation, but it could be an effective (and maybe enjoyable) use of your time. Let them get to know you, your business and your lifestyle.
All of this information is useful for us when we try to give our clients the best solution.