It’s one of the age-old questions in business – so My Business asked an award-winning accountant to set the record straight.
As you may have expected, there is no set time period between visits or discussions. But according to Alexander Laureti, a partner at LMS Advisory, there are a few points to consider that will help determine the right frequency for you and your business.
“If you have a good relationship with that accountant, where you build a relationship of trust, then I think that meeting with them, for example, on a quarterly basis – if you put it in line with when your business activity statements are due – or more often [is a good idea],” said Mr Laureti.
“[Ultimately though], it's personal preference, but I think that they are somebody that you should feel comfortable speaking to quite often with your business.”
Mr Laureti said that such contact does not always need to be face-to-face, but instead can be made via a phone call or quick email, just to touch base with your accountant and get their advice as you need it.
“You'll know from the size and scale of your business how often you feel you need to be able to be supported or guided in your business,” he said.
“You might have a relationship with your accountant that's purely transactional, because you know your business inside and out, it's making money, it's profitable and your accountant just needs to file the tax return and keep on moving.”
On the flip side though, Mr Laureti said it can be a good idea to mine the knowledge your accountant has – not just in terms of numbers, but of their experience in dealing with other clients.
“You [may] want their advice on how to grow, or how other businesses in a similar situation faced their challenges and what have they done,” he said.
“Or [ask yourself] ‘Can my accountant put me in touch with the right person in the right bank? Or can they put [me] in touch with the right solicitor to help do this?’.”
Mr Laureti said that there is a wrong frequency with which to see your accountant – solely at tax time each year.
“If you feel like … going to see them is just a pain, and it’s more just to explain why your BAS was payable as it was, then you’re not getting out of that meeting what you could be,” he said.
For more insights into managing your cash flow, check out Mr Laureti on the My Business Podcast now!
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.