Build a better relationship with your accountant Featured

11:59am EDT May 2, 2011

Having a strong relationship with your accountant can help strengthen your business, so don’t be afraid to spend a little money to meet with them.

Sitting down and examining aspects of your business produces some large returns. Sometimes there are things that are happening that have gone on for many years and you can’t see it because it’s hard to be objective when you are close to the business.

Building a strong relationship with your accountant requires ongoing communication and interaction, and it needs to go beyond just a business meeting. An informal relationship and informal interaction enhances the ability to have an even better working relationship.

Your accountant has to have a thorough understanding of your company’s culture and long-term business strategy. Sharing as much as you can about these helps enhance their ability to serve you.

Another way to build your relationship with your accountant is to approach tax planning as a year-round process instead of a once-a-year necessity.

“Tax planning is important throughout the year, and too many times, we don’t get to tax planning until the end of the year or we don’t get any at all,” says Donny Woods, president of the National Society of Accountants.

If you aren’t planning all year long, don’t look to your accountant to pull off some kind of miracle. Most accountants prefer having monthly conversations with clients, but at the very least, tax planning should start in the fall. If you do this, you will maximize your ability to plan and take advantage of opportunities that can save you money.

Once you get past the first of the year, all you are really doing is keeping score, because any actions you had to take were during the previous year.

Meeting with your accountant throughout the year to share projections and goals can help the two of you game plan to maximize opportunities and minimize taxes.

In the end, minimizing taxes ultimately enhances your cash flow.

How to reach: National Society of Accountants, (800) 966-6679 or www.nsacct.org