If you’re like many business owners, you’ve probably been with the same accounting or business advisory firm for a while, simply because the thought of changing seems difficult.
Staying with the same provider can often seem like the easier option, but you could also be missing out on tailored business advice and new ideas from a different firm that could help you move to the next level of growth. A top-ranking business advisor should be able to meet your high expectations of a truly advantageous partnership.
So, exactly what should you expect from a Bentley’s business advisor?
Talented business advisor checklist
The hallmarks of our firm can be divided into two major spheres: outstanding accountant and audit service, abundantly supported by an extensive business advisory resource provided by experts in their field.
But your checklist will also require a third component, incorporating vital additional information about the firm’s operating methods and its own values.
1. Accountant and audit service
Your accountant should add value to your business rather than merely recording historical transactions and lodging returns. Depending on the size and type of your business, your needs may vary. If you’re simply looking for a standard service level, you should still expect, as a minimum:
- Regular and prompt communication throughout the year, demonstrating a real interest in your company.
- A qualified, experienced and forward-looking team, up-to-date with the latest developments in accounting, finance and business.
- Timely audit and financial statement preparation.
- Tax advice, including tax-effective structure and business tax concessions.
- On-time tax return, including preparation and lodgement.
2. Business advisory resource
These are the additional benefits that should be offered by a truly adept and professional firm able to extend both accounting and advisory services:
- Regular review of your accounting and other business systems and controls, and advice on keeping them up to date using the latest technology.
- Identification of business risk and advice on managing it.
- Assistance with business finance options, such as commercial, development and agribusiness loans, and equipment finance.
- Business insurance services, review of your business insurances to ensure adequate protection.
- Budgeting and forecasting advice and assistance.
- Growth strategies tailored to your business – design, and help with implementation.
- Legal expertise available within the firm.
- Advice on doing business internationally, via the firm’s overseas alliances.
- Wealth management and succession planning, securing the future of your organisation, its senior members and their families.
3. Operational approach and core values
Finally, you should expect to be provided with these details about operational methods, and what the advisor’s own vision and values are to ensure that they align with those of your organisation:
- Name of the senior personal contact, plus their qualifications and professional association memberships.
- Expected frequency of contact, and the forms of communication used.
- Accounting software platform(s) used and/or recommended by the firm.
- The firm’s values and goals, ideally formally stated and available online.
A great business advisor will have the flexibility to meet the needs of businesses of all sizes, so that as its clients grow they can access more extensive assistance without having to switch to a different firm.
So don’t be afraid to have either a relatively modest or a truly ambitious business advisor checklist. It’s your best way of getting the exact level of service you need.
Do you need more information about business advisory services?
If you would like more advice and guidance about how a top business advisory firm could benefit your organisation, feel free to contact us at Bentleys for a no-obligation discussion about how we can provide services to meet your needs.
Disclaimer: This information is general in nature and should not be relied on as advice. It does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. You need to consider your financial situation and needs and seek professional advice before making any decisions based on this information.