As part of our Business & Personal Advisory Services, we strive to become your Trusted Advisors by implementing proactive and holistic planning services centered around your individual needs. A 2018 survey conducted by Accounting Today reveals that most business owners want their Accountant to be their Trusted Advisor, not just a professional that can assist them with Accounting and Tax filing. What are the qualities and benefits of working with a Trusted Advisor? Most of all, how does a Trusted Advisor defer from a traditional Accountant that focuses on compliance work? Let’s explore the answer to these questions:
Trusted Advisors listen empathetically, they take the time to truly understand your personal and business situation and to identify your goals and expectation. Doing so, allows the Trusted Advisors to craft solutions that take a holistic approach to your own individual unique situation. Managing your Business Books is not just about making sure that your Bank Accounts are reconciled, or that your books are in good order. Trusted Advisors proactively help you understand the story behind your business numbers and, help you uncover ways to improve your business performance and improve your Cash Flow.
From a Tax standpoint, advances in technology have made Tax Preparation easier for the typical Accountant. Today, most taxpayers don’t see any real difference whether their returns are prepared by a large or small Accounting Firm, price and speed in preparing a Tax Return are the only differentiators.
A Trusted Advisor does not focus on preparing tax returns as quickly and as cheaply as possible. The focus is on Tax Planning, to identify and implement proactive tax reduction strategies before the end of the year and, project future tax liabilities so that you can avoid unpleasant surprises at tax time.
Trusted Advisors place their clients at the center of their firm, where your best interest is what drives the decision-making process. You can call your Trusted Advisor throughout the year knowing that you can easily schedule a call without incurring additional charges. Your Trusted Advisor welcomes your meetings and, is always ready to discuss the impact of any changes to your business or personal situation.
A Trusted Advisor also tends to take a Holistic Approach to Your Finances by implementing a Team-based approach model. With this model, the Trusted Advisor works closely with you to identify planning needs and opportunities. Once planning opportunities are identified, the Trusted Advisor will then work in conjunction with professionals that specialize in a wide range of services to create a cohesive team intended to help you reach your own unique objectives. Rather than clients receiving disjointed advice from multiple independent advisors, the Trusted Advisor brings all the necessary professionals together to work as one single team for you.
A wider range of services:
While accountants have extensive specialized knowledge in the field of accounting and taxation, there are many different services that clients will need which goes beyond accounting and taxation. For example, if you are considering exiting out of the business in the next few years, you need to implement a well thought out succession plan or exit strategy which usually starts by understanding the value of your Business. In fact, according to a study conducted by the Exit Planning Institute (EPI). Most entrepreneurs don’t know the value of their business, and their Accountant or Tax Advisor never discussed the benefits of implementing a business valuation. As a result, the study shows that most business owners can’t sell their business for the amount they initially thought.
Business Valuation is handled by a specialist with affinity and knowledge in this area. Trusted Advisors, like our firm, that implement the Team-based model, work closely with professionals that specialize in business valuation to ensure that their client’s businesses are in the best position for a future sale. As a result, our firm can offer a much wider range of services than a traditional accounting and tax firm because we surround ourselves with professionals that can assist in specific areas of need including Estate Planning, Business Financing, Social Security Planning and more.
Trusted Advisors communicate to you as they would with a close family member or friend, they avoid convoluted Accounting and Tax Law jargon, and break down difficult to understand concepts in easy to understand information. Trusted Advisors are not afraid to help you through professional, and where appropriate, personal issues that might be impacting your business. A Trusted Advisor uses the information from your accounting records to assist you in implementing critical changes to your business, In our article: Bookkeeping Services for Small Business we explore some major benefits of outsourcing your business bookkeeping.
When you work with a Trusted Advisor, you are not afraid to ask questions. The field of business and taxation has a very complex and intimidating jargon, Trusted Advisors understand this and should strive to make sure you are comfortable in understanding advance planning strategies that can be very beneficial in the long run.
Most Trusted Advisors understand and use technology to their client’s advantage by offering time and money-saving tools. For example, we often see clients selecting a payroll provider based solely on pricing without realizing that W-2 processing and extra payroll runs are often not included in the initial engagement. As Trusted Advisors, we work with clients to understand their payroll needs in greater depth and match them with a payroll provider that best fits their unique needs.
Trusted Advisors take a collaborative approach to your business finances and tax situation. Most Trusted Advisors use Cloud Accounting Technology like Xero to connect and collaborate, giving you access to your business finances anytime and from any internet-connected device – phone, tablet, or computer. Cloud Accounting platforms allow, both you and your Trusted Advisor, access to your business finances in real-time and to easily see the overall health of your finances without waiting until the end of the month.
I hope this article has given you some of the basic understanding regarding the benefits and qualities of working with a Trusted Advisor. At Polaris Tax & Accounting we work hard each and every day to make sure we are true Trusted Advisors for our clients so that we can become an integral part of their team and help them achieve all of their goals.