A successful relationship between CEO and accountant requires trust and a willingness to collaborate.
Your accountant may handle all of your bank information, balance your books, prepare your business to file taxes, and track your inventory, among other tasks, so finding the right fit can be the difference between stressing about your finances and feeling confident in the state of your business.
In this week’s video, Tyler explains how you can tell whether your accountant is a good fit.
Understanding E-Commerce Challenges
As we’ve covered in past blog posts, e-commerce has its own set of accounting challenges.
Because of a longer-than-average cash cycle, e-commerce businesses are most successful using accrual accounting to get an accurate picture of their finances. While this is a more complicated way of balancing your books, Seller Accountant believes it most successfully allows sellers to manage their budget in relation to their inventory.
In addition to the accounting method your firm uses, an understanding of how often to reconcile your COGS (Cost of Goods Sold) is essential to seeing the full picture of your company’s profits.
While every sales niche deals with COGS, e-commerce businesses don’t often have hands-on contact with their product and rely on COGS data to make informed decisions about profitability.
If your accountant doesn’t understand these two concepts or doesn’t agree with your view on how to approach them, they may not be a good fit for your business.
Accounting firms deal with a huge spectrum of financial topics, but no firm can be all things to all people.
When finding an accounting partner, one red flag to watch out for is a “jack of all trades, master of none” – someone who claims to be an expert in income tax AND payroll AND IRS communications AND bookkeeping…and more.
Unless the firm is absolutely massive and has teams that specialize in each of these topics individually, you can bet that they’re only doing a mediocre job at everything instead of giving you stellar service for the things that matter most to you.
For example, at Seller Accountant, we are experts in accrual bookkeeping for e-commerce businesses. We don’t handle tax filing or entity creation, and we don’t work with businesses outside of the e-commerce space, so we don’t accept clients who are looking for any of those things. However, we give 110% of our efforts to clients that fit our niche, and your accountant should do the same for you.
Personality and Communication
Since most accounting firms are capable of accurate bookkeeping, your biggest challenge will be finding a good fit in regards to personality and style of communication.
When considering whether your accountant is a good fit, ask yourself these questions:
- Am I communicating with my accountant in a way that works for me? (e.g. Are you someone who wants to be in constant contact with your firm? Or would you prefer a monthly email summary of your finances?)
- Am I receiving the level of professionalism I expect from this relationship? (e.g. Do you appreciate a strictly business relationship, or are you looking for a more relaxed style of communication?)
- Do I trust my accountant with my business’s data?
- Does my accountant understand what I mean the first time or is there lots of unnecessary back and forth in our communication?
- Does my accountant often push back on my requests without solid explanation?
- Is my accountant an expert in my specific selling niche?
There will be very few times where an accounting firm is the wrong fit because they don’t know how to do their job. But if you have specific criteria you need met that isn’t being fulfilled, it may be time to have a conversation with your firm about your expectations.
Work With Us
You should feel secure in your decision to hire an accountant for your business. At Seller Accountant, we’re committed to your success – if we’re not the right fit, we’ll help you find someone who is. If you’re interested in working with us, get in touch for a free discovery call today.