Your accountant is stuck in the past

29th January 2020

She was stuck in the past

Years ago, I had a friend who went through a very bad break-up with her fiancé.

For more than a decade afterwards, she talked about him constantly. And everyone else she dated was always compared to him.

“Andrew did this…. Andrew did that… I remember once with Andrew, back in 1982…..”

This friend of mine had so much going for her. She was personable, fun, bright, talented…

But she just could not move on with her life, so long as she constantly looked backwards.

It’s been many years since we have been in touch, but I thought of her the other day…

…And for a strange reason.

You see, yet again someone had told me how frustrated they were with their accountant, who was “never proactive” and “never helps our business the way we really need.”

Barely a week goes by without someone saying something similar to me… It’s so common that you have probably felt the same way about your own accountant, at some point!

So I thought I would share with you what I told her….

The truth about why this is such a common complaint. (Prepare for some Garry Mumford bluntness here!)

You see, it’s not that your accountant lacks initiative. They’re unlikely to be lazy. And they’re not shirking their duty.

It’s simply that an accountant’s main duties involve looking backwards – to the way your business has performed in the past.

Think about it.

They prepare last year’s accounts. They file last year’s tax return. They balance last quarter’s books. If they work in-house, they chase last month’s invoices.

And that’s where their entire focus is.

As my former friend shows, when you are completely immersed in the past, it is very difficult to shift gears and think about the future.

And that’s the real reason why the great majority of accountants aren’t “proactive” and don’t help you with your business planning.

They don’t think about it, because they’re not looking ahead at all – they’re always looking backwards.

Finance directors/managers – like us, here at Insight Associates – are a different kettle of fish.

Yes, we help you produce those same accounts and tax returns.

But our eyes are firmly to the future, because that’s where our main duties are.

We use those figures from the past to inform our budgets for the next year…

To prepare cashflow forecasts for the next week, month and quarter…

And to help your business plan ahead.

We produce management accounts to help you decide where you need to invest, cut back and tweak in the upcoming period…

And we weigh up other decisions you are considering, to figure out whether they make financial sense – and will help you fulfil your goals.

That’s why our clients love how proactive we are, and all the help we give them developing their business…

…Because that’s what it really means to look to the future!

Now, there are at least two more reasons why the vast majority of accountants simply cannot help your business, if in addition to managing your accounts and taxes, you’re looking for ongoing support with growth.

I’ll share those with you over the next couple of weeks, so watch out for those blogs.

But if that’s the kind of help you’re looking for, why not get in touch?

Because as the outsourced finance department, that’s exactly what we do.

Just drop me a line or give me a call today on 01279 647 447, and let’s talk about how we can help your company grow.

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