Q&A: Is It Time For A New Accountant?

Is it time for us to consider a new accountant?

Dear ABDI,

We’ve been with our current accountant for over 10 years now. While he’s been pretty good, we only see him once a year when it’s tax time.

The last couple of years, we’ve been looking to do several things differently, changing our enterprise mix, looking into buying a windrower to potentially start a contracting business on the side.

We’re thinking we should get some professional help to crunch the numbers and make sure we’re going down the right path. Is this something an accountant would help with? Or should we be looking elsewhere?

– Seeking Advice


Dear Seeking Advice,

Like all advisers, there are specialists and generalists, reactive vs. proactive, tax and/or management accountants – and more.

The question for you is, “what do you want?” The answer is, if you are being proactive you also need proactive advisers. When being proactive, the days of seeing your accountant once a year are gone. You ought to have an expectation that your accountant will support you in much more than just doing your tax. If you want someone who is talking to you about your finances proactively and that’s not happening, then maybe it’s time to look for a new accountant.

The next thing to consider is do you need higher-level support to help you think through your business plans? There’s much more to building a business than just the numbers, and a good business advisor, who acts as a sounding board during this process, is worth their weight in gold. Ideally they will bring a new perspective and new ideas, as well as additional skill, expertise and experience to the table.

Finally, we advocate regular ‘strategic review’ meetings (at a minimum quarterly) with your accountant or advisor. This will make sure your information is up to date and you are planning ahead, rather than just being reactive and wondering ‘why things didn’t go to plan’…

If you are looking for an understanding on how best to do this – or to have a specialist financial review – our Principal Advisor, Lee O’Dwyer, could assist you there. (Yes this a shameless plug, but we work with some of the best in the industry, and so it would be remiss of us not to point you in the right direction!)

All the best,



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