It's only too common where businesses have engaged an accountant yet feel they don't know how they're performing, where they should focus, and aren't getting the business advice they need. You feel frustration, a bit lost and probably let down.
Accountants can be like any other industry. They specialise in a particular field and only work on work they're paid to do. Unfortunately businesses usually engage an accountant to meet the needs of the ATO, prepare tax returns and submit BAS. This is bread 'n' butter work for many accountants so form a large part of their experience. We refer to these accountants as 'tax accountants'.
This failure in information and communication comes down to both the business and the accountant. Businesses typically ask for year end tax returns and quarterly BAS to be done, the bare minimum for regulatory requirements. Somehow they think this is enough to give an understanding of their financial performance and position. When an accountant is asked to do this, the purpose of their work is to meet reporting requirements, not your business needs.
Accountants aren't necessarily the greatest communicators. For some, that's an understatement. Their failure is in not properly setting expectations. They don't make it clear this work doesn't meet any needs beyond compliance with the ATO, ASIC or other governing bodies.
Another area of failure of expectations is business thinking the accountant has all the answers. Most accountants have limited business experience outside of their own firm. If they specialise in tax, their experience is in reporting for that.
When you've engaged your accountant for BAS and Tax Returns what you need for your decision making is a different service. You will be wanting to know:
The core accountancy knowledge is the same though applied differently, taking some different skills and experience. One very important aspect is communication. In having an accountant that can provide you all of this is one thing, but they have to communicate it to you. When an accountant has a focus on reporting for the business needs, we refer to them as 'management accountants'.
You realise you don't know enough about your business performance. You're feeling you don't understand enough or get the right information when you need it.
Maybe you're even happy with your accountant, even consider them a friend. You don't have to stop working with them. In fact, almost all of our referrals come from accountants!
We're always happy to have a chat about what you're needing and understand your circumstances.