People often perceive tax time as an opportunity to save, by digging deep for deductions; However, approached correctly, tax time can also be a chance to grow. This tax season, take the opportunity to ask your accountant questions that go beyond the paperwork for this year’s filing. Here are eight questions to ask your accountant this season:
How Else Can You Help My Business?
Accountants aren’t usually business coaches or financial advisors; however, the good ones are whizzes at analyzing and understanding a mass of business data. They can suggest ways to better manage your cash flow, software programs that can improve your invoicing, and other tactics to make your business more profitable.
“The great accountants look at business as a circle where sales and marketing and finance and HR are all tied together,”Sageworks founder Brian Hamilton told Entrepreneur. “They can pull data on the operations of all of the various areas of the business together to provide more meaningful insight.”
Am I Using the Right Legal Structure?
Just as your business changes over the years, the business structure you need might change as well. Ask your accountant if, for example, it makes sense to shift from a sole proprietorship to an LLC or make other revisions to your business structure.
“Changing your business structure can separate your personal assets from those of your business, thereby protecting them if your business should be sued,” entrepreneur Nellie Akalp writes in All Business. “Also, you might find some tax advantages by switching to a different legal structure.”
What’s Effecting the Growth of My Business?
Growth is the life blood of any business. Your accountant can guide you on profitable growth in different ways. They include determining the true cost of employees when salaries, insurance, training and all other costs are factored in.
When Should I Make a Large Equipment Purchase?
If you run a construction business and your truck breaks down, you likely have to buy a new one immediately. However, many large equipment purchases can be more adroitly timed. Your accountant can help you evaluate the quality of your equipment, letting you determine if old equipment is holding you back. They can also help identify any tax breaks and cash-flow advantages from how you time your purchase. Your accountant can also suggest if you should get rid of a building, equipment or assets that are no longer paying off.
“Investing in capital purchases, like new equipment for a small business, often has positive tax benefits. But without the right timing and planning, equipment purchases don’t always mean cost savings,” explains accountant Joe Lauzen.
How Can I Take Care of the Health of My Employees?
Your accountant isn’t going to sell you a health policy or measure your workers blood pressure, of course. However, your accountant can be a valuable resource in determining the total cost of your labor force and how much you can spend on health care on a monthly basis. Additionally they can advise on how to negotiate the ins-and-outs of the regulations regarding health care.
Is There Anything I Should Do to Increase My Savings?
Your accountant can analyze your expenses, determine how to reduce bad debt, restructure financing, identify valuable customers and many other steps that can limit the amount going out while maximizing what’s coming in.
How Should I Prepare For Next Tax Season Now?
Many time-pressed entrepreneurs have trouble seeing past this month, let alone to next year. However, your accountant can advise on steps to minimize your taxable income throughout the year, so you maximize your return in 2018.
How Should I Start a Second Business?
Many entrepreneurs are serial sorts – when the bug of running their own business hits them, they want more. If you are going into start-up mode, your accountant can advise you on tax breaks, such as advertisements and travel to land new customers, that you can take even before you’ve opened your doors.
Tax time is a perfect time to ask your accountant questions about other topics. Take a few minutes to ask your accountant a few simple questions and you could improve your future, instead of just simply maximizing your return.