Published on August 6th, 2014 | by Lisa Bondesio0
A-Z Of Interim Management - A is for Accountant
If you want great advice on succeeding in interim management, who better to ask than a successful interim? Lisa Bondesio of Chiridon Consulting specialises in strategy, business change and programme turnaround. In the first of a monthly blog series Lisa shares her A-Z of Interim Management starting with A is for Accountant.
Why Interims Need An Accountant
The first rule of interim really should be that time is money. Successful interims direct the majority of their effort towards focused activity that builds revenue – in other words they spend time on marketing, networking or delivering to clients.
However, unless you actually are an accountant (in which case you don’t need to read this blog!!) you are far better off leaving finance to a professional. Many interims don’t give adequate consideration to the financial practicalities and then spend valuable hours poring over their accounts in a misguided attempt at doing it themselves. Anyone who has had to complete their tax return at the last minute knows this is both a risky and tedious strategy.
The right accountant can save you time and money. Apart from the very practical book-keeping and accounting services they provide, your accountant is a source of expert advice – and can help you navigate the more complex areas of company law, accounting practice and tax planning. Often, they can provide business advice or other information to help keep your business on track as it grows.
This leaves you free to spend your valuable working day actually doing work, instead of worrying about VAT returns, expenses and invoicing. Let’s face it, the quarterly HMRC newsletters that accompany your VAT return hardly make for riveting reading.(Apologies to VAT specialists everywhere who probably do enjoy these missives!)
How To Select An Accountant
Your accountant is likely to become your most valuable advisor, so it’s important to develop a good relationship and know that your finances are being handled by someone you trust. Here are my top tips for selecting your bean-counter of choice:
- Qualifications count. Make sure your accountant is fully qualified, for example as a certified or chartered accountant. In most cases, these qualifications will be displayed on any promotional material or their website. If not, make sure you ask for – and get – the accreditation details.
- Sector Experience. Hiring an accountant with relevant experience provides additional benefit to your business. For instance, accountants that work primarily with interims will have in-depth knowledge of the financial challenges associated with this business sector, which can prove useful.
- Compare, compare, compare. Referrals and personal recommendations are a good place to start, but don’t just go with the first accountant you meet. Ask to speak to existing clients before signing up. Try to compare the services of at least three.
As many small business owners belatedly discover, delegation is an important skill to have, freeing up time to concentrate on driving revenue into the business. The same is true for interims; you may be capable of completing a tax return but this does not make it a productive use of your time. Hands up who has a great accountant and has not looked back since?
Our next interim training event with Alium Partners’ Practice Head for FMCG Manufacturing, Scott Hutchinson is on 18 September 2014. For details visit An Introduction To Interim.