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Certainly, preparing for an appointment with your tax accountant makes his or her task simpler, but it also benefits your business in some big ways. First, when you’re prepared, your meeting is probably going to take significantly less time, and more importantly – preparing for your appointment can help you uncover additional questions and concerns that need to be addressed and which might have otherwise been overlooked.
Getting ready for an appointment with your tax accountant doesn’t have to be a time-consuming chore. Here are a few tips to help you prepare and to get the most from your meeting:
Review any notes from your last meeting, if you have them. (And if you didn’t take any notes, consider taking a notepad with you this time to jot down planning tips and other ideas.)
Consider your cash flow and make tentative projections for upcoming months to help anticipate business expenses and forecast sales and other revenue that can help you develop an accurate roadmap for your business’ future.
Review financial statements from a year ago, six months ago or another meaningful period to help spot trends – good and troublesome – that merit discussion with your accountant.
If you use accounting software, you can also use this time to get some professional guidance about which package is the best for your needs. Should you upgrade your existing package, scrap it for new software or stay with your current program?
Ask about changes in tax laws or other business law that may have an impact on your business in the near future.
Once you have some lists and projections in hand, ask your accountant if you can forward them to him or her prior to your meeting. Some accountants may find it helpful while others may prefer to review them once you arrive for your meeting.
Finally, there’s an added bonus to preparing for your meeting: Careful review and some time spent making thoughtful projections can help you develop a clearer picture of where your business is now and how you’d like it to move forward. Done with care, planning for your accountant meeting can be a useful tool for planning your overall strategy, identifying potential pitfalls and strengths that can help you grow a stronger, more successful business.