What is a proactive accountant?




Paul Rattray explains proactive accounting and how it can help your business grow.

Paul, the term ‘proactive accountant’, what does that mean to you?

“A proactive accountant is not just someone who does your books and works out your accounts – they are a business advisor, who takes an active role in your business and helps you grow.

It’s someone who works proactively with you, makes you more accountable and makes you think about what you’re doing with your business. That might involve  someone who will ring you and engage with you more, workshop ideas with you, plan for the future and generally be more involved in your business. It’s more of a mentoring role”.

Traditional accountants would review your accounts with you at the end of the year, that’s what people are used to…

“With Xero and accounting in the cloud, we can get real time figures for our clients. The difference is that when you call ATB with an issue, instead of looking back at what happened 3 months ago, we can see what your business is like right now. We can then advise you on what you need to do to move forward.”

So if I want to make a purchasing decision, I can ring you and ask?

“Yes we can look at your figures, look at how much you owe, what your profitability is at the time… it’s all about what’s happening now, not 3 to 6 months ago.”

And what about making decisions for tomorrow?

“That’s easier with the right software. It gives you the opportunity to project.  If your information is up to date you can make decisions based on proper figures, not just a gut feeling. It’s a smarter way of doing business.”

For the business owner what does that do?

“It makes you grow and be more accountable. People get more involved in their business. You can look at your business in detail and see what areas are doing well and do more of that. It allows for better analysis and decision making. And once you’re more accountable, you’ll be more interested.”

Does that lead to people enjoying their businesses more?

“I think so. If you’re making more money and if you’re running your business more efficiently, you have more time to invest – either to make more money, or with your family or for your other interests. And importantly there will be less stress from shortfall of money… Once your profit and cashflows are on track, you’ll have a better time.”

What skill set is required from an accountant to achieve this?

“It’s the proactive attitude, the mentoring approach, the software and how the accountancy firm is structured. Often a traditional accountant won’t have the head space or time. But an accountant with good processes and a good team around them is freed up to help clients achieve their goals for the future.”

Want to know more about proactive accounting? Contact us we’re here to help.