When meeting with a financial professional, be it a financial advisor, a tax agent, or a BAS accountant, it is important to know what to look for when it comes to choosing your financial management team. A few practices you should assess include:
- Regularly assessing your financial situation
- Current and future options
- A strong understanding of the financial industry
- Changes to the industry and how they affect your business finances
Read on to learn more about what you should be asking your financial advisor.
How do you assess personal financial health?
It is imperative to gain an understanding of every aspect affecting you and your finances. Your financial advisor should take a holistic approach to assessing your finances to make a plan for how to best manage them.
The overarching question you should be asking your financial advisor is how they will be assessing your financial health. This means taking stock and analysing your accounts, spending, superannuation, assets, investments, loans and debts.
Below we’ll look at the different components that should be assessed by a financial advisor when creating a financial plan.
Firstly, you should understand the way your accountant will view and assess your spending habits. Having a clear and definitive spending analysis will be key to understanding the health of other aspects of your finances, such as accounts, loans and debts.
Assessing the relationship between your income and spending down to a monthly basis should be standard for your financial professional. Gathering as much data as possible about your spending will help enable conscientious planning and timely decision making. Uninformed predictions could spell the downfall of your business.
Accounts and spending go hand in hand as the first two things your accountant should be investigating and analysing on an ongoing basis. As your financial advisor assesses your incoming and outgoing figures, it is essential that all accounts factor into the scope of financial analysis’.
Account analysis should include everything from everyday spending accounts to financial trusts, and cover all streams of income to these accounts. This can include salaries, investments, and any other income streams you may possess.
Super and retirement planning
Professional financial advisors should have a comprehensive understanding of the processes involved in Superannuation consolidation, contribution, fees, withdrawal and administration. Depending on your income stream, marital status, family size and career longevity, Superannuation can be vastly variable from individual to individual.
You should be able to trust your financial professional to assess all of these considerations and how the Super provider you are partnered with assesses and responds to these variables. Be sure to ask how your accountant is making Superannuation work best for your business.
Assets can make up a large portion of your financial health, including businesses, vehicles, inventory, equipment and machinery that you gain from investment, purchasing or inheritance. Residential and investment properties make up the majority of registered assets.
Assets increase and decrease in value over time, so it is essential that your financial advisor maintains a thorough understanding of current economic factors and effects they may have on your owned assets. Variables such as inflation and fluctuations in market value must be monitored regularly to ensure assets remain financially viable and beneficial.
Investments, loans, and debt
Finally, and most importantly, the financial health of your business should be assessed in regards to the amounts expected of you on a regular, recurring or one-off basis. This can include money borrowed to be used for reinvestments, financial loans, unpaid expenses and debts or penalties incurred from past financial actions.
Understanding the nature of these debts is crucial in planning for the future. Ensure your financial professional has a clear and thorough knowledge of all arrears on your accounts, and any existing plans to deal with these arrears. From there, these dues should be monitored regularly and adjusted if necessary to optimise the financial health of the business.
By gathering a comprehensive understanding of your current financial situation, your financial advisor should have the knowledge and resources to improve aspects of your business’ financial activities such as spending, financial planning, assets, investments and income.
Partnering with a professional team to help manage your business finances can be one of the most worthwhile investments you make as a business.
QCA is a trusted accounting firm in Burleigh Waters, QLD, catering to a range of mid to large size businesses in Australia. We are more than happy to answer all of the questions listed above, and provide you with comprehensive insights into how we manage your finances to give you the best results possible. Get in touch with us today to learn about ‘The QC Way’ of taking care of your business accounting.