THE MACPHERSON GROUP: ADVICE BLOG
Blog post for The MacPherson Group on behalf of Nordest Studio
The Checklist: Do this Before you see an Accountant
So, you’ve decided that it’s time to see an accountant? Great! Here are the essential things that you need to bring with you to our first meeting… and no, we’re not just talking about your mountain of receipts ;).
1. A business plan
If you want a thriving business, then you need a plan on how to get there. Know your customer, your market, and how you’re going to deliver your product. Translating ideas into numbers is so critical for the beginning phase of any venture. Is your business financially viable? A plan helps us (your accountants) figure out the important details and identify any big risks. Always make sure to include this document at our very first meeting.
2. How much money do you need to survive?
I know this sounds obvious, but it’s surprising how many people don’t ask themselves this question. You still need to eat while finding a way to turn your product into a money-making enterprise. To help figure out this number, it’s helpful to view your personal life as a business. Cut out unnecessary expenses, live simply, and leave yourself a good buffer. There will be plenty of time to enjoy your success later, but you need to get there first. If you don’t reinvest your profits into your most precious asset (YOU!) then you may find that future decisions become based on cash needs vs. sound business principles. Trust us, this early work will definitely save you from a slippery slope.
3. Passion and patience
Many clients who stroll into our downtown Toronto office, come in with phenomenal ideas that suggest they’re going to the moon within a year or two. That’s nice and all but not even Elon Musk is doing that and we know for most companies, it’s just not realistic. The short story: there is no substitute for hard work and planned growth. Key resources like personnel, financing, and location all need to be considered in the early years. Being patient and sticking to a very realistic growth curve will assist you in the long term. Remember this: passion is your driving force, and patience will help you get the results you want. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
When you put pen to paper and cross off these checklist items, you’ll show your accountant how serious you are about being successful. It’s an amazing starting point that will help us build your reporting systems and efficient tax strategies. As my old college professor used to say, "if you work hard for four years while everyone else is out partying, in four years you’ll be out partying ‘cause everyone will be working for you."
Protecting your bottom line.
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