Published on Jan 12, 2021

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As a new year rolls around, it is a great time to take a close look at your business and what you would like to achieve over the next 12 months.

Good financial advice is critical for business growth. Accountants and financial advisors can help you define your business goals and help create a plan to reach those goals.

Knowing what you need is essential as each business grows and its financial needs change, making it critical to identify if and when this transition should happen.

Who do you speak to about your business finances? Do you talk to an accountant or a business advisor? Do you know when you need in-depth advice to grow your business, or are you missing out on financial tips?

Identifying just when you need to transition from an accountant who handles your basic tax compliance to a financial advisor isn’t easy.

The prospect of searching for a financial advisor is also a daunting task for many Australian business owners.

Business financial needs

Businesses typically start out at the tax compliance stage. If the business owner is happy to maintain their business size rather than concentrate on business growth they may not need more in-depth services from their accountant, or the services of a financial advisor.

Businesses with plans to grow really need more in-depth financial advice. This can include developing a more collaborative relationship with their accountant, who may be able to advise on ways to maximise profits.

It can also mean talking to a financial advisor, especially for business that are unsure about how to reach their goals, or need help developing and tailoring their business goals.

Getting help

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) tell business owners not to hesitate to ask advisors about their qualifications and experience and to deal only with licenced advisors.

ASIC can make things easier for businesses. They offer a link to the financial advisors register and offer tips to help you make this critical business decision.

The financial advisors’ register will tell you:

  • the qualifications of the advisor
  • which product area the advisor can provide advice for
  • any industry bodies or associations the advisor is a member of
  • whether the advisor has been subject to disciplinary action by ASIC
  • the name and number of the Australian Financial Services (AFS) licence holder who employs or authorises the financial advisor
  • details about who controls or owns the licence holder.

For more information and advice, visit ASIC’s Moneysmart choosing a financial advisor webpage.