Financial planners are professionals, who specialise in helping people to build their net worth, yet many clients seem to avoid consulting their financial planners on a regular basis – there is no reason for this to happen.
Your financial planner has one main professional goal – to help you build your business and create wealth for you and your family. During consultations, you’ll be asked to provide honest and accurate information about your income and spending habits, as well as the investments you’ve chosen to put money into. These questions are not an invasion of privacy, as some clients seem to think, but are necessary in order for your financial advisor to help you – the same thing can be said about a patient who is asked to report their symptoms accurately to a doctor. The more information you give your financial planner, the better their advice will be.
The benefits of seeing your financial planner regularly
Because our financial situations can change a lot as life takes its unexpected turns, it’s important to stay in touch with your financial planner and touch base from time to time. You may be earning more than you used to, or you might be experiencing cash flow problems – either way, your financial planner will help you find solutions to whatever challenges you are facing at the time.
It’s not only our personal and businesses finances that change over time, but also conditions in the economy and the performance of investments. Your financial planner should have their finger on the pulse of these changes and will be able to advise you when to change your investment strategy or change the balance of your portfolio. Updating your investment strategy could make the difference between profits and losses, especially with the volatile economic climate we’re currently in.
For business owners, a financial planner is an essential advisor who can help to streamline the running of any company. Many clients associate financial planners with personal finances, but there is no reason why your financial planner shouldn’t advise you on your business finances too – the same approach of reducing costs, balancing the risk of your investments, and working toward financial goals can be of great use to business owners, because as an entrepreneur your business and personal finances may be one and the same thing.
Seeing your financial planner
You should aim to see your financial planner at least twice a year, and if a financial problem has reared its head you should schedule an appointment straight away to seek advice and solutions. By working with your financial planner, you’ll find it that much easier to achieve your business and personal finance goals.
Many entrepreneurs view bookkeeping and accounting as painfully boring activities that are only useful when tax returns have to be filed, but this is only a small part of the picture. Orderly accounts are a vital tool in planning your business activities to keep your company in line with your vision and business strategy.
By knowing how much turnover your company is recording and how much profit has been made over the past while, you’ll be able to focus your efforts on increasing sales and tightening your expenses to show a greater profit each financial year. Your accounts will also help you to identify wasteful expenses that can be reduced, and are also a useful tool in picking up signs of fraud in your business – a good accountant will work with you to analyse your accounts and improve the running of your business
Setting up your accounts
If you don’t have a background in commerce, the best way of setting up your accounts is to work with your financial advisor or accountant and employ a part-time bookkeeper to help you capture your income and expenses. Your accountant should be able to design an accounting system that is easy to use and doesn’t take up too much of your time.
While you are setting up your accounting system, keep these tips in mind:
- Don’t throw away slips and invoices – these are vital documents that prove how your business has spent its revenues.
- Keep petty cash to a minimum – instead of using cash for small purchases, use a company credit or debit card. This will assist you in record keeping
- Keep an invoice file – each time you invoice a client, keep a physical record on file for easy reference.