How We Work
Electra Frost Advisory works with business owners in a uniquely structured way. The best business financial management happens all the time, not just at tax time.
We have never been your traditional accountants. We know what traditional accounting firms offer and we think small business owners should expect more.
Electra Frost Advisory primarily cater to small-medium sized businesses, from start-ups to scale-ups to well established businesses with up to 20 employees. As IPA and CPA qualified accountants and registered tax agents we’ve worked with services, trades, creative, arts and media, technology, hospitality and retail industries increasingly in an business advisory capacity since 2008.
Having managed paperless city practices and being early adopters of cloud accounting, we’ve developed smooth processes with modern accounting technologies to handle your work promptly and considerately. Since 2013 we’ve held regular meetings over video, as our clients are geographically distributed and busy people.
Communication is key to a great working relationship, so we also use collaboration tools and schedule regular calls and meet-ups with our business clients to make sure they stay in control of their finances and keep goals within sight. Needless to say, if you’re used to working this way … or keen to…. then we may be a great fit!
We help business owners get to their desired stage of the business life cycle by using real data to turn their vision into a success plan.
To get there, they need their accountants to become an essential part of their business, to be hands-on and contributing a much broader skill set than traditional once-a-year financials and tax.
We’ll work with your management team and be a second pair of eyes over your internal finances, streamlining your bookkeeping and reporting, assisting you with important decisions, setting performance goals and keeping you accountable to them. We’ll speak with you monthly at a minimum, sometimes weekly, depending on where your business is at and where you would like it to be.
We will go further than adding up the numbers at the end of each month. So we start any new client relationship by taking a holistic view of the business to understand everything that’s going on in its past, present and future.
Our onboarding process:
When you engage us, we book three workshops over 9 weeks, with a fully documented onboarding process, to immerse ourselves in your business, learn your processes, meet your people and address your growth goals and vision with a strategic plan. We then define your milestones and schedule them into our calendar for the years ahead.
This is how Electra Frost Advisory starts off on the best foot to put your business in a better position that it was. We come up with a strategic plan to grow revenue and boost profit margins, time-frame all the actionable next steps to monitor and measure your activities, keeping your operation legally compliant and achieving its objectives, while letting you focus on specific areas for improvement.
The plan will be reviewed every month to keep your whole team accountable to your vision and to adapt to any operational restraints and market challenges.
If we identify it, if we measure it, if we plan for it, if we document it – it will get done.
Contact us now for a tailored ongoing package solution for your business.
All accounting and advisory engagements are fully scoped and quoted up front before work commences.
Changing accountants – why and how?
A number of reasons may have prompted you to decide it was time for a change.
We often hear the following comments from new clients:
- “My accountant doesn’t understand my business”
- “My accountant doesn’t get back to me for weeks”
- “My accountant is kind of stuck in his ways and wont use cloud accounting“
- “My accountant takes too long to do my accounts”
- “I only hear from my accountant once a year”
- “I can never get advice”
Unfortunately, it’s fairly standard to have this sort of experience with the accounting industry. So our approach to client services is well planned and highly responsive. We’re interested in our clients’ unique businesses and are genuinely committed to achieving successful outcomes with them.
It’s no easy decision to change accountants, whatever the reason. You may have invested years into the relationship, and your existing accountant is very familiar with your financial affairs. But if you delay your decision, it may just drag out and your results may never improve.
What should you expect from your accountant?
Your accountant should take the time to understand your business and be focused on finding ways to improve your financial outcomes. For example, by:
- Setting up the most appropriate structure for commercial, tax and asset protection purposes.
- Reminding you when your lodgments are due, to keep you compliant.
- Showing you how to understand the numbers so you can stay in control of your business and focus on building profits.
- Helping you to monitor your business cash flow and budget variances.
- Implementing and maintaining your online accounting system with integrated apps to allow you and your team to function more efficiently.
- Being available to hear your concerns and provide advice when needed, so you know you’re on the right track.
What should you ask a new accountant?
Public accountants greatly vary in their experience, areas of expertise and practice methods.
Some questions you may ask when you’re looking to change accountants are:
- Firstly – Will they recommend an initial consultation to see if your business is a good fit? If so, what information will they need from you?
Research their website and ask:
- How will the accountant work with you? In person or virtually, or both as and when required?
- How does the accountant run their own business? Is it well established?
- What technology does the accountant work with?
- What are their qualifications and professional associations?
- Will the accountant only charge you by the hour or will they agree on a fixed fee for the service to be delivered?
- Does the accountant have experience with your industry?
- What kind of services can the accountant recommend and provide to you?
The three steps to changing accountants:
1. Find a new accountant
Do your research when looking for an alternative accountant. It will be a worthy investment into your future time, money and emotional energy.
The initial meeting is to understand how the accountant will work with you and whether you are a mutually good fit. Be prepared to ask the right questions and trust your instincts.
2. Tell your existing accountant
Before moving, it’s always best to contact your existing accountant to let them know of your decision. It may be an uncomfortable communication but it’s better coming from you rather than the new accountant.
A kindly worded email will usually do. You could just let them know that your needs have changed at this stage in your business, and you’ve found another accountant who offers what you need.
3. Your new accountant will write to your previous accountant
Once you’ve given the go-ahead, it is a professional courtesy in our industry to send an “ethical clearance letter” to your previous accountant. It is usually sent by email nowadays.
Your previous accountant should promptly respond to the letter, and forward any requested documentation (preferably electronically as much as possible) to the new accountant.
Note: You should arrange collection of any of your physical documents (e.g., your paperwork in folders) from the previous accountant’s office.
This reply and forwarding of information is ethically best practice for all members of the accounting professional bodies with business client engagements.
You are welcome to contact us for a confidential initial discussion before making any decisions to move your business.