If you’ve just started researching different accounting options for your business, you may not be very familiar with the monthly accounting process. What’s the point of meeting so often, and what do monthly meetings even cover?
These are valid questions, especially if you’re used to only working with an annual accountant. Some business owners believe that an annual accountant provides enough service, but others see room for improvement in their accounting service and seek a more consistent approach.
CSI Accounting & Payroll is that consistent approach. Our monthly accounting services focus heavily around handling the accounting for you and bringing it all back together in the form of our monthly meetings.
This article will briefly explain:
- The difference between our initial onboarding meetings and standard client meetings
- The details of how these meetings happen
- What kind of discussions we’ll have
- Our dedicated tax planning meetings
When you start as a new client of CSI, you will go through a series of weekly onboarding meetings or communications with your dedicated onboarding manager. Essentially, we want to make sure that you know about our progress with your onboarding accountant processing your information and any back taxes, and we want to make sure that you’re happy. You should always have an understanding of what the next steps are.
These weekly check-ins usually occur for the first two or three months but can vary based on the work we have to do before getting into making your monthly statements. Once we’re ready to start making your monthly statements, we will have a transition meeting in which we establish your client account manager and accountant moving forward. From there on out, we regularly have our standard monthly meetings with Monthly Meaningful Client Contact (M2C2).
When Do Client Meetings Take Place?
M2C2 meetings occur once per month - but at any time throughout the month, since we need to dedicate time to meet with all of our clients. You won’t need to worry about when your next meeting will be, since your accountant will make time with you at the end of each meeting to schedule the next one. No sweat!
How Long Do Monthly Meetings Last?
We know these meetings are important to you, otherwise you wouldn’t choose to go the monthly accounting route. In fact, one of the most common complaints that we hear from business owners is that other accountants don’t reach out to them.
However, we also know that you’re busy. Plus, the shorter the meeting, the more useful the information exchanged will be - and information will be easier to retain. That’s why we want to keep our M2C2 meetings to about 30 minutes long.
What Do We Discuss in Our Monthly Meetings?
There is no set agenda for these meetings, since every client’s needs are different. However, many clients will want to receive advice based directly on the financial statements that we create for them each month.
A general overview that they can provide follows your trends with profits, bank accounts, loans, and how you’re able to leverage yourself. We typically look at trends over the previous seven or eight month period.
For example, your profit and loss statement can tell you if your revenue is up, down, or flat. We can then offer advice to help you smooth out any inconsistencies throughout the year. Your balance sheet can also show your business’s cash flow, and we can tell you if you’re taking the right amount of money out of your business.
We can also cover the outlook for your business, your growth plans, your challenges, or any other topics you’d like to cover outside of your financial statements. Not to mention, we meet to specifically plan for tax season!
Tax Planning Meetings
Meetings about taxes can be part of your regular M2C2 meetings, or they can be separate. We typically have two major tax discussions per year: one around April or May, and one around October or November.
The Spring meeting is a reflection on how you did from a tax perspective and where you’re starting the next tax year. If you owed a lot in taxes, we can make a plan to prevent that for the next tax year; the same goes for if you received a large refund and would prefer to have that money to use throughout the year instead.
The Fall meeting is a preparation for the upcoming tax season. We’ll talk about business strategies to help you lower your tax bill, such as making purchases for your business, taking a look at your withholdings, and paying or holding off on expenses. If you only work with the average annual accountant, you would be lucky to have one meeting like this per year - and it would be at your request. They don’t, however, typically help you plan or prepare for the next year.
What To Expect From a CSI Monthly Meeting
When an M2C2 meeting is coming to a close, what should have happened? Your accountant should have given you approximately 30 minutes of monthly hands-on advice and discussion, whether it’s based on setting up your account, analyzing your financial statements, planning for or reflecting on your taxes, or a variety of other topics at your request.
Your accountant will then work with you to schedule your next meeting. Afterwards, you should expect a follow-up to ask how we’re doing so we can continue to improve our service.
The biggest takeaway from these monthly meetings is that we take a more proactive approach than an annual accountant. If this sounds like something your business could benefit from each month, feel free to schedule a free consultation.
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