The Financial Health Prescription – Quarterly Meetings with Your Accountant

As an Allied Health Business Coach, I often emphasise the importance of not just managing your business effectively but loving the process, especially when it comes to understanding your financials. One key strategy I recommend is establishing a routine of quarterly meetings with your accountant. These aren’t just check-ins; they are cornerstone meetings that can transform how you learn to understand and use your financial numbers to better manage your business, ensuring you’re not just surviving but thriving and reaping the rich rewards for your efforts.  

Why Meet Quarterly? 

The health of your business is directly influenced by how well you manage its finances. Meeting quarterly with your accountant isn’t merely a good practice—it’s essential. This frequency aligns perfectly with the financial reporting cycle, allowing you to analyse and discuss the previous quarter’s results, address issues proactively and adjust your strategies in real-time. This sets the scene for managing the critical drivers for the next quarter and future quarters. These meetings must have an agenda agreed prior, all financial reports (profit and loss, balance sheet, budget, budget variance at a minimum) are accurate and copies issued with the agenda. All parties sitting around the table prepared in advance, having reviewed all financial reports and are ready to go with questions and discussion. Minutes are issued, tasks allocated and follow up clearly indicated.  

Boom, quarterly meetings with your accountant are a financial skill and success game changer.  

Quarterly meetings enable you to: 

Review Financial Performance: Regular review of your financial statements helps you understand the operational results and financial position of your business. This is crucial in an industry like Allied Health, where margins can be tight and overheads high. 

Adapt to Changes Quickly: The healthcare sector is dynamic, with frequent regulatory updates. Quarterly meetings ensure you remain compliant and adapt to changes without delay. 

Plan for Taxes Efficiently: By planning tax obligations quarterly, you can maximize tax strategies and incentives, establish saving requirements all helping to reduce unwanted and technically unnecessary surprises at the year-end. 

Cash Flow Management: Regular oversight of cash flow allows for better decision making in investments, equipment purchases, training, expanding or hiring. 

Proactive Partnership 

Your accountant should be more than a number cruncher; they should be a proactive partner in your business journey. A proactive accountant will: 

Forecast and Plan: They don’t just report on what’s happened; they help you plan what’s next. This could involve scenario planning and forecasting that helps you navigate future challenges. 

Offer Business Advice: Beyond taxes and compliance, a skilled accountant provides advice on business operations, helping to refine processes and improve profitability. 

Identify Growth Opportunities: Whether it’s through identifying tax savings or suggesting areas for expansion, your accountant can play a crucial role in your growth strategy. 

Manage Personal Tax Obligations. When you’re a sole trader, your business and personal taxes are basically one and the same. But if you have set up a different business structure, such as a company or trust, you may have separate business and personal accountants, which works. However, you will need to work across both parties to ensure you have clarity of both your business and your personal tax obligations. Both accountants may need to liaise to best manage your salary, superannuation, dividends, distributions and more.  

Communication with Your Bookkeeper. The accountants’ analysis and advice will only be as good as the accuracy of the numbers in your financial reports. Your bookkeeper should be driving this and monthly meetings with your bookkeeper is strongly recommended.  

This proactive approach means your accountant should regularly bring new ideas, government incentives or offers and wider small business insights to each quarterly meeting, not just data from the past. If they have a newsletter, signing up to it could be well worth it. The Australian Tax Office even has their own newsletters for small business, too if you wish to sign up. 

Be Prepared and Eager to Learn 

Approaching these meetings with preparation and a willingness to learn can significantly enhance their value. Afterall, there is a time and money cost and you want to get as much out of the session as possible. Before each meeting, gather all your relevant financial documents, review them, and think about the big picture questions and the small print questions you wish to discuss. Write them down, or add them to the agenda.  

The Accountants Agenda  

If you are not sure what to ask your accountant when you next meet we have developed a list of potential questions. Download your copy of The Accountants Agenda here. We have made this a practical work tool, loaded with potential questions, space to add your own notes and a detailed glossary of financial terms. Please let us know if you find this helpful. 

Being prepared not only facilitates a more productive discussion but also shows respect for your time and that of your accountant. It also helps calm your nerves and settle your focus, because we well know that these meetings can be challenging and all too often end up 10 minutes later thinking “Damn, I wish I asked…”. 

Your Accountant, Your Teacher 

In the world of Allied Health, where professionals are often more focused on team leadership and client care than profit margins, it’s crucial that your accountant can translate complex financial data into digestible, actionable information. They should be capable of educating you in financial literacy, helping you understand key concepts like cash flow, profit margins, and financial forecasting. 

Your accountant should be patient, clear, and willing to adapt their explanations to your level of expertise. Remember, the goal is for you to not just understand your financials but to become enthusiastic about them. This shift in perspective is often the key to making more informed decisions that enhance the operational effectiveness and profitability of your business. 

We know that these meetings are often not easy. They are loaded with terminology and concepts that you feel you should know, so ask, keep asking. Request the accountant draws it for you and persist. Show up and every time you will step up your knowledge, confidence and skills for sure. Heads up, it took me 3 accountants and many years to grasp it all and now I love it.  

Embrace the Numbers 

Many Allied Health Business Owners start their practices because of their passion for helping others, not because they love crunching numbers. However, understanding the financial side of your business is crucial for sustainability and growth. Learning to love your numbers isn’t just about watching metrics but about understanding what they say about your business’s health and what they predict for its future. 

By meeting quarterly with your accountant, you don’t just stay on top of your business, you get ahead of it. This regular rhythm allows you to feel more in control and confident about your business decisions. It turns what could be a chore into an empowering habit, one that fuels your passion for your business while securing its financial foundation. 

Downloading The Accountants Agenda will provide you with a practical document to use when planning to meet with your accountant to ensure you are well prepared, having everything at hand and are clear about the questions to ask and answers you’re seeking.  

Remember that every number tells a story. Make sure you’re listening to what they’re saying and with the right accountant by your side, you’ll not only understand these stories but use them to script your own success in the competitive world of Allied Health Business.  

If you need a little more help with numbers, and so much more, book in a free Power Call with us to see how we have helped so many businesses like yours just by CLICKING HERE 

Fill up the form to download the document

The Accountants Agenda

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Cathy Love
Cathy Love is an accredited Business Coach, Occupational Therapist, and author known for her optimistic outlook and passion for pearls. As the Founding Director of Nacre Consulting, she's dedicated to fostering brilliance in others, drawing on her entrepreneurial journey that began in childhood. After successfully selling her pioneering Occupational Therapy clinic, Kids Therapy Network, Cathy shifted her focus to empowering Allied Health Business Owners through Nacre Consulting, all while enjoying the serene environment of her home office in the Mornington Peninsula.

Subscribe to the Podcast

Listen on Apple Podcasts Listen on Spotify

Related Posts