What to discuss in an annual planning meeting with your franchise accountant

As business owners, our priorities and needs change as our business evolves. These changes have consequences for financial management and how we track our results. It’s the same for our clients.

For example, if you need to purchase new equipment or refurbish your store next year, you’ll need to finance this investment. This will have implications for how much money you can take out of the business for your personal living expenses.

In turn, this leads to questions of financial goals and how your financial reports are set up to help you keep track of progress.

We’ve found that it’s helpful for clients to take time to discuss with us what the year ahead might bring. We can then tailor our client support to meet the upcoming needs of the business.

You can complete this exercise at any time of year, but December and January are an especially good time. At this stage you are half way through the financial year (so you have a feel for how the year is looking), and there’s plenty of time to do any necessary tax planning.

Here are some questions we suggest our clients consider:

  • What are your business goals for 2019 regarding revenue and staffing? Growth and staff recruitment both affect financial management, software choices and reporting. You may also need to revise your budget.

  • What are your personal financial goals for 2019? This helps us with tax planning. Related to this is the question of whether your family circumstances are likely to change.

  • Do you need or expect to purchase equipment, or refurbish your location? If so, what is the likely cost? This leads to discussions about financing the purchase.

  • How much longer is left on on your franchise agreement and lease? This leads to a discussion about longer term plans.

  • What threats do you believe the business faces in 2019? Because when we have a sense of the threats we can take action to mitigate them.

Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses in Business Operations, Financial Management, and Sales and Marketing? We can’t help in every area, but very often our reporting or training can help make the most of strengths and compensate for weaknesses.

  • When did you last review your insurance (business and personal)? A reminder that as things change in business, our insurance needs also change.

  • Have you considered succession planning and what would happen if you were unable to continue in business? This may be a low risk area when you first start in business, but needs action as it matures or your family circumstances change.

  • Which aspects of the financial management of your business would you like to feel more confident in? This helps us know if you have additional training or support needs.

  • Anything else you think we should know?