Earlier this year we took some time to speak to business owners about what they want from their accountants and the challenges they face.

Now we want to share with you the insights that emerged from those conversations.

First, here’s what we learned from talking to Euan, who runs an established independent retail business.

(The following has been edited for style and clarity.)

Hello, Euan. Can you tell us a little more about what you do?

I am based in the North East of England and work with a couple of businesses that are involved in the tourist industry.

What does your accountant do to help with running your business?

What a difficult question! Accountants only tell you what they want you to hear, so it is not always the best advice.

What is the biggest challenge that your business currently faces?

To survive the toughness of the game at the moment.

I am an OAP so succession and considering the future is something I am thinking about, and with which I will need help and support from the professionals.

What is the one thing you’d like to change for the better tomorrow in your business?
I can’t name one thing. Businesses need to be constantly refined. Hourly, weekly – all the time!  You need to know what is behind you and what is coming up. For example, there’s the internet. Four or five years ago we took it on and today it is now the major part of turnover for our company.

What kind of help would you like from your accountant?

I would like our accountants to be a lot more understanding of our needs instead of looking at the company as it is, and being negative about what entrepreneurs want to do, and thinking “Oh, this won’t work.”

This is my idea, my plan.

I would like them to be a lot more supportive. Not just say “no” or “yes”, but explain where they see any pitfalls.

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