By Manulife

If you operate a fast-growth company with variable cash-flow, acquiring a financial professional who can help you protect and build your wealth should be a no-brainer. A 2012 study by the Montreal-based Center of Interuniversity Research and Analysis of Organizations (CIRANO) stated that people who use advisors save twice as much, have more wealth, and are far better prepared for retirement than those who don’t use one. Finding financial solutions that fit your business needs now, and in years to come, is just one of the benefits of working with a professional advisor. Here are five other advantages.

Stability, continuity and trust

Unlike when you deal with employees at your bank, you won’t need to explain your needs multiple times to your financial advisor. “Independent advisors…are [often] business owners helping business owners, not employees working under a fixed and highly guided set of corporate protocols,” says Ted Thomson, a senior financial planning advisor who operates out of the North Bay, Ont. arm of Assante Wealth Management. A good financial advisor will “think like an entrepreneur, talk like an entrepreneur and act like a prudent entrepreneur,” he says.

An acting advocate

Thomson says he often works with banks on behalf of his clients to negotiate financing and get better interest rates. “The bank is there to lend money to people,” says Thomson. “They want the security. They want to make sure that they can be paid back. But if you know the rules of the bank, you can negotiate with them.”

Better cash flow management

When you’re growing quickly, accessible cash can be a problem. Your financial advisor can help you budget monthly expenses on an inconsistent income and utilize innovative lending strategies to help you bridge financing gaps, such as necessary expenses and payroll. “We appreciate the fact that the business might be the clients’ best possible investment,” says Thomson. “However, we like to…[explore] options to diversify their net worth while still taking advantage of effective tax and estate planning.”

Accurate tax compliance advice

Failing to pay business-related taxes on time can result in stiff fines and penalties, not to mention a bad credit record. Your advisor will help you develop strategies that can reduce or defer the amount of tax you pay, as well as create a yearly budget to ensure a payment never gets missed.

Secure your succession and retirement

Succession and retirement planning is as vital to your well-being as business planning is to the success of your business. Your financial advisor will ensure this piece of the puzzle is not overlooked.