During the various stages of growth of a small business, an accountant can make life a bit easier at each step along the way. From the very beginnings of company formation and business planning, to tax audits and tax preparation, an accountant can make a lasting impact on a small business. Knowing when to hire an accountant, and for how long, is not always clear to many entrepreneurs. Below are 5 common areas and/or situations whereby an accountant’s skills are warranted.
- Business Planning. They can effectively use accounting software to add important financial projections or other essential reports to your plan. Creating a realistic business plan that is more likely to succeed is something a good accountant can help with.
- Legal Structure. An accountant can explain the legal business structures available and help you choose the one that best suits you when starting out.
- Finances. This is an easy one. A good accountant or bookkeeper keeps you on top of your finances and essential reporting, including understanding metrics such as KPI’s (key performance indicators). And that is just the beginning. Consider hiring a bookkeeper to handle the day-to-day tasks, and bring in an accountant when it’s time to look at the big picture.
- Government & Taxes. Whether it’s helping you navigate an audit, preparing taxes, preparing annual statements, or keeping your company up-to-date with the latest tax laws, and accountant can help with the often daunting tasks of dealing with government paperwork.
- Banks & Loans. With good accounting software such as QuickBooks, your accountant can present facts and figures that support your application for funding. They’ll also be able to field any questions your bank might have about things such as revenue projections and expenses.
- Growth Periods. Accountants can help you handle growth periods and transitions, such as investing in your business or hiring staff. They can look after innumerable details, freeing you up to focus on the big picture of growing and expanding your business.
Entrepreneurs and small business owners are notorious DIY’s. Often when an accountant or bookkeeper is hired an owner learns they weren’t doing as well on their own as they thought they were. Running your business is your specialty. There are times to leave certain financial details to someone who is trained to do so effectively and professionally. If finding the right accountant for your business is a challenge, there are accounting referral services that will find you an accountant at no charge.