Why Your Small Business Needs an Accountant

And How You Can Save on Fees.

As a small business owner, it can be hard to know which expenses to take on, which tasks require the services of a professional, etc. In this post I'll explore not only the importance of an accountant to your business but also some ways to avoid high fees.

Why Should You Hire an Accountant?

Owners of small businesses sometimes take on accounting duties themselves. The very understandable desire to save money is at the core of this strategy. Could you be costing yourself money in the long run, though? Also, could you be setting yourself for tax or similar legal problems?

Hiring an accountant can be a big headache cure, and not just in regard to taxes. Many accountants are qualified to do more than file tax returns, maintain financial records and crunch out reports. Some can even serve as business consultants. A good accountant can interpret the financial and operational data of a business and offer valuable advice regarding operations and growth.

Here is a rundown of how an accountant can help your business:

  • Bookkeeping Duties

    All accountants are capable of maintaining a business's financial records and to generate standard financial reports.

  • Compliance with the Law

    CPA's (Certified Public Accountant), in particular, know corporate and tax law, and they keep current with dizzying changes in legislation. This allows the small business owner to fashion the best business structure for a venture and can assist with its taxation registration and lodgement, filing corporate tax returns with necessary deductions.

  • Tax Planning

    Again, one of the big benefits of an accountant is his or her consulting prowess. She can provide advice on tax planning, specifically helping you maximize business deductions. Here, hiring an accountant pays for itself.

  • General Financial Consultation--

    Your accountant can also tender advice on cash flow management, price control, and even business financing. Use the accountant as a scapegoat when telling employees that certain things just aren't affordable.

  • Networking

    Gone are the days when accountants are buttoned-up nerds--that was always just a stereotype anyway. Far from that, your accountant could be a social butterfly with plenty of community connections.

How Your Small Business Can Save Money on Accountant's Fees

Frugal small business owners fear that an accountant would be too expensive. Perhaps this too is a stereotype. There are an assortment of ways to keep the cost at a minimum. Business owners can follow the tips below to pull down significant savings on accountant fees:

  • Small firms or individuals

    With low overhead and with room to expand, small accounting firms and freelance accountants generally charge less. Proceeding from a referral can be the best way to insure quality.

  • Be sure about the price

    One detail to attend to here is finding out how long particular tasks will take, assuming you're paying an hourly rate. In any case, there's nothing stingy or unprofessional about asking about all the details and leaving nothing to assumptions.

  • Books in order

    Your accountant is a professional and so are you. Help her help you by having all documents ready. #1 Missing documentation will slow down your accountant and cost you money. #2 Consult with your accountant on how transactions should be recorded and what accounting systems should be used. If you're presently using some software, it may not be the best.

  • Include the accountant in business decisions--

    Since already have the accountant on the payroll, pick his brain for consultation on major business decisions. You can take what advice you'd like and ignore the rest. But an accountant's knowledge could at least vet possible moves for legality and basic feasibility.

Bottom line: commissioning an accountant can aid your small business; advice you receive can quickly make up the accounting fees. Please don't deny yourself these benefits.