Entrepreneurs often ask when hiring an accountant for a small business is a good idea. Most of the time, they start out trying to handle their finances themselves to save money. It usually works out for a while yet can cost thousands of dollars in the end.
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Can Accountants Help Small Business?
Hiring an accountant can help small business owners by tracking expenses, transactions, and generating financial reports. Not only does this save valuable time not being away from your day-to-day business responsibilities, but the yearly tasks of preparing and filing your business’s income taxes are also easier to complete with professional help. Plus, there’s always the risk of errors when you do it yourself, which could set you up for a costly audit.
When it comes to taxes, I tried winging it on my own for years. While we might be smart enough to figure out the “how-to” of business taxes, you’ve probably got enough on your plate. Let’s take a closer look at when’s the right time to hire an accountant for your small business.
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Why Do I Need an Accountant for My Small Business?
The answer to why do I need an accountant for my small business may surprise you. Beyond “crunching numbers” accountants are financial experts whose work can make the difference between a profit or a loss in your business. In addition to managing your financial reporting, hiring an accountant for your small business can help with:
- Tax preparation: Business income taxes are difficult to navigate, and accountants are the experts in credits and deductions that can reduce your tax bill. Plus, having an accountant take on your tax responsibilities ensures they are accurate and submitted on time. Also, in the rare case you face an audit, they can represent your business in dealing with the IRS.
- Financial planning: When it’s time to think about expanding your business, an accountant can help generate and analyze financial statements to assess if your business is ready to grow.
- Regulatory compliance: Staying current with changing tax laws and business regulations is a full-time job in itself. However, an accountant is knowledgeable and up-to-date on all compliance matters that affect small business.
- Loan assistance: You’ll probably need a loan or two, either to finance expansions or support with a short-term cash infusion. An accountant can help you select the best loan options and assist in the application process.
Do I Need an Accountant for My Small Business?
While there is never a wrong time to hire an accountant, you should ask yourself do I need an accountant for my small business as soon as you face one of the following circumstances:
- Bookkeeping is taking time away from focusing on other business tasks.
- Your business is profitable, and you need help managing cash flow.
- You need help preparing your taxes and want to reduce the risk of an audit.
- You do NOT have financial reports showing where your money is going and where to cut back.
- You’re considering buying into an expansion or need to sell your business.
Bookkeeper vs Accountant
Maybe you’ve thought about hiring a bookkeeper vs accountant to save money. After all, they both work on your business’s finances, right? Yes and no – bookkeepers and accountants can both help you clean up your finances, but their roles and experiences are actually very different.
A bookkeeper records daily financial transactions, posts debits and credits, produces invoices, and maintains your business’s general ledger.
An accountant prepares, reviews, and analyzes data to assist business owners in making critical financial decisions. Accounting responsibilities are more strategic – tax planning, forecasting, and ensuring your business remains compliant with regulations.
Bottomline, a bookkeeper’s tasks are more on the administrative side. Their job is to keep your financial house neat and tidy. Meanwhile, an accountant has the expertise and advanced training to look at the bigger financial picture. In many cases, an accountant oversees the bookkeeper’s work to ensure the records are accurate.
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Do I Need a CPA for my Small Business?
If your situation requires close attention to business taxes, legal considerations, and strategic planning, then you should seriously consider hiring a Certified Public Accountant CPA for your small business. A CPA is an accountant who has passed a rigorous licensing exam given by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. These professionals have advanced knowledge and experience in taxation, auditing, and financial analysis.
CPAs are your go-to professionals for advanced tax help, especially if you need someone to represent you at an audit. They can also help with budgeting, long-range planning, and general supervision of your business’s financial activities.
Can Accountants Help My Small Business?
The best accountants can help your small business and become invaluable members of your team. Their fees often run higher than those of a bookkeeper. However, their knowledge is supercharged power to your business.
Consider all the ways accountants can help your small business in terms of saving time and money:
- They can eliminate the stress and worry of the dreaded IRS audit by representing you and backing up your returns.
- As a trusted advisor, your accountant’s unbiased financial advice can help increase your business’s revenue.
- Rest easy because you know your business’s financial information is correct and up-to-date.
- Free time and the ability to focus on other business matters becomes more available while the accountant oversees your financial records.
- While preparing your current taxes, accountants may find ways to save money on future tax filings.
In a recent survey, small business owners who filed their taxes without an accountant reported that it took almost nine hours to complete the work. The 44% who used an accountant reported taking less than two hours. Just think about what you could do with that extra time: make a sale, train a new employee, or plan for the future.
If you need help with your business finances—but you’re not quite ready to bring on an accountant—the experts at Bench can help. They cover everything from bookkeeping and banking to tax prep and advisory. They provide a dedicated team of experts, including tax pros, to help you complete your monthly books, file your taxes, and plan your financial future.
Use my link and you’ll get 30% off your first three months of bookkeeping and record-keeping support with Bench.
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As always, I’m Rich and until next time.
“TeachingMillionaires.com has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. TeachingMillionaires.com and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered. I am not a financial advisor. The information I share is for educational purposes only and shouldn’t be considered as certified financial or legal advice. It is imperative you conduct your own research. I am sharing my opinion only.”