Owning a business is a huge challenge that requires blood, sweat and tears. That’s why it is particularly rewarding when the business succeeds. Now that you’re starting to see the fruits of your hard work, it is time to think about outsourcing some of the tasks you got used to doing yourself - but never actually wanted to do.
One of the most universally dreaded tasks is dealing with finances. But you don’t have to take this on yourself–it may be worth considering hiring an accountant to help carry the load.
Just like you put your heart and soul into your craft, so do accountants. Let’s dive into what they can do for you and when it’s the right time to hire one.
First, what do accountants really do?
Well, they don’t just crunch numbers. Accountants are professionals who handle bookkeeping and manage the financial documents you need to run your business.
Their services may include:
- Preparing and maintaining important financial reports while checking their accuracy and compliance with laws and regulations.
- Ensuring your financial data is properly stored, updated and managed.
- Filing tax returns and making sure that tax reports are submitted on time.
- Evaluating financial operations, identifying issues and strategizing solutions.
- Offering guidance on cost reduction, revenue increase, and maximizing profit and cash flow.
- Managing payroll, making sure all employees are paid on time, and that you have enough money to pay them.
5 signs you’re ready to hire an accountant
Many business owners handle their own accounting. According to a 2019 Onpay Small Business Finance and HR report, only 30% of small business owners work with accountants.
But, as your company grows, you may find you need the support of an accountant. Many small business owners even say that their accountant is their best business advisor. They are not as biased as friends, family and coworkers and they have experience working with other businesses.
According to your current needs, you’ll know whether you should hire a full-time or part-time accountant. Here are some things they can help you with:
1. Creating a business plan
There are many steps involved in building a business plan. Dedicating a section to your company’s finances is crucial. An accountant may be your best resource for that stage. They can be used as advisors on building a budget and pricing your products. And writing a business plan isn’t just something you need to do at the start. It can be done in different stages of growing your business as well.
2. Keeping the books organized
When the back office is messy, the rest of the business is too. To be sure you track every payment that goes in and out, start using accounting software (for example, QuickBooks, Xero, FreshBooks, etc.) Accountants specialize in operating accounting software so they can help you migrate everything online. They will help you keep track of all money going in and out, and make sure your books are always up to date.
3. Managing the day-to-day financial needs
Now that your business is growing and you are needed elsewhere, you can share the payment responsibilities. Accountants can save you a lot of time by doing all your day-to-day payments or you can split the work. For example, you pay your vendors and let them deal with the books, taxes, and payroll.
4. Tax reports and audits
There are rules and regulations that affect small businesses. Especially if yours is going through an audit or it’s tax season. An accountant can help you navigate this and ensure that your income and expense reporting follows state and federal laws.
5. Taking a business loan.
In 2020, the Small Business Administration issued loans to 14 million companies. Almost all small businesses can benefit from a business loan, but to be eligible, you must have up-to-date and highly accurate financial data. Creating reports to reflect this information can be tedious and accountants will undoubtedly do it quickly and more accurately.
At the end of the day, it’s always a good time to hire an accountant.
Choosing the right accountant
Need help finding the right accountant for your small business? Here are our three main tips:
- Ask for recommendations from your network, trusted friends, and colleagues. Don’t just google it.
- Some accountants specialize in specific industries, but not all of them. Don’t limit your search to just one area. You can benefit from hiring an experienced accountant that has worked with many small businesses, coming from a variety of industries.
- Most accounting firms offer tax and auditing services, but make sure you know what else they do. If you’re using Melio, it’s super easy to collaborate with your accountant on bill pay, which means you’ll spend even less time in the back office.