10 Ways Finding A Great Accountant Will Grow Your Small BusinessWritten by Rachel Thannhauser on November 02, 2020
Running a business is tough work, especially if you’re growing it from the ground up. The financial side of things can often seem never-ending and unnecessarily complicated – but why?
Online invoicing software makes managing your bills easier than ever. When you combine it with a great accountant specialising in small businesses, so much time and energy can be saved. Definitely a worthwhile investment that can help your small business thrive!
Here we look into how finding a great accountant can enrich your business, as well as when to know if you need one, and why they’re worth the investment.
What does an accountant do?
Accountants use numbers and financial statements to paint a picture of the health of a company, organization, or individual. By using their skills in math, accounting, law, and finance, they analyze profits and losses. They provide information that investors and business owners need in order to see how a company is doing over a period of time. This information forms the basis of a company’s report and legal filing reports.Careers Explorer
An accountant is a professional practitioner of accounting – the measurement, management and disclosure of financial information pertaining to a business or individual.
They will handle all financial record keeping for your business including:
- Paying employees
Another vital part of the accountant’s trade is also keeping abreast of the constantly morphing world of taxation law and regulations to ensure your business is legal.
A small business accountant can help your start-up business to flourish. They help to offer insights into your business’s financial health that you might not have extracted by yourself. They help you stay organized, keep your cash flow healthy and simply make your business more efficient.
Can I Do It Myself?
Running a small business or start-up can be stressful and you’re probably trying to cut down costs as much as possible. One way of saving money you may have considered is doing your own business finances.
Doing your own accounting is easier than ever in the modern, technology-driven world.
There are multiple online bookkeeping services and invoicing platforms, as well as abundant resources on small business finances and basic accountancy courses. These online services help you to easily manage your invoices, payments, and other vital parts of business mechanics. There are also project management softwares for accountants that can help with financial reporting and client data histories.
Do you have an accounting background or a good understanding of business finances? If so, this might be a good way to go.
You do not suddenly develop accounting skills when you decide to open a business! All of the accounting language and jargon can seem like a lot to digest when you have a lot on your plate already.
For those with little to no experience with accounting, opting to do-it-yourself could be an expensive mistake, both in the long and short term. A good accountant can offer much more to your business than just number crunching. They bring a wealth of knowledge, skills and networking to your business, helping you to grow.
To begin with, the responsibilities of balancing your own books seem manageable. As the business grows (which it will!), the time spent will increase, as will the level of complexity.
Now, you appear to be spending more time doing accounting than actually running the business! How did that happen?!
So, before you decide to dive headfirst into doing your own accounting, ask yourself if it’s going to be worth it. Whilst this method of business money management is perfectly legal and doable, it is easy to make mistakes when you’re now learning to understand what drives your businesses performance.
These mistakes can have consequences down the line which are difficult to fix.
Do I Need One?
The short answer:
Every business, unless it is being run by a professional accountant, could benefit from the professional scrutiny of an accountant.
Very few people enjoy bookkeeping unless they have decided to pursue a career in it. Even with the very best bookkeeping and invoicing software, it can still cause more than a few head-to-palm moments.
Neglecting the responsibilities of accounting, even once, can quickly snowball into a scary, seemingly insurmountable problem.
Whilst hiring an accountant can seem expensive in the short term. But, it is an investment that will pay for itself many times over. Whilst we hope your business expands, an accountant for a small business usually doesn’t need to be full time.
Outsourcing your accounting to a firm or freelance professional is a great way to work. You don’t have to train or hire an accountant and these firms often charge a flat rate each month, making it more affordable to businesses still in their infancy.
What If I Just… Don’t?
We’re not sure it’s possible to ignore your business accounting completely. Even at the most basic level, you will be working out your income and profit. Check out our simple balance sheets. They’re free and easy to download!
At best, you will have no idea how your business is performing or how much money you’re making. At worst, you will end up breaking the law with penalties related to unpaid tax.
How Can Finding A Great Accountant Benefit My Small Business?
Small businesses that use management accounts to inform their decisions were found to grow 28% above their respective market average. There’s no denying that assistance of an accountant can aid in numerous ways. Here are just a few concrete examples:
Speaking to an accountant or financial advisor, even before you begin your business, is a great idea. They can help you understand the fundamentals of business management and establish a basic business plan. This is an invaluable way to find realistic goals to work towards and methods to implement them, rather than walking blind.
Grow Your Business
Once your business has started, an accountant can help you plan and suggest ideas for future direction and expansion. Many small business accountants have watched small and micro businesses blossom from startups to well-established profit machines and so are uniquely placed to help you do the same.
They will know your numbers inside out and will be able to offer sage and reasonable advice about how to grow your business – and avoid the pitfalls. It can be tricky, and often scary, to decide when to employ more people, move to bigger premises or invest in new stock.
A skilled accountant of a small business can be the difference between accelerating your business growth and profits and making poor business decisions.
It is undeniable that running a business is time-consuming. It can often seem as though there simply aren’t enough hours in the day.
An accountant will save your business money by freeing up your time to concentrate on the most important thing – running your business. By cooking your books for you, they can give you the salient financial information in an easily digestible format.
Now you will be able to focus your energies on building your client base and improving your company, while a trusted professional worries about things like tax deadlines.
Improve Cash Flow
Regrettably, starting a business can be like navigating a minefield, and 82% of small businesses fail as a result of cash flow issues. Accountants will help you lay solid financial groundwork in the early stages of growth to give your business the best possible chance.
They can also help steer you in the right direction for loans, increasing overdrafts, selling shares, crowdfunding or additional finances, as well as making the business more attractive to investors – without putting your business at risk.
Having a good small business accountant at the helm is like having a good captain for your ship. They have insight and knowledge that you couldn’t glean simply by doing the bookkeeping. As a result, they can help accurately predict cash flow and keep it steady and secure.
One of the most underrated aspects of employing an accountant is the fount of knowledge that they represent. They have first-hand experience of what it takes to make a business work, which makes them a crucial source of information.
They know more about your business’s finances than anyone else. As a result, they are ideally placed to give you personalised and appropriate advice.
They will know tips and tricks to help you grow your business, such as knowing which business directories will help get your small business noticed.
They are also impartial bystanders. It can be hard to be objective about your business when you’ve poured your heart and soul into it. An accountant brings a healthy dose of realism to the table to help you make the most intelligent decisions.
A vital part of growing any business is making valuable, and tactical, connections. Accountants are perfectly placed to help point you in the right direction.
They should be able to introduce you to others who might help you to develop your business personally as well as useful connections for growth or expansion.
Whilst it seems counterproductive to say that an expenditure is a good way of saving money, it is!
Small businesses rarely need full-time accountants, so an accounting agency or freelance accountant often requires a fixed fee each month. This means that it is easily and predictably incorporated into your monthly or yearly outgoings.
Accountants can help you save money in multitudes of ways. Well, as the old adage goes, time is money. Accountants free up your time to focus on running your business and generating new leads and increasing profits.
They also help manage your money as efficiently as possible, streamlining your outgoings into the most efficient model. Speaking of saving money… Let’s talk about taxes.
Let’s be real:
Very few people can honestly say they’re on top of their country’s taxation laws. An accountant is paid to be.
This means that they can save you money on taxes by ensuring you are paying precisely the right amount. They will make sure that you’re making use of any allowances you are entitled to by law and not paying more than you should.
It also means that you won’t be stung by late submissions penalties, as accountants base their work around the tax year.
Their attention to detail will also be beneficial if you’re singled out for a tax audit. Your confidence in your accountant’s abilities and their meticulously kept records ensure the minimum hassle for you and your business.
Once you begin employing people, business accounting can get much more complicated. It is also doubly important to avoid mistakes.
Having an accountant on hand to make sure everyone is being paid as they should will put you, the business owner, in a much calmer headspace. It will also be a relief for employees who can rest assured that their livelihood is being handled by a skilled professional.
Whether you want to take on more staff or need to tackle childcare vouchers, investments or any other financial hurdles, your accountant will be able to help you tackle anything that crops up in the future.
They can help with dealing with change and unforeseen circumstances, such as Brexit or Coronavirus. There is no need to deal with these situations blindly and without knowledge. A good accountant will be a steady advisor to help you deal with whatever life throws at your business.
How Can I Find A Professional, Small Business Accountant?
Once you’ve decided to take the plunge and look for a professional accountant for small businesses, there are a number of ways of finding one.
You can ask around your colleagues and other businesses for recommendations. You could also place an ad online or use LinkedIn to find accountants available in your area. Most have websites you can check out before you reach out to them too.
The most convenient way of finding a trusted small business accountant in your area is by using our accountant directory. It simplifies countries by region and gives you a convenient list compiled of your options. Simple!
What Should I Ask A Prospective Accountant?
Finding your perfect accountant might take time. It is important to find a business or individual who fits well with your needs as well as your business and what it is trying to do. Here are a few things you should figure out before hiring one:
- Their qualifications – are they sufficiently qualified and registered with a professional body, like the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)?
- Do they specialise in your size of business? As a start-up, it’s not the best idea to employ an accountant whose clients include huge, multinational corporations
- Have they had similar clients before? Talking to existing clients can be a good way to gauge if this is the right accountant for your small business.
- Are you on the same page with communication? If your accountant wants to send you monthly updates but you prefer them weekly, it may not be a lasting professional relationship. It is also a good idea to check you have matching expectations about methods of communication i.e. monthly meetings, Skype calls, emails etc.
- Do they have the right services for you? Being upfront about your requirements ensures you will get the right package and the accountant is aware of your needs
- Is the price right? It is important to know when a service, including an accountant, is out of your business’ price range. Make sure you know what services are included with this price and if there are any extras. Is it by the hour or by the month? Does it include meetings? How often do they expect to be paid? What happens if the business dramatically expands?
Building a successful business is more accessible than ever in our fast-moving, connected world. Our simple directory will help you find the right accountant for your small business quickly and efficiently. This will help you to build the strongest and most successful business possible!