Hiring a business accountant is a smart move for any business owner, especially for small businesses. Experienced CPAs can help with everything from business planning and networking to long-term tax planning and bookkeeping. There are many different types of business accounting software to take advantage of in addition to seeking professional help from a business accountant. Having an experienced accountant on your side can help so many aspects of your small business, but especially in regards to taxes. This article will explore the benefits of hiring a business accountant and how often you should meet with them, as well as:
- What do business accountants do?
- What are the qualifications necessary for a good business accountant?
- How do you choose the right accountant?
- How often should you meet with your business accountant?
- What are the best options for business accounting software?
What Do Business Accountants Do?
Before you even consider hiring or meeting with a business accountant, you’ll need to have a clear understanding of what they do and the services they offer. Depending on the size and scope of your business, your accountant will have various roles and responsibilities. Business accountants can do everything from examining your company’s finances to ensuring your taxes are paid correctly and on time. They will notify you of increasing tax rates, problems like disappearing inventory, and point out growth potential. Investing in a business accountant is an investment in your business because they will become a valuable asset to you and help your company grow. Here are some of the other responsibilities of business accountants:
- Examine your company’s finances.
- Prepare financial statements and reports.
- Ensure financial data is correct.
- Provide bookkeeping services.
- Identify tax deductions you're entitled to take.
- Maintain your cash flow.
- Recognize problems like disappearing inventory, increased costs, or customers who haven’t paid on time.
- Identify potential growth areas by analyzing cash flow patterns, pricing, inventory management, and business financing types.
- Put together the financial reports you need to get investments and loans.
- Prepare your tax returns.
- Help with long-term tax and business planning.
Business Accountant Qualifications
Every accountant must meet a certain number of qualifications to work legally. These qualifications will vary depending on what kind of accountant your business needs. Accounting clerks need to have a high school diploma and some on-the-job training, while accountants require a bachelor’s degree in accounting. A CPA needs to have an accounting degree and additional certifications. When hiring a business accountant, you’ll want to make sure they have other credentials, too. They should have a great understanding of accounting software, tax laws, and business management.
Choosing a Business Accountant
Once you’ve decided you’d like to hire a business accountant, the next step is to choose the right one for your company. Some accountants might have more experience than others in your industry or business type, which could be very beneficial for you. When you’re just starting your business, you might get by with the help of accounting software. But once your business grows, it’s probably time to hand over responsibilities to someone with expertise and experience. Business accountants will help with taxes, accounting, and other financial functions to help your company run smoothly.
The first step in choosing the right accountant is to start looking for candidates. You should avoid searching solely on the internet, instead meet people in person to get a better feel for them. One great reliable source for finding an accountant is the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, which has a license verification directory of CPAs. This is a trusted way to find a business accountant who has the proper credentials for the job. If you would prefer to hire a female accountant, you can check out the Accounting and Financial Women’s Alliance to find a trusted female CPA.
Another great way to find a good business accountant is by word of mouth. Ask your fellow small business owners, even family and friends, to see if they know of any good accountants that would be right for your company. Finding a CPA to help with your business’s needs shouldn’t be too hard.
Meeting With Your Business Accountant
Determining how often to meet with your business accountant will depend on how big your company is and what you’d like the accountant to do for your business. Prices will vary by area, so it’s crucial to know how much you’ll be charged for the accountant’s work. Some businesses are large enough to have a staff accountant who can help them with daily tasks. The median salary for this position is $70,500 per year.
If you’d just like an accountant to check your finances quarterly and assist you during tax season, then you will get by with an independent accountant or by working with an accounting firm. Most accountants will charge anywhere from $100 to $275 per hour. Your business accountant should be available to review your finances regularly, not just at tax time. However, extra time may be needed to prepare for your company’s taxes. There is no clear answer as to how frequently you should meet with your business accountant, but rather it’s something that you can discuss with them to work out a plan that will best suit your company.
Business Accounting Software
Even if they do make use of a business accountant, most businesses still need to utilize business accounting software for their business to run. Business accounting software can help you manage your finances, prepare for tax payments, understand how expenses affect profitability, and let you know if you can afford new hires or costs. The software helps businesses know when they can invest in new equipment or technology and verify if their budget allocation is accurate. There are several options to choose from when it comes to business accounting software, including:
- Quickbooks Online
Benefits of Hiring a Business Accountant
Much like hiring a business lawyer takes away legal worries, hiring an accountant will help you grow your company without having to worry about financial matters. You will be able to focus on developing your business for the future, with the added benefit of having someone who will give great financial advice and ensure your company’s finances are always in order. Approaching finances and taxes as a new business owner can be challenging, but with a business accountant on hand, you will be prepared to face whatever challenges are thrown at you.