Accounting and bookkeeping are rarely tasks that spark joy. For many business owners, especially those with small businesses or start-ups, bookkeeping is something they do on a late Friday night. The reason? Many believe accounting is an expensive luxury and prefer the DIY approach. In reality, however, if you run a business, hiring an accountant is imperative. Not just because it frees up time and resources so you can focus on running your company or recharge (remember, work-life balance is essential if you’re a business owner), but also because it brings a myriad of other benefits.
What does an accountant do?
The tasks of an accountant are shrouded in mystery. Simply put, an accountant is a professional who prepares, checks, and analyses your financial affairs. Your accountant can ensure you’re compliant with the law and all local regulations, as well as advise you on legal ways to reduce your taxes or recommend schemes or benefits your business might be missing out on. In a nutshell, an accountant protects your finances by ensuring compliance, while also helping you realize significant savings.
Why do I need an accountant?
Reason 1: Save time
As a business owner, your first and foremost priority is running your business. This includes liaising with partners and clients, developing your products and services, and overseeing marketing efforts. This leaves very little time for bookkeeping. Having an accountant, on the other hand, means having someone who can check that you’ve filled all required forms correctly, takes care of compliance, and helps you manage operations by recommending improvements for your internal processes. By taking over your financial and tax obligations, your accountant saves you a significant amount of time and hassle.
Reason 2: Save money
One of the major mistakes business owners who DIY their own taxes do is filling in forms incorrectly. Navigating the tax world or dealing with new legislation can be a nightmare, but even a small mistake can result in a fine and put a dent in your profits. As a specialist trained to do that, your accountant can ensure all of your documentation is prepared and filed the right way. What’s more, they help you minimize your taxes by pointing out legal benefits open to your business that you might not be aware of.
Reason 3: Grow
A good accountant does so much more than just preparing your taxes. They understand your business and niche almost as well as you do, and can provide you with invaluable financial insights. Many businesses engage an accountant during the early stages to assist them with financial decision-making and identify—and fix—issues before they have caused a serious drain on your budget.
Your accountant can also help you measure your performance: a business aspect that’s commonly neglected by owners. Metrics such as the customers acquired, complaints received, invoices, and revenue increases, can make or break your business, and more often than not, failing to measure business performance is the reason why almost 90% of start-ups fail. An accountant can work with you to develop sound performance evaluations so you can understand how well your business is doing and translate these insights into long-term growth and sustainability.
When to hire an accountant?
So when should you hire an accountant? We’ve made some pretty convincing points about why you should involve an accountant at the starting state of your company, but many business owners turn to an accountant when they need help with company formation, loan applications, or tax investigations. Simply put, an accountant makes your life easier every step of the way.
Depending on your needs, a full-time accountant might not be the best solution. The good news is that there are many remote or virtual bookkeeping and accounting service providers: you can book a couple of hours of their time to navigate a complicated loan application or get some extra help during tax season.
On the other hand, hiring an accountant at the starting stage can help you focus on writing your business plan. The accountant can use their accounting software to add financial projections and other reports that can make their business plan sounder and more realistic; meaning: more likely to succeed. They can also help you manage your payroll and produce graphs to track key business metrics such as the ratio of salaries to total revenue.
Many businesses also choose to involve an accountant when they’re under a tax investigation. That’s a critical time to have a specialist on your side. They can provide invaluable advice on how to work within the investigation process and ensure you don’t violate any tax laws after your investigation has been closed.
A tax accountant can greatly reduce the time and hassle, especially if you’re a small business owner, juggling a few too many plates. In addition to ensuring your business stays compliant, your accountant can advise on how to legally reduce your taxes by taking advantage of business schemes and benefits your business might be eligible for. What’s more, an accountant is an invaluable advisor when it comes to measuring business performance and the secret ingredient for sustainable business growth.
Are you ready to hire an accountant for your business? One of the reliable accounting firms you can turn to in Florida is Swiftbooks, LLC. Call 786-204-2881 to book a consultation or to jumpstart your business with a FREE trial.