At What Point Should You Hire an Accountant?
Successfully launching and operating a small business requires you to wear many hats—strategist, employer, personnel manager, and so on. That being said, as the business develops and grows, it can be challenging to keep up with everything. One area you absolutely don’t want to neglect is accounting services, which can impact a number of areas, from payroll to bookkeeping.
It can be hard to know exactly when is the right time to consider bringing a dedicated accountant into the mix. If you’re wondering, “Should I hire an accountant for my small business?” this blog’s for you. Keep reading for an overview of what an accountant can do for your business, the benefits of working with one, and some signs that it might be time to let an expert step in.
What Can an Accountant Do for a Small Business?
To better understand the scope of what an accountant does, let’s briefly look at the common accounting services for small businesses. Most people think of tax season, and that’s important—but so are ongoing matters. In addition to tax accounting, for example, small business accountants can also be leveraged to help in areas such as:
- Accounting audits
- Accounts payable/receivable
- Bank reconciliation
- Financial controller services
- Forensic accounting
- Payroll processing
Benefits of Working With an Accountant
There are five main benefits of hiring an accountant for a small business:
- Understanding the operations and financial condition of a business, accomplished through gathering business financials.
- Keeping financial records (e.g., receipts, purchase orders, invoices) up-to-date, accurate, and organized.
- Making financial records easier to understand and more useful through rearranging, summarizing, and organizing them to identify actionable insights.
- Improving financial decision-making through the points listed above, as well as leveraging the expertise, experience, and insights of a professional.
- Ensuring financial integrity by establishing controls for financial accuracy and reporting—among employees, customers, and vendors.
When Should a Company Hire an Accountant?
You may be wondering how to know when to hire an accountant for a small business. The truth is that small business accountants can provide value at each stage of a company’s formation and growth.
Starting a Small Business
In some cases, it makes sense to work with an accountant when launching a new business. Involving an accountant during business planning can help provide accurate financial projections and similar reports. This way, business plans can be realistic and achievable. In this stage, an accountant can also weigh in on the legal structure (e.g., LLC, corporation, etc.) and how to pay yourself in the most tax-efficient manner.
Managing Business Finances
Once the business is off the ground, an accountant can help in several different ways. Small business accounting can be trickier than you might imagine, but you can count on a professional to be in the know. They can help weigh in on key financial metrics you might want to track in order to make smarter decisions today and in the future. Understanding the details of how salaries and other expenditures compare with incoming and recurring revenue, for example, provides a foundation for keeping the big picture in view.
Planning For and Managing Growth
As a business grows, you might decide it’s time to delegate some responsibilities. Especially when you consider the potential consequences of accounting or auditing errors, delegating financial responsibilities to a dedicated accountant can provide invaluable peace of mind. You can worry less about tax audits, payroll issues, and more.
Ensuring Ongoing Compliance
Many small businesses opt to hire an accountant when they have to work with the government—such as tax audits or other matters of federal and state compliance. When you can entrust these matters to an accountant, you can be sure that all relevant documents are accurately completed and submitted, tax laws are being followed, annual and quarterly statements and forecasts are accurate, records are properly maintained, and so on.
In stages of transition, a small business accountant can help with transition periods. For example, this might involve weighing in on staffing needs or office space—and all of the details involved in these decisions. Usually through the use of accounting software, accountants can provide in-depth financial analysis to help evaluate the timing and viability of growth opportunities that may arise.
How To Find the Right Accountant for Your Small Business
Here are some tips for finding the best accounting partner for your small business:
- Decide what type of accountant you need and find one with relevant experience. If there are specific programs or processes unique to your business, you can look for accountants with expertise in those areas.
- If location matters, try searching for an “accountant or financial advisor near me” and then read and compare reviews. With the advent of cloud-based accounting platforms and virtual collaboration technology, physical location may be less of a dealbreaker.
- Gauge personality to ensure a good fit with your company’s vision, culture, and objectives. While these may seem obvious, you’ll want to vet potential partners to make sure they are:
- Advisory mindset where the CPA’s are proactively looking for opportunities to optimize your tax picture.
- Organized, detail-oriented, and up-to-date with the latest accounting trends and regulations.
- Excellent communicators, meaning they are not only easy to understand and work with, but they are also available and responsive when needed.
- Honest and credible, verifiable through customer testimonials or references.
Obviously, you can only gauge so much by reading over an accountant’s website, list of services, and marketing messages. We recommend asking any accounting firm you’re considering working with for references or customer testimonials, to add more context to your evaluation. At Delta Wealth Advisors, we pride ourselves on a collaborative approach—learn more about some of our customer outcomes by reading a few customer stories.
Start Your Search with Delta Wealth Advisors
At Delta Wealth Advisors, we understand that your small business is something you take seriously. We can’t imagine you want to trust a total stranger with your finances—there’s too simply too much at stake. Whether your accounting needs are minor or comprehensive, we’ll work to understand your objectives and help devise cost-efficient solutions.When you’re ready to talk, click the big green button on our website to schedule a 30-minute introductory phone call.