What does an accountant do… and how can one help your small business?
If you ask most people, “What does an accountant do?” most would say they handle taxes and financial tracking. But there is so much more a small business accountant can do. They can help you with the administrative tasks associated with your financial management. But they can also help you run your business with more insight, confidence, and financial stability. You might think you know what an accountant can do for your small business. However, if you have yet to hire one, you really don’t have the whole picture. Let’s take a look at what accountants do, and what they can do for a small business, including yours.
What Does an Accountant Do?
If you own a small business, you probably know first-hand what it’s like to try to keep up with all of the tasks that need doing, obligations that need meeting, and hats that need wearing. You were most likely the one to open the bank account, write the first invoices, and track the finances. This was all fine in the beginning when you were just getting rolling. But as your business grows, there is much more to your business accounting than you bargained for. And that means more and more of your valuable time gets eaten up by accounting. Especially if you’re not an accountant, which most small business owners are not.
If you’re up to your ears in bills and invoices, pay stubs, bank statements, and tax codes, and you feel like it’s all you do, it’s time to take a step back. An accountant or accounting firm can take all of those chores off your plate. That will free up your valuable time to focus on your business, your staff, and your customers.
An accountant for your small business does not need to be a CPA. A professionally trained, experienced accountant can handle everything you need to keep your business humming along. They can manage the bookkeeping, including keeping track of all of your transactions. Also, they can send and receive invoices, prepare financial documents and reports, create balance sheets, audit your books, prepare for tax time, and so much more.
The Role of the Accountant for Small Business
In addition to basic financial record keeping, accountants can support your business in ways you might not expect. Here are some other shoes your accountant can fill:
To avoid the common startup mistakes many entrepreneurs make, bring a consulting firm on board to help with some important decision making. These decisions include entity selection that can impact your tax status, obtaining the right tax ID numbers, choosing your accounting software, and ensuring you have the right capital funding.
An accountant can assist you in developing a budget that will support you effectively, and that considers staffing, overhead, cash flow, and expenditures.
Financial statements and reports
Your financial reports can look any way you want them, but investors and bankers want financial information formatted specifically to their needs. A good accountant can customize your reports and statements for you and for third parties.
Administration of your fixed assets
Tracking capital expenditures is a task you just don’t have time for, though it’s a necessity. Your accounting firm can track these and help determine depreciation for your business and your taxes.
Reconciling all of your accounts and credit cards can take valuable time out of your day. But your accountant can do it and verify it in QuickBooks.
Manage accounts receivable, accounts payable, billing, and invoicing
Instead of using your valuable time, or taking the time of your staff and resources, let an experienced accountant handle the administration of your accounts receivable and payable.
Running payroll through your QuickBooks or other accounting software is a great way to keep all of this important data in your accounting system. But payroll management can take an enormous amount of time, especially as your company and your employee headcount grow. Accountants can process payroll using your QuickBooks to retain hours, salary, wages, benefits, and tax information.
Accountant or Bookkeeper?
You might feel like what you need is a bookkeeper more than an accountant – someone who strictly manages data input and records transactions. The role of the bookkeeper is to generate and track data regarding an organization’s financial activities. This role is critical for any business as the information must be correct for a company to thrive and grow, not to mention accurately file their income taxes.
An accountant can manage bookkeeping tasks, but they take it one step further. They take that data and turn it into usable information. This information is vital for reporting, audits, taxes, income statements, and balance sheets. Why is this so crucial? Because without this analyzed data, you can’t effectively forecast for the future, understand the trends of your business, and realize opportunities for growth.
Why Outsource to an Accounting Firm?
There are only 24 hours in a day. We all wish there were more, and we try to squeeze as much into those hours as we can. But your time is valuable, and it’s important you focus it on your business. No one knows your company, products, and services as you do. Instead of taking time out of your busy day to manage the books and accounting, a task you are most likely not trained for or experienced at, hand over the reins to a professional, or a team of professionals.
Want to hand over the whole kit and kaboodle or just specific components? An accountant for small business can help manage your workload. They can professionally handle your accounting, including preparing your taxes, as well as support and advise you on your investments, staffing, budgeting, forecasting, business strategy, and more.
Where to Turn for Professional Accounting Services
Do you need an accountant for your small business? Maybe not. But if you want to take advantage of the freedom to do more with your time, the expertise an accounting firm offers, and the information, data, reporting, and guidance they can provide, it might be time to reconsider.
At Accounting Partners, Inc., we pride ourselves on providing customized services to our clients. That includes bookkeeping, tax preparation, payroll, consulting, and more. Call 678-990-0924 for a free consultation to learn how a small business accountant can change how you do business.