You’ve started a business and it’s doing great – so great that it’s starting to become more and more difficult to keep up with the bookkeeping and accounting. As your business expands, so do your financial demands. This will require you to be more strategic with your finances and dedicate more time to managing the company’s financial health. What are you going to do? Don’t panic, you just need a small business accountant.
Signs You Need a Small Business Accountant
The overarching sign that your organization needs a small business accountant is growth. This may entail using different business models, expanding your staff, and/or require more tools and resources. All of these indicate that your business is expanding in scope. Bringing on an accountant alleviates some of your workload demands while providing your company with specialized financial management. Here are some specific signs that you really need to hire an accountant for your small business.
More work is good for business, but that also means you have more revenue to prioritize and allocate throughout the business. Initially, this seems like an easy task, revenue might just be profit with a portion used to pay for base expenses. However, as your work increases, consider the need to effectively conserve revenue while also distributing the wealth to ensure high-quality work continues. This is a big task, requiring both an aptitude for financial management and the time to examine cash flow thoroughly. If you’re handling accounting alone, this cuts into your time focused on developing your business. Hire an accountant to help you fund and plan your operations more effectively.
As your company grows, you’ll inevitably have more expenses. Whether it’s hiring staff to accommodate more sales or partnering with vendors, you’ll have more payments to monitor. This increase in expenses makes it more difficult to remain on budget and will likely entail increased taxes and fees. Bringing on a small business accountant helps you navigate business costs to mitigate, even avoid, major expenses.
Recording transactions and managing bills can be labor intensive as your business grows. What may have been simple in the early stages of your business can quickly morph into a mountain of bookkeeping. As the leader of your organization, your time should be spent overseeing operations and building customer relations. Hiring an accountant gives you more flexibility to focus on different projects and engage with customers.
Legal and Strategic Needs:
Besides managing revenue and expenses, you have to consider taxes and legal compliance. As your company grows, you’ll have to abide by more regulations and report your finances accordingly. You’ll also want to form strategies based on your financial data to continue making the right business decisions. Small business accountants, particularly Certified Public Accountants (CPAs), are equipped to guide you through such processes. In addition to general bookkeeping, the true value of your accountant lies in their effectiveness as a financial advisor. To keep moving forward, you need strong financial insight to achieve key objectives.
Hiring a Small Business Accountant
Choosing the best accountant for your small business relies on more than just qualifications and skill sets. While you should immediately look for relevant experience in the services you need, it’s important to invest in someone you trust.
In addition to general employment sites and business referrals, you can start your search by looking online at the national CPA directory. Here are some general things to keep in mind when searching for a candidate:
- Areas of proficiency/specialty focus
- Rates/salary requirements
- CPA certification and other credentials
- Educational background
When you interview a candidate, be sure to consider how well they can communicate. Besides being a number-cruncher, your small business accountant will also have to explain your finances and guide you through best practices. Be sure to always cross-check their references to ensure you’re dealing with a genuine professional.
Best Software Features for Financial Success
Hiring a small business accountant is a major step for your organization, but you’ll also need cloud-based accounting software for them to do their job effectively. The pitfalls of generic software like QuickBooks is that they lack the automation and flexibility needed for growing businesses. These features help you gain the functionality needed to support specific business requirements while also helping financial management be fast and efficient.
As your operations expand, so will the need for collaboration in your accounting lifecycle. Your accounting software should enable your whole team to easily view and share business data. A truly effective accounting tool will reliably connect with your other business apps so that all your accounting information and relative variables are easily accessible. For a trusted connection between your accounting software and other solutions, consider using a CRM like Salesforce. This gives you a comprehensive management platform for both business operations and accounting. Besides empowering your accountant, a strong accounting software will help your whole organization come together to achieve critical milestones.