You may think you know the financial ins and outs of your business like the back of your hand, so do you really need the help of an accountant? You may have hired the help of an accountant as a start up, for advice on your business plan and registering your business.
But it goes way beyond finding help with your business plan. You need reliable advice about calculating VAT or PAYE, setting up payroll, and a myriad of other financial issues.
Your Accountant is a Business Partner
Your accountant is more than just a bean counter. Running a business is no small task. You’ll be busy 14 or 16 hours every day. You’ll be busy finding new customers, hiring employees, training employees, establishing business policies, and much more. Counting the money at the end of the day will be put off time and time again. Yet, keeping track of the early finances is one of the most important aspects of a business. Having a partner dedicated to keeping track of the money is always a good idea.
Accountants also give general business advice. He or she can advise you on how much inventory to hold. About whether to use a first in or first out inventory accounting system. Whether a cash basis or an accrual based accounting system works more in your favor. Accountants can even put you in touch with vendors.
Growing Your Business
Your working relationship with your accountant goes beyond the start up months. As your business grows, he or she will give you advice aboutraising additional capital. Your accountant is a good resource for finding future investors. When your financial statements are prepared by an accountant, investors have more faith that they are accurate.
But before you hire the first accountant you talk to, interview three or more. Take notes during the interviews so you can recall the services you discussed. Is the accountant offering to only do a one-time assessment of your business? Does the service include weekly and monthly bookkeeping? Is tax preparation included in the price quoted? But don’t make the decision based solely on the price quoted. In the end, you’ll be better off with an accountant that takes a detailed interest in your business.