Irrespective of the fact of how small the business you are operating, a good accountant always comes in handy. And as a small business owner who is short on cash, it might be tempting to take the help of the internet to handle your business’s accounting needs yourself. However, the smartest thing you can do is to get help from a professional accountant.
If you don’t have a strong financial accounting and taxation background, then you shouldn’t be doing your firm’s accounting.
There are way too many financial and legal issues that can arise from such an unprofessional and sloppy attempt, which will have severe consequences on the life of your business. Since you are starting on a small scale, you don’t want any trouble with the law or the tax authorities. In such cases, how do you find a good and reliable accountant who can handle your books properly? Here are a few factors that you should consider before hiring an accountant for your business
Budget and Fees:
It is one of the most crucial and probably the deciding factor. There are many questions that a business owner needs to look into before making any strategic decision. On what scale is your business operating? Does it have the budget to acquire the services of a professional accountant? There is no absolute answer to these questions. These answers are entirely precise and based on different situations, for instance, if a small business does not hire the services of a professional, then it may save money. But the opportunity cost would fall on the face of the owner, and they may have to undergo additional responsibility for filing taxes, financial reporting, and handling, bookkeeping, and data entry. It leaves the business less time to concentrate on strategic decisions, which is a high cost to pay. If you do take the help of an accountant, one thing that you need to watch out for carefully are the rates that whether your accountant charges a fixed fee or a flexible rate, which depends monthly on the number of hours. Make sure that you understand the fee structure carefully as a hefty bill is the last thing one needs at the end of the month. For large scale businesses, operating even on a day to day bases without any prior instructions from accountants would not be possible. Also, if the company does manage to somehow survive in the short term, it would have to cease its operations in the long run.
What they Can Deliver:
Although when you are operating a small business, you probably might just need the help of a general tax adviser and an accountant. However, as your business grows, you might need to take the help of a specialist accountant who deals in the field you are operating in. It is essential to seek advice from experts who have the right background and experience of dealing with major financial problems such as mergers, acquisitions, and raising equity, which can occur once your firm grows in size. Before you commit to someone, you need to make sure that their business needs are the same as yours.
Know what you need:
Hiring an accountant can be considered as a crucial decision, as you don’t change your accountants often. Before you hire someone, do a thorough background check on them, as they will ideally be staying with you for long. They must know the ins and outs of the business so that they can give honest and sincere advice at the time of strategic decisions. So, before you hire someone, it is imperative that you know what you want from them and that whether they have the best interest for your business or not since these people will share strategic advice with you which can either make or break your business.
One reliable way to avoid any undue risk is to go with the flow. In this case, while trying to seek the services of a professional accountant, it is advisable to do market research before you commit to anyone. Talk to your peers, associates, and business owners who are operating in the same industry. Approach those who can give you an honest and sincere opinion as to whom one should employ or avoid. Do your research thoroughly and use the internet if you have to, and don’t be afraid to double-check references. All this effort might save you the unfortunate experience of hiring someone incompetent or, in the worst-case scenario, a fraud.
One last thing before you choose an accountant is that whether they are competent or not. It does not necessarily mean that they lack the knowledge or skills but could be lacking standard practices and processes of the industry. It could also be implied that they are not aware of the current trends and the latest development in the International Accounting Standards, which makes the previous ones null and void. Nowadays, there are many accounting software that is being used. So you need to check whether the accountant that you are hiring has the skill set to operate such software professionally and that whether they can integrate your accounting system into such software.
Hiring an accountant for a business can be a tricky experience as you need someone who is not only reliable and experienced but also someone who can help you out with your forecasts, growth, and planning. They have the power to make or break a business, and one needs to think before they hire someone on such a strategic position