Many small business owners have weighed up the merits of getting an accountant. The main question being will it be worth it? When your operating budget is rather frugal, deciding whether you need an accountant could lead to sleepless nights.
To help you decide on what is most appropriate you must first appreciate the serious implications to a business when irregularities due to accounting mistakes are identified during an audit or on a tax submission. Suspected tax evasion carries a significant fine and, or jail term. A large corporation or small business could suffer irreparable damage to reputation or worse, the business may not be able to recover after the negative financial setback. These are some of the important reasons why you would need an accountant.
Good accounting practice is essential right from when a business starts trading. At inception some small business owners may feel that the low trading volume simply necessitates them keeping the customer receipts and invoices, until ‘things pick up.’ Once more good practice suggests that a business should keep a simple, but thorough record of all transactions and be able to produce reports as and when needed. Just as an excellent financial management system is foundational, so too is a poor financial management system.
The main reason you need an accountant is to ensure that your accounts will be prepared by a knowledgeable and experienced person who will pay meticulous attention to detail. If costs are a serious challenge you can do some of the set up and preparatory work yourself and consider some options online. Yes, it is possible to find a good account at reasonable rates online. Although the start-up may choose to undertake some fundamental steps in the accounting process it is not recommended for the entrepreneur to handle the entire process. In any event, there are steps which would necessitate a qualified accountant.
A prospective small business owner would need an accountant as a consultant right from the start of the process. This is advantageous since the accountant can familiarise themselves with your business at this early stage and you are able to choose the best person to work with from the start. When selecting you should aim to find someone who understands your position and can advise you on how to best handle your financial administration.
The professional you consider should be experienced in small business accounting, and preferably have worked with businesses that are in the same industry. For instance, you need an accountant who understands the nuances of small business practice. Many small businesses owners miss the opportunity to claim tax savings, rebates or credits due to them. In this example one needs someone who fully understands what expenses can be claimed such as travel, home office costs and even childcare in order to benefit here. A carefully chosen small business accountant will pay for themselves in the medium to long term.
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