Sure, starting a small business and turning it into a successful outfit isn’t the easiest of tasks, especially if you’re on a tight budget. You have to figure out where to cut costs to pull it off.
You can, for instance, decide to handle the accounting part of your business yourself instead of hiring. Indeed, if you have an accounting background and solid grasp of business finances, then this can be an excellent way to drive down costs.
However, you can be setting yourself up for failure (and debt) if you don’t have any experience in managing the books of business. In other words, business accounting isn’t a “learn as you go” thing.
With that in mind, here’s a rundown of the reasons you need to hire a CPA as soon as possible when starting out. Think of it as a way to enable you to get things right from the get-go.
The Start-up Process
When you set up your business, there’s a host of actions that you have to take and systems you need to install to enable you to set your outfit for success. A Certified Public Accountant will;
- Determine the best business structure. Put differently – he’ll tell you if you’re better of running a sole proprietorship, partnership or an LLC corporation.
- Assist you in analyzing the finance plan of your business.
- Guide you on the best accounting software depending on your type of business.
- Provide help and guidance on how to open a business bank account.
- Make sure that your business accounting procedures are in line with the regulations and requirements set up by the government.
- Provide tips on what you should do to keep up with your day to day business activities.
- Explain why you should keep business and personal expenses separate.
Once your business is past the infancy stage, you will have to maintain a reliable accounting system set up by your CPA. At this phase, he or she will recommend specific action to ensure that your business is running smoothly. He/she will;
- Help ensure that the IRS doesn’t classify your independent contractors as employees.
- Break down your financial statement in a way that’s easy to understand. That way, you can grasp the ins and outs of your business.
- Oversee your businesses’ payment process and payroll.
- Guide how much you’re likely to pay during the year.
- Determine when and to whom you will send both your W2 and 1099 forms.
- Closeout your books while creating annual financial reports.
- Compile and submit your financial reports, taxes, and any other paperwork to the IRS.
Business Growth Stage
When your business is ready to take a steady growth path, you CPA will be a valuable resource that offers guidance helps you to take control of the process. At this phase, the accountant’s duties will include;
- Helping you pinpoint the areas of growth. He/she will provide insights into cash flow patterns, business financing, pricing, and inventory management.
- Providing advice on equipment and property purchase and leasing.
- Making sure that you don’t get audited by the IRS
- Creating financial forecasts to enable you to make sound financial decisions for your business
- Working with you to draft a business budget that will allow you to meet your business’ goals
- Provide you with advice and resources that will help you with the sale of your business if you decide to offload some shares.
How to Choose a CPA Accountant
Indeed, there’s every reason to get a CPA to help you run your business. The problem, however, is determining which account is worth hiring. Well, and CPA worth your attention should;
- Have enough experience. You want to deal with a person who knows what he/she is doing and most importantly is familiar with your industry.
- Charge a reasonable fee based on the size of your business. Of course, you should expect to pay more as your business grows.
- Offers all the services you’d expect from a qualified CPA. In other words, he or she should be ready to hold your hand and guide you through one step at a time.
- Be available when you need him or her. While your accountant may not make it to your business on short notice, he/she should be reachable on the phone.
- Have a good reputation. Consider asking for the accountant’s portfolio before you decide to work with him or her. You can also read independent reviews to find out what past clients are saying the CPA.
In conclusion, the last thing that you want to do is to run your business unprofessionally. So, find a qualified accountant to ensure that the financial status of your business remains healthy.