Ok, for those small business owners out there who think you do not need an accountant because you have the latest version of Quicken or financial software, think again. For those few select business owners that actually are proficient in accounting and book keeping and are happy with your business the way it is… you can stop reading now. But for the rest of business owners who hire accountants to do their books and prepare quarterly statements and tax returns, there is so much more your accountant can do. The question is, to what degree should you involve your accountant in your business?
Most book keeping is done with computers now, and most business owners use computers to keep track of there purchases, expenditures, and cash flow. An accountant is the person that makes sure all this data is filed correctly and will submit that later for tax purposes. Doing your own taxes is simple for an individual, but for a former business owner, I tried one year to do that, and it was a nightmare. So I hired a CPA to help me with that. It was expensive, and I thought twice about it next year. (But I still made use of their services). This one on for a few years, until I got out of the business. The problem was, I never developed a good relationship with my CPA, and now I know how much more she had to offer.
So, besides basic bookkeeping tasks, a CPA can offer the following services, and can really help increase productivity of your business if used to their fullest potential. Here are some agendas you could involve your CPA with your business:
Involve your CPA on the ground level with taxes in mind. By not just submitting your books to them for tax purposes. Instead, meet with them early in the year, perhaps they can advise you of ways to say legally on your taxes. A CPA can provide you with solid business advice too, as probably many of their clients are in the same business as you, they have seem common mistakes and common successes. Its important for you to listen to their advice. Work with them on book keeping software. Ask their opinion of what kind to install, and let them train you with that. It will help proficiency. Accountants can help you prepare a loan application, should you need cash to purchase equipment, or expand your business. Bankers like in depth loan applications and data… and a CPA can help you produce this. If you are in a restaurant business, an accountant can help you file for all necessary licenses and permits, etc. Also, a CPA can help you predict cash flow, eliminate waste, and tighten your budget thereby producing most cash in pocket. Something we all hope to have as business owners.
So remember this, “Ask not what your accountant can do for you…ask what you can do for…well no, actually you should ask what your accountant can do for you!
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