As the owner of a small business, you wear a lot of hats: CEO, head of marketing and even intern who buys the coffee. But taxes and number crunching are areas where a DIY approach can cost you, not only in time but also in IRS penalties for any mistakes. In an effort to save money, you might be torn between hiring an accountant or doing it all yourself.
When Hiring an Accountant Pays Off
Here’s when you should consider bringing on an accountant.
- Starting your business — If you haven’t launched yet, your accountant can make sure the numbers behind your business plan add up and advise you on the right business structure.
- Managing your books — Handling payroll, tracking expenses and updating your financial statements are all time-consuming tasks better handled by a professional.
- Forecasting the future — Your accountant can be your part-time CFO, predicting your future sales and finding ways to expand based on your past financial results.
- Preparing your tax return — Pretty obvious right? Tax season is when your accountant really shines. Not only will you avoid the hassle of preparing everything, your accountant may discover extra deductions to save you money.
Finding the Right Accountant
Look for someone in your area who specializes in small business accounting. If you know any other business owners in your area or are a member of a professional organization, ask for a referral.
You may not need to hire a full-time accountant. You could hire by the job, such as during tax season or when you’re picking a business structure. Some accountants also offer monthly bookkeeping and payroll services to their clients where you pay them a fee rather than hiring them as an employee.
Finding a quality accountant should be a top hiring priority. Next on the list, finding someone else to do the daily coffee run.