What Is a Small Business Accountant?
A small business accountant is different from a traditional accountants, where business transactions are recorded as income and expenditure. Suppose you have received money from your customers in your shop’s cash register. At the end of the day, you count the total sum of money earned for the day. That’s your income.
But it doesn’t work that way for e-commerce accounting, which is about collecting, analyzing, and organizing sales data. That financial data is crucial for making business-informed decisions. Unlike traditional accounting, the amount you receive from your customers isn’t sales. They’re net deposits, which include sales, returns, sales tax, and shipping a customer pays. It’s important to understand what is considered ‘sales’ and what isn’t when it comes to e-commerce accounting.
Now that you know the difference between e-commerce and traditional accounting, you might think about when to hire an accountant.
There isn’t a prescribed point at which to hire an accountant, but if you come up against these challenges, it might be time…
Small business accountants help with Business growth and tax returns
It’s common to handle your finances when you first start your e-commerce store, especially when you might not be able to afford a proper accountant. But as your business grows and you must submit tax returns, it might be a good idea to collaborate with an accountant to ensure your company is completely tax compliant.
Lots of demands on your time, and a small business accountant can help you focus better.
Growing an e-commerce business is time-consuming. Managing everything from customer relations to business development and even sales requires much time and effort. Finances will likely take low priority, so getting an expert means you don’t have to worry about it.
If you are an owner-operator of a small to medium-sized business, a question you may have pondered is, “why should I hire an accountant?” Is hiring an accountant worth it, and what should you look for in a potential accountant? In the world of accounting and finance, you will have many questions about what you should do. Where you should not be wasting your time of course, perhaps the most basic questions of all are what is it that an accounting and finance professional really does and do you as a business really need them or can you just do things on your own using run off the mill kind of software to get work done.
Operating within the professional services industry, accountants carry out many duties. The various obligations and responsibilities of an accountant include preparing tax returns, reviewing financial documents, conducting audits, analyzing accounts, forecasting, and evaluating operations to highlight potential efficiencies and savings, to name but a few. But that is only half the story. A great accountant also adds value in so many other ways.
Suppose you have ever asked yourself any of the following questions:
- Do I need an accountant?
- Should I hire an accounting and finance professional for my small business?
- Do I need a business account as a sole trader?
- Do I need a business accountant for a limited company?
If you have, the answer in most instances will nearly always be a resounding “yes” – your business can benefit from hiring an accountant.
How a small business accountant can add value
Many definitions of what an accountant does are relatively narrow and process-driven. Some accountants might indeed stick to the bare minimum, but the very best will add untold value to your business. The following are just eight of the many benefits of hiring an accountant:
The small business accountant helps in Spotting opportunities & threats
When you hire an accountant, they may promise you the earth, but you have to chase them for even the most basic information. That is the perfect recipe for frustration, and you deserve better. A great accountant will be proactive, going the extra mile to understand the numbers that matter most to your business and proactively spotting new opportunities (as well as potential threats) to support the growth of your business.
Saving your money by hiring a small business accountant
Good accountants should effectively pay for themselves. As a small or medium-sized business, making your tax burden as low as possible is essential to allow your company to flourish. A great accountant shouldn’t just take your money; they should save it! The best accountants go out of their way to highlight the best strategies for reducing your tax liabilities whilst always keeping you firmly on the correct side of the law and the tax man.
Small business accountant Provides help and advice
Your accountant isn’t just there to crunch the numbers. They can also offer a helpful listening ear whenever needed, drawing on all their industry experience to provide expert advice about various financial matters. From setting up a limited company to helping with your accountancy software, a high-caliber accountant will always be happy to help so much that you might even start thinking of your accountant as an extension of your team.
A small business accountant allows you to meet tax deadlines
The shifting tides of taxation rules and regulations mean that even the most organized business owners can accidentally fall foul of missing critical deadlines through no fault of their own. A great accountant will keep you on top of important filing dates and help you avoid costly penalties. With the right blend of diligence, good communications, and steadfast systems, your accountant will ensure your business never misses a tax deadline.
Advising on a business structure is a small business accountant’s key task.
Business is constantly evolving, which means that all business structures that worked when you first constructed a setup may need to be fit for purpose as your company grows. For example, if you begin operating as a sole trader, as your staffing and size of contracts increase, you take on more risk and liabilities. In this case, your accountant can advise you on the benefits of pivoting toward a limited company and will make incorporation a simple business.
Saving you time by hiring a small business accountant
Filing a tax return takes time. In fact, many financial processes take time when accounting isn’t your day job. Your accountant can take away the burden of completing critical financial tasks, such as completing your self-assessment. Knowing how much your time is worth, think of the time and money a qualified accountant can save you – not to mention the grey hairs! All of which will give you more time to focus on what you do best.
Reducing risk by hiring a small business accountant
Two heads are almost always better than one when making crucial business decisions. Therefore, having the counsel of an experienced accountant who you can consult regarding important financial considerations can be priceless. A great accountant will offer honest advice that protects your best interests. They may even be able to act on your behalf in certain crucial circumstances, like dealing with HMRC or investors.
Leveraging technology while hiring a small business accountant
An excellent accountant should always bring solutions to the table. Nowadays, there are so many time and cost-saving accountancy software solutions to make managing your finances easier. Your accountant can help you to leverage these technologies for maximum gain. They will help you to install and integrate appropriate digital accounting software – such as Xero, Quickbooks, Sage or FreeAgent – to make your accounting as efficient as possible.
Conclusion about hiring small business accountant
As you can see, a great accountant does far more than simply prepare your tax returns (as valuable as that is!). We have outlined eight benefits of hiring an accountant, but when you hire an accountant, you are sure to enjoy many more advantages over and above what we have illustrated in this comprehensive guide to hiring an accountant.
When you hire an accountant, they often become an extension of your team, offering valuable insights, advice, strategies and cloud-based technologies that streamline your operations, saving you valuable time, money and peace of mind. A good accountant should always be one step ahead of you, not vice versa! Any accountant can do the bare minimum, but the best ones care deeply about the success of their clients and go to great lengths to help them succeed.
IN Accountancy is well-qualified to summarize the qualities of a proactive accountancy firm because that is precisely what we are. But don’t just take our word for it. Here is what one satisfied client had to say about our services: “IN Accountancy is a proactive accountancy firm that sees beyond the accounts and adds value in their proactive approach, and friendly service. They help with business, networking and collaboration. They are far more than just the numbers and that’s refreshing.” We can provide all this and more for your business too.