Over 600,000 businesses open each year in the United States. Congratulations if you’re one of them! But, as any small business owner knows, there are a million and one things to keep track of, from inventory to payroll.
And one of the most important (and often neglected) aspects of running a business is keeping track of your finances. This is where accounting services come in. Stay with us as we help you choose accounting services that are right for your business.
Why Do I Need Accounting Services?
You might be thinking, can’t I just do my own taxes and bookkeeping? And, for some very small businesses with very simple financial needs, that might be possible. But, for most small businesses, it is not recommended.
This is because good accounting practices are essential to the long-term health and success of your business. Working with a professional accountant to manage your books can help you make sound financial decisions, avoid tax penalties, and plan for your company’s future growth.
What Should I Look for in an Accounting Service?
Now that we’ve established that you need accounting services, what should you look for when choosing an accounting service? Here are a few key factors to consider:
The Size of Your Business
Are you a one-person operation or do you have dozens of employees? Make sure to choose an accounting service that is a good fit for the size of your company. The needs of a small business are very different from the needs of a large corporation.
The Type of Business You Have
The type of business you have will also impact the type of accounting services you need. If you are a brick-and-mortar business, you will have different needs than an online business.
If you sell products, you will have different needs than a service-based business. Make sure to choose an accounting service that specializes in businesses like yours.
The same is true for the industry you’re in. Choose an accountant who’s familiar with the ins and outs of your industry to save you lots of headaches.
Your Business Goals
What are your plans for your business? Do you hope to eventually sell it? Go public? Expand into new markets? Choose an accounting service that can help you achieve these goals.
They should be able to provide valuable insights into ways you can save money, make more money, and grow your business.
Your Personal Preferences
This might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s important to choose an accounting service that you actually like and feel comfortable working with. After all, you will be sharing sensitive financial information with them.as well as preparing and filing your VAT, GST, and other taxes.
You should also make sure that they offer the services you need and that their fees are within your budget. Accounting services can range from very basic to very comprehensive (and expensive).
If you have a brick-and-mortar store, you might want to choose an accounting service located near you. However, with the rise of cloud-based accounting software, this is becoming less and less important.
Still, it might be nice to have the option of meeting face-to-face with your accountant from time to time. And, they should be intimately aware of the business laws and regulations in your state.
How Do I Choose the Right Accounting Service?
Now that you know what to look for, how do you actually go about choosing the right accounting service? Here are a few tips:
Ask other small business owners in your industry or network for recommendations. They might have some great insights into which options for accounting services are a good fit for businesses like yours.
Do Your Research
Once you have a few recommendations, it’s time to do your own research. Visit the websites of the accounting services on your list and read through their services to see if they’re a good fit for your business.
Reading online reviews helps you get a sense of what other small business owners think of their business accounting experience.
Schedule a Consultation
After you’ve narrowed down your list, it’s time to schedule a consultation with each of the accounting services on your list. This will give you a chance to ask them questions about their services and get a feel for their company culture.
Ask for Referrals
During your consultation, be sure to ask the accounting service for referrals. They should be able to put you in touch with some of their past or current clients so you can get an idea of what it’s like to work with them.
Last but not least, be sure to compare the fees of each accounting service. Remember, the cheapest option isn’t always the best option – but you also don’t want to overspend on accounting services.
Comparing accounting fees helps you find a balance between cost and quality to get the best value for your money.
What Services Do Accounting Firms Offer?
Accounting firms offer a wide range of services, from bookkeeping and tax preparation to payroll and financial planning. The specific services they offer will vary depending on the size and needs of your business.
Here are some of the most common services offered by accounting firms:
As a small business owner, you’re responsible for keeping track of your company’s finances. This includes recording all of your income and expenses, as well as preparing and filing your taxes.
Bookkeeping can be a time-consuming and complex task, which is why many small businesses outsource it to accounting firms.
Another common service offered by accounting firms is tax preparation. This involves preparing and filing your business’s taxes, as well as ensuring that you’re taking advantage of all the tax breaks and deductions you’re entitled to.
If you have employees, you’re also responsible for paying them on time and correctly. This isn’t easy for new businesses to master, especially if you have a lot of employees.
Fortunately, many accounting firms offer payroll services to small businesses. They can handle all aspects of payroll, from calculating employee wages to paying taxes and filing the necessary paperwork.
Choose Accounting Services That Meet Your Business Needs
Now that you know how to choose accounting services, it’s time to get started. By keeping these key factors in mind, you can narrow down the field and find an accounting service that is a good match for your business. And remember, working with a professional accountant is essential to the long-term success of your business so don’t skimp on this important decision!
Keep checking out our business articles for guidance on a variety of topics, from marketing to human resources.