For most small business owners there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to complete all the tasks that you need to. And with so many competing demands on your time, it’s important to know when to enlist help to get you through the various stages during the growth of your business. While it’s likely that you will have already engaged an accountant to help with filing your tax returns, did you realise that an accountant can also provide important support and expertise at other stages? In this article we share some situations where an accountant’s knowledge could make all the difference.
Writing a business plan
This is an important first step for most small businesses, especially as it’s often used to support applications for a business loan or overdraft. Involve an accountant at this early stage and you will get the benefit of their insight and advice right from the outset. What’s more, they will be able to use accounting software to add financial projections, charts and graphs. Your business plan will, therefore, be more realistic and professional and as a result is more likely to succeed.
Helping with finances
Small business accounting is a complex and time-consuming task so if you find that you are spending many hours each month on keeping the accounts up to date, it may be a good idea to engage an accountant. You see, your time is probably better spent on drumming up new business rather than getting bogged down in financial detail. Engaging an accountant to manage the books will free you up to get on with other business-critical tasks. And you don’t need to hire one on a full-time basis or on a retainer – a couple of hours work here and there can make an accountant a cost-effective option.
Buying or selling a business
Consulting an accountant at the buying and selling stage is a must. If you’re looking to buy an existing business, then an accountant needs to examine the company accounts to make sure there is nothing amiss. Having that assurance that the accounts are in order and the business is profitable will give you greater confidence when making a decision to purchase.
And when it comes to selling a business, then an accountant will put your company’s financial records in order and can produce statements of account to show to prospective buyers. In addition, they can help you structure your financial affairs to maximise any tax efficiencies. For example, a lump sum can be less tax efficient than monthly payment over a number of years.
And so for small businesses, accountants offer much more than just filing tax returns. In fact, their knowledge and expertise can help you at every stage of your company’s development, helping you and your business to succeed.