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Choosing the right accountant for your business
Choosing the right accountant for your small business can mean the difference between success and failure. After all, it's your financial numbers that make or break your business.
Choosing an accountant? Be careful. There may be more riding on the decision than you think.
Unfortunately, once you've selected an accountant, it's a pain to switch. Your accountant gains detailed knowledge of you, your business and your data -it makes it very tough to transition to a new accountant. The end result is that many businesses that work with mediocre accountants don't make the change to a better accountant simply because the switching costs are too high.
Given the inertia that settles in after you've selected an accountant, it's important to make a good choice the first go-around. Makes sense, right?
Surprisingly, most business owners don't thoroughly consider their needs when selecting an accountant. That's because many of us who don't have a strong accounting background view all accountants as being equal.
But the reality is that all small business accountants are not created equal.
This article explains how accountants can assist your business and provides useful questions you should use to choose an accountant that truly can help your business grow, not somebody who just crunches the numbers.
What Do Small Business Accountants Do Anyway?
The increasing role of small business in the American business landscape and more powerful and accessible information technology has changed the role and importance of the small business accountant.
Why do you need an accountant? Some small businesses make due with a bookkeeper - someone to perform the tedious task of recording financial information and cranking that data into the necessary formats, like P&L statements and tax forms.
But a good small business accountant does much more than just record transactions and passively generate documents-they actively analyze, interpret and convert that data into actionable business intelligence.
Based on where you want to go with your business, they should be able to tell you how to get there. If your accountant is just showing you the financial tracks of where you have been, you've made a bad choice and you're missing out on a great opportunity to receive good business advice.
To be sure, today's small business accountant offers more than crunched numbers. They can be your primary resource for:
Tax Planning. Beyond simply preparing tax forms, an accountant should be involved in business planning through out the year. They should be able to regularly advise the business so it functions with peak tax efficiency.
Business Consulting. A good accountant should be able to help your business grow. Talented small business accountants function as a trusted general business consultant, assessing business problems and offering specific solutions. They offer advice on internal controls, risk management, lease versus buy decisions, inventory strategy, pricing, and even marketing. In short, an accounting professional who really understands your business from the inside out should be a trusted business advisor who is highly motivated to see you succeed.
Personal Finance Advice. A good small business accountant understands that your personal finances are integrally linked to your business finances. They view the two holistically and offer advice on both fronts. For example, while serving as your small business accountant, they might offer retirement planning advice and estate planning advice that is ancillary to your small business activities but that will ultimately leave you in a stronger financial position.
Technology Know-How. Computing technology has dramatically improved small business capabilities as powerful business software is no longer only for corporations and the Internet provides a level of access to knowledge, customers and suppliers hardly dreamed of even ten years ago. A good accountant must -- must! -- absolutely be proficient in applying the fantastic and inexpensive information technology that turns business data into strategic intelligence. They need to be very familiar with leading small business management software packages from leading vendors like MYOB, Intuit and Deltek:
Networking. While the strength of an accountant is still what they know, a mark of a successful pro is also who they know. Your accountant should be a good source of referrals as they should now precisely each of their clients' strengths and needs. Need to get a loan for your small business? Your accountant ought to be able to introduce you to the right banker.
Here at Sovran we pride our selves with the level of service we provide each client no matter how small.
Maintaining Proper Financial Records
Running a business whether large or small requires a lot of dedication and hard work. And with the competition that companies, no matter what the size, need to deal with today, staying abreast and making a profit can be quite a task. Therefore a smart business owner makes sure that everything is systematic and well organized, in order to ensure that the business runs smoothly and at the same time profitably.
What is Bookkeeping?
Bookkeeping is an important aspect of running a business that should not be undermined. Bookkeeping basically implies the process of keeping full, accurate, up-to-date business records. A new business owner might wonder why this is required. There are a number of reasons that make this an imperative aspect of running a business. Systematic bookkeeping can help business owners in effectively managing the cash flow while keeping a proper tab on it. This further helps them to ensure profits and at the same time helps in minimizing losses. Also with proper records in place, taking financial decisions and predicting trends can be a lot more realistic and accurate.
Other than the fact that maintaining proper records is beneficial for the organization itself, in the United States , the Internal Revenue Service also requires business owners to keep financial records that are complete and up-to-date. So as a result, there is no way that a business owner can ignore this aspect.
Bookkeeping also serves the purpose of calculating the tax that a company has to pay. At times a tax agency might want to investigate the records of a company to ensure that the tax computation is accurate. As a result, once again there is a need to ensure that the records are accurate, complete and also up to date.
The Best Method of Bookkeeping
Bookkeeping involves making a record of the money that has come into the business as well as the money that has gone out of it. It also includes making a record of all outstanding payments that need to be cleared or collected. The whole process of bookkeeping can be rather strenuous as well as time consuming. It involves utilizing a lot of man hours that can be used for other more productive tasks if not employed in bookkeeping. Yet, since this is important too, therefore this task cannot be ignored.
There are numerous organizations that offer Bookkeeping services for businesses of all sizes, but what is imperative is to find and organization that customizes the Bookkeeping services according to the requirements of your business.
Leaving it to Sovran Accounting Services
With Sovran Accounting Services, you can rest assured that your bookkeeping requirements will be taken care of in the best possible manner. Officials at Sovran Accounting Services are well trained and qualified to offer Bookkeeping services for businesses of all kinds and also of all sizes. They understand the importance of maintaining records properly and therefore put in extra effort to do so. Further, they also make it a point to work hand in hand with the organization so that they understand the business, the owners and the employees and maintain records in a manner that can be truly beneficial to the business. Looking at the situation from the point of view of a business owner, working with Sovran Accounting Services would definitely be a win-win situation.
Most importantly because this would help in saving precious man hours that with the assistance from Sovran Accounting Group can be utilized more fruitfully. Also since the officials at Sovran Accounting Services are well trained to carry out Bookkeeping services, the business owner can rest assured that the records would be maintained systematically and also accurately. As a result the business owner can concentrate on other aspects of the business that require his or her attention.
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