by Michelle Adams | Nov 11, 2015 | Business
We all tell ourselves; ‘I’m an entrepreneur. I’m innovative, efficient, knowledgeable, tech savvy... what can an Accountant do for me that I can’t do myself …and for a fraction of the price?’ We’ve all been there right?
Many small business owners start out cutting corners by doing their own tax returns, in addition to doing just about everything else in the business.
I have some news you may not like.
There comes a time in a growing business when it makes sense to hand over responsibilities for tasks. In particular bookkeeping, taxes, accounting, and the rest of the financial functions should be given to specialists.
These days there are so many simple and affordable bookkeeping software packages and online solutions out there that it seems ludicrous to pay someone to do the bookkeeping for you, right? Did you know that most businesses end up spending more on Accounting fees by ‘saving’ money on bookkeeping? So many long hours spent at home entering those faded receipts into what you think should be the debit column of the software package that you purchased from Harvey Norman 10 years ago. These hours could be better spent making memories with your precious family.
As a business owner, you would be well aware that time is money. On average, a bookkeeper probably costs you around $50 per hour. A junior Accountant would charge anywhere from $140 per hour. When your Accountant has to sift through your transactions to investigate that excessively large ‘general expenses’ account that has reared its ugly head in your profit & loss report, this is costing you more money. It would have cost less for a bookkeeper to code your transactions correctly in the first instance.
Cash flooding in is great, cash flooding out - not so much. Everyone loves a surprise… just not the kind that come annually stamped with ‘invoice’.
More and more Accountants are jumping on the band wagon and billing their business clients via monthly packages. These packages are tailor made to suit every single business with as little or as much accounting, taxation and advisory assistance as you desire. The key to a healthy cash flow, is knowing when your income and expenses are flowing up and down your business stream. The more you can plan for expenses, the healthier your cash flow.
The amount of times your Accountant has lost sleep because you’ve phoned them about that new luxury vehicle you’ve just purchased in the company is terrifyingly high. If you had have phoned your Accountant before the idea turned into a contract, then she could have pointed out the pros and cons of your ‘spur of the moment’ brain wave.
Not all the ads on TV aimed at small businesses point out those nasty T’s and C’s - so it’s best to contact your Accountant to double check the fine print of business incentives and tax breaks, before you sign on the dotted line.
Your Accountant would really like to meet with you at least quarterly to discuss the progress of your business – it actually makes both of your lives much less stressful. She’ll show to you & explain your interim financial accounts. This will highlight your progressive profit for the year so far. This gives you a great idea of how much you need to put away for the upcoming end of financial year. It will also show you if you’re in a good position to replace some of those assets that have been slowing down your efficiency.
She’ll also be able to suggest and confirm all those tax saving tips and tricks your friends were gloating about at that BBQ. Unless your friends have a dodgy Accountant (which no one wants) you need to keep in mind that if you’re paying tax it means you’re making money.
By being a fan of the plan, you won’t be angry at your Accountant come year end if you have a tax payable - or if you spent too much money because you were racing against time for extra deductions which weren’t needed.
Now, before you start rolling your eyes hear your Accountant out. She’s not just transforming into a slimy salesman with her cloud pitch that you’ve heard a million times before. She knows that the cloud is your saving grace.
The cloud will automate the transferring of real time data to your Bookkeeper and Accountant. It will be in a format that is accurate and free from human error, and is current and ready to be analysed, without you having to do much at all. This will mean you need to spend less money on a Bookkeeper, as recurrent transactions are automatically coded to the correct account.
These days, you can get cloud accounting software with every function a small business needs, for as little as $29 per month. That’s awesome! Both you and your Accountant will be so much happier.
The role of your Accountant has, and is, constantly evolving. No longer is your Accountant a beyond middle aged bald guy with poor fashion sense and a fetish for numbers and spreadsheets.
Your Accountant is a Super Hero and she’s in hot demand – rescuing businesses all over the country. Not only does she rock your socks off with her number knowledge but she also has connections with the “business and financial” best of the best for your needs. From producing financial reports, to cash flow analysis, and even referring you to a handpicked qualified solicitor to write up your will - she’s got your best interests at heart. Your Accountant is your ‘Google’ for all of your business questions.
Remember your Accountant runs a business herself, so drain as much knowledge from her as you can to better your own business. If she doesn’t know the answer herself, she knows exactly who will. Your Accountant is the key to a successful business.