The right accountant during a period of growth is critical for a company’s expansion. From setting up your company structure to getting through tax time and audits, bookkeeping and accounting is an important part of any business. Yet it’s not until a business is growing that many business owners realize they need a more robust accounting system than they’ve been using.
If your business has gotten to the place where it needs a stronger accounting and bookkeeping system, it’s time to evaluate your options. How do you choose between DIY accounting, hiring an independent bookkeeper, using an online bookkeeping service, or working with a boutique accounting firm?
Some small business owners who are working with a limited budget try to save money by doing their accounting themselves. Others simply feel uncomfortable handing over access to accounts and numbers to someone outside the company.
Unless you have an accounting background, DIY accounting can be time consuming and lead to costly errors. For example, you can hire an accountant to do your business taxes for a few hundred dollars — but doing them yourself may take you 10+ hours you could be spending on core business activities, and, of course, you can feel much more confident in making business deductions and when you hand your taxes over to a knowledgeable professional. ;
If you feel comfortable handling some tasks simply and quickly on your own, you might consider only outsourcing more time-consuming tasks like taxes and reconciling your books.
You might also consider hiring an accountant when you’re just getting started and need some advice on setting up your business structure or bank accounts.
Hiring an independent bookkeeper
If you do decide to outsource some concrete bookkeeping tasks, hiring an independent bookkeeper in your area can be a great option. Ask for recommendations from other business owners, and look for someone who is also a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). This way, you can be confident that their knowledge is up-to-date.
Note that most good independent bookkeepers specialize in a certain industry or type of accounting. Try to find someone familiar with your specific business needs — for example, if you run a tattoo parlor and rent out chairs to other artists, your accounting strategy will be different than a small manufacturer who imports raw materials and exports finished goods.
Using an online bookkeeping service
Because most accounting and bookkeeping tasks today can be done virtually, there’s been a boom in online bookkeeping services. This can be a good alternative to an onsite bookkeeper, especially if you can’t find a local person who specializes in your particular industry.
An online bookkeeping service manages accounts for multiple businesses, often through a suite of cloud-based tools such as QuickBooks Online, Xero, and Expensify. This lets you outsource your most time-consuming tasks while feeling confident that your books are handled professionally.
Hiring a boutique accounting firm
If you are only looking for someone to keep your books up-to-date, hiring an online bookkeeping service or an independent bookkeeper can be a good choice. But a boutique accounting firm can help take your business to the next level.
That’s because an accounting firm can create a bespoke solution tailored for your business — both in terms of the bookkeeping tools and services they offer, and in their ability to act as an advisor. An accountant can help you decide on the right legal structure, or advise you on how to manage your money if your business is growing at a rapid speed. Along with standard bookkeeping maintenance throughout the year, a boutique accounting firm can also help you establish reporting tools to help you measure KPIs and manage your business.
MBSATA offers small business owners a full suite of services, tailored to their specific needs. From expert accounting and bookkeeping services to accounting technology integration and CFO-level business intelligence, we can provide you the exact right level of accounting services you need to help your business grow. Get in touch today.