A business’ success relies on the work of its accounting and finance department, no matter its size or expertise.
A small business requires reliable accountancy with the right mix of skills, technological know-how, and experience. Finding the right accountant or accountancy firm is imperative, as their services not just guide you through the financial year but help develop the future of your business.
To ensure you make the right choice, here’s a small business accounting guide for you to follow:
Understand What You Need
Before you get around to looking for the right accountancy firm, it is imperative to understand just what your and your business’ requirements are.
Whether it is biannual bookkeeping or monthly financial statements you need, understanding what you want your accountants to handle is necessary.
More importantly, you cannot hasten this process. While you may be in a hurry to find an accountancy firm for your small business, you need to give significant thought to your requirements before finding out how they can be fulfilled.
This understanding not only helps you find the right people for the job but helps them figure out what you need.
This step can also help you choose between bookkeepers or certified public accountants. After all, the job description matches what you feel your business needs.
Narrow the Scope of Your Search
Once you have a solid idea of what you want, try to find the right accountancy firm as quickly as possible. While you may think it is prudent to take your time, you can save yourself from a lot of the hassle by simply narrowing the scope of your search at the beginning.
A simple way to do this is to look for firms that match your requirements at face value. What you are looking for is a firm that is not just good at accounting but can also be good at accounting for you.
A firm with prior small business experience is what you will want to look at immediately. Their history and previous successes can help you decide whether to approach them or not.
It is imperative to get references and recommendations for the right accountancy firm. They can help you shortlist certain firms and approach them knowing what to expect.
The guidance can also help you expand or modify your requirements before you with your possible accountants.
Ask About their Use of Technology
You want the best for your business, and a big part of that is making the most out of the technology available to you.
The same is true for your accounting needs, and you need to thoroughly ask a potential accounting firm about which accounting software they use.
What you want from them is an acknowledgment of the latest accounting software. Your business does not need old desktop accounting software, but something you can grow into 3-5 years later and grow along with your business.
You are not just investing in accountants but in the technology they use, as well.
Ideally, your accountant will also give you a tutorial on how to access and use the software so you can keep up with your business’ finances at any moment. And this is where cloud computing comes in as well.
Cloud technology offers you the flexibility, data security, and accessibility that you need to make informed decisions quickly.
Finally, having access to the accounting software and cloud services can allow you to be in contact with your accountants at all times. So you are there at every step of the way to guide and learn from them.
Learn How they Work
Nothing matters more for your business than finding out just how the accountants will help out. You need to have a detailed discussion with the firm about what you need before asking for their plan.
You can only check if they are the right fit once they inform you about what services they will perform for your business.
Some chief questions in this regard are:
- How often will you get financial statements from them?
- Will they represent your business in any dealings with the tax authorities?
- Are they available for queries 24/7?
You want your accountants that do more than crunching the numbers. You need to learn how sincere they are towards your business and just how they aim to help you out.
For that, you need to comprehend how they plan to work for you and in general. After all, it is your peace of mind that matters here.
Plan for the Future
A business and its operations rarely stay consistent over time. Your business will grow and change as the years go by, and this includes accountancy as well.
The roles and requirements will need tweaking, and you might need to develop your company’s accounting operations or change firms.
In light of this, it is crucial to plan and give yourself room to make any required changes. This includes a backup plan as well.
While you may be rigorous in your selection process, the accountancy firm you hire may not perform as well as promised. It is not prudent to stall accounting operations while you are searching for a new firm, and this is where your planning helps.
Options that you should contemplate are hiring temporary support and using freelancers. Furthermore, it is imperative to explore these options during your search for an accounting firm. They are not just a backup plan but a probable part of your company’s future.
Selecting an accounting firm for your business is a long and arduous process. However, if done right, it offers you the time and energy to focus on running and developing your business without having to look at numbers constantly.
To do so, you need to be meticulous when choosing a firm while also planning for the future to make sure you are never caught unaware.