Does Your Business Need an Accountant?
So many times business owners come into our office with wondering if they need an Accountant. This is usually how the scenario evolves when JBL Accounting & Tax Professionals, Inc. meets a new client:
JBL Accounting & Tax Professionals, Inc.: “Ok. Tell me what you are currently doing to manage your company finances.”
Client: “Well, not very much. I take in money and deposit it. I then pay the bills when they come in.”
JBL Accounting & Tax Professionals, Inc.: “So basically, if you have money in the account, you are doing well, if not, then not so much.”
Client: “Basically, yes.”
If you are in this situation you should not feel bad. If everyone was an accountant, we wouldn’t have a job. The fact is you either love accounting or you hate it. Very rarely is there anyone in between. For this reason, new business owners should truly seek out an accountant even at the start-up of their company.
To run a successful, growing, and well-balanced business – a business should have balanced and well-managed books. You have 3 choices when it comes to managing your corporate financial health. (1) Do it yourself, (2) Hire in-house accountant(s) or (3) Outsource to accounting professionals. Should I do it myself?
- TIME – At a minimum, you will spend about 3 to 4 hours each day on accounting if accounting was maintained at all.
- CONSISTENCY – Due to time constraints and other demands getting in the way, many business owners have a hard time being consistent in their approach to their financials. Financials won’t do you any good if you can’t keep them accurate.
- ACCURACY – Do you have an accounting background, taken accounting courses, or some other source of knowledge base? Do you understand the difference between cash and accrual accounting and which is better for you? Do you know about the latest tax laws and are you managing your corporate finances to get the best tax advantages at the end of the year? Do you have time to balance the bank accounts or research complex accounting presentation?
- MONEY – How much is your time worth? $15 per hour, $20, how about $40? If you spend 4 hours per day at a rate of $20 an hour, 5 days a week, you are paying $400 per week or $20K a year on accounting that might not be completely accurate and useful to help your business.
- USE – Do you know how to read financials, budget, forecast, do trend analysis, prepare and pay various governmental taxes or set goals? If all of this information sounds foreign then how can you create financial goals and forecast how to make money?
So now what? Now you have to decide if you should hire an in-house accountant or outsource to an accounting firm. Hiring an in-house accountant could be costly. Don’t settle for someone who can handle light bookkeeping. While this may help with lowering the expense for hiring an accounting employee, you probably won’t get the information critical to the success of your business. Not only will you have to pay a salary for this accountant you will have to pay additional employee taxes along with unemployment taxes. This will also force you to consider increasing your insurances and purchasing workman’s compensation.
This leaves you with outsourcing to an accounting firm. Outsourcing is the least expensive in the long run and you get more experienced professionals who want you to succeed because if your business grows and becomes successful then the professionals will increase their business as well. In addition, there are fewer delays in getting your financials completed due to vacations, sick days, or turn-over. Finally, accounting professionals are usually more up to date on federal and state laws and have the ability to help guide you in the best decisions for your business. How do you find the right accounting firms?
- EXPERIENCE – Be sure they have experience in your business industry and can handle the size of your company. You want to make sure they have a degree in accounting and have a good standing in the state.
- COST – How do the firms charge for the work being processed? Usually firms charge in one of two different rate structures – hourly pricing or flat rate pricing. Make sure to ask about contingencies and changes and how these will affect pricing.
- PERSONNEL – Accounting firms usually have multiple employees that will work with your business accounting. Make sure that your accounting will be reviewed by qualified management.
- ADDITIONAL SERVICES – Accounting firms may have additional services such as quarterly business reviews, bank loan package preparations, and/or other services.
What’s next? You need to research accounting firms and set an appointment with them. Ask as many questions as necessary to understand who they are and if they can actually help you. Remember you will be setting up a long-term relationship and you should completely comfortable with them.
JBL Accounting & Tax Professionals, Inc. values each and every relationship we have created. We work to maximize these relationships by keeping our clients up to date with federal and state organizations, increasing growth through knowledge and building our community one relationship at a time. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment at (615) 392-0522. You can also go to our website – www.jblaccountingandtax.com – and find out who we are and what we do.
JBL Accounting & Tax Professionals, Inc. is a professional accounting, tax, and payroll firm serving the Chattanooga, Tennessee area, including Harrison, Hamilton County, Ootlewah, Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia and Ringgold, Georgia. Our staff has over 30 years of experience in accounting, tax return preparation and payroll preparation. We would love to meet with you and gain your trust and business.