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Why choosing the right accountant is critical for small business

The importance of choosing the right accountant cannot be over-stated.

If you are a small business owner, no day seems long enough to accommodate all that you want to do. In all probability, you are a “one-man band” who wears many hats and has to handle everything from sales and marketing to purchasing and administration. The best way to tackle this problem is to prioritise and decide what you need to do yourself and what is best done by outsourcing work to other specialists – such as an accountant.

Almost certainly, you are unlikely to have accounting and tax expertise and this is a job that you should immediately trust to an outside expert. No matter how small your business, the right accountant is an invaluable business partner who can add value in many ways, beyond the obvious services of accounting and tax.  They will be a highly competent professional and examples of the areas where they can assist you are:

Accounting services. Like many small-business owners, you may have considered maintaining the books of accounts yourself and this is no bad thing because it will give you hands on familiarity with every aspect of your business.  However, it is wise to consider outsourcing – simply because it might take up a good deal of your time that would be better used elsewhere.  One way to handle this problem is to ask your accountant to choose a good accounting software package that is easy to operate and implement.

Tax services.  A good accountant will be pro-active about your tax planning and, well before the end of the year, they should be consulting with you to structure your business for maximum tax efficiency. You should, however, ensure that they do not flirt with the limits of tax laws and use dubious tax loopholes that could land you in trouble later.  They could save you quite a bit of money on tax that you might have otherwise unnecessarily paid.

Business advisory services.  An accountant can be a great help when it comes to designing and implementing business systems so that your business can run more smoothly.  They can help you carry out a cost benefit analysis to ensure that any investment in your business will have a positive impact on your bottom line.  They can help you draw up business plans that will serve as a blueprint and a guide. Finally, they can help you identify sources of finance and assist you when negotiating and finalising your funding.

As you can see, building up a mutually rewarding and fruitful relationship with your accountant will have immense long-term benefits. As they gain better understanding of you and your business, encourage them as part of their accounting services to be pro-active in suggesting ways to improve your bottom line. On your part, for any decisions that have major financial ramifications, you should seek to consult your accountant before making them.

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