Should I hire an accountant to manage my small-business finances?

An accountant can make financial bookkeeping and documentation easier by reducing your workload.

While the vast majority of businesses operating in Australia today are small, there's nothing little about the tasks that the average owner assumes every single day to keep the doors open. Whether it's reviewing inventory, putting together work schedules for employees, payroll, overseeing tech support, handling legal issues or fielding questions from customers, the to-do list is virtually never ending. It's little wonder why the World Health Organisation recently pointed to burnout as a very real occupational hazard.

Add managing your business's finances to the mix and it only adds to the stress. At the same time, though, you may be loath to hand off this task to an accountant when you're used to taking it on yourself, thinking that money matters are simply too important to leave to someone else. Plus, there's the cost of hiring and evaluation in order to pinpoint the best from the rest.

Here are just a few of the reasons why you may want to take advantage of the people who specialise in running the numbers and keeping your books fully updated.

Provides clarity about different business structures

Aside from the litany of products and services that millions of businesses offer, they also come in many different structures. The four most common include sole traders, trusts, partnerships and companies. All of these structures have similarities, but they also have certain distinctions that make them inherently unique from the other. An accountant can provide you with the details about each and why one structure may be better than another depending on your situation. For example, as a sole trader, the tax-free threshold is approximately $18,200, according to the Australian Government. There isn't one at all as a company. As a sole trader, you're taxed as an individual, whereas as a company, you're taxed as a separate entity. Hiring an accountant will fill in all the blanks you have about business structures and may be able to offer a recommendation about which one to select. If you've been in business for a while, a professional accountant may suggest why you should switch to something different depending on your short- or long-term goals.

Helps you find tax breaks

Few business matters are more vexing than tax law, as there are a litany of rules, provisos and conditions that determine what you need to report and is considered taxable income. Even if you're great at math or familiar with legal jargon, tax management can be extremely complicated and confusing.

Professional tax accountants specialise in handling all things associated with tax filing so that you can not only be accurate when reporting your revenue and income but also get the biggest bang for your deduction buck in return. Plus, professional tax accountants can do it all in a fraction of the time it would take to do it yourself – not to mention more accurately. 

Better understand how you're using your money

How you manage your money is one of the biggest factors in your ability to keep the business up and running. But since it's so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day tasks, you can get sidetracked from this core component of small-business ownership. The professional services rendered by an accountant can delve deeper into the numbers so you can see your biggest costs and whether you need to make adjustments to improve profitability. Succeeding in business is all about recognising where things are going wrong and where things are trending in the right direction. An accountant has the skills, perception and analytical reasoning to highlight negative or positive trends and what you may need to do to withdraw or deploy resources more efficiently.

Can assist with scaling

If your earnings continue to keep you in the black, you may be thinking about growing your business by taking on more accounts or adding locations. However, scaling too soon can lead to losses if you don't think about the ramifications of new administrative pressures and obligations. An accountant can help you see the big picture as to the pluses and minuses of scaling now versus later. They can also mention issues that you may not have considered regarding whether a particular location is a worthwhile place to set up shop. This may include issues like how the cost of rent differs from what you're spending now, and if it does, what solutions you can come up with that may offset higher operational expenses. In short, an accountant can serve as a reliable and experienced sounding board for intelligent decision-making. 

That's really just the beginning. Contact the specialists at WMC Accounting. After seeing what we can do for your business, you just might wonder what took you so long.

Latest Business Accounting Articles