If you are a small-business owner, there are many good reasons to hire an accountant at various stages of your company's growth. Whether you are a brand-new startup or have been in the business for a few years, an accountant can make your life easier by unburdening you of many responsibilities and helping your business grow.
If you're concerned about the cost of an accountant, consider the hidden costs of not hiring one. How much time do you spend each year struggling over taxes, only to overpay them or miss important details? This is time which could instead be spent building your company. Hiring an accountant to help you out will likely cost less per hour than the time and money you lose by doing it yourself.
What do accountants help with?
Accountants can help you with your business activity statement, which is used to calculate your owed Goods and Services Tax. They are able to identify business tax concessions you qualify for and give you advice on how to maximise your deductions. An accountant can also analyse why a past bill was higher than it was supposed to be and help you avoid the same mistakes in the future.
In fact, you may not need to be filling out a business activity statement at all! Did you know that if your business turnover is under $75,000, you're not required to register your business as GST active at all? Quickbooks warns, however, that unqualified businesses are then not allowed to charge GST on invoices or refer to them as 'tax' invoices. If you fraudulently report on this, you could end up in hot water with the ATO. An accountant will be up-to-date and well-versed in tax law, and can get you the best possible deal in compliance with legal limits.
Accountants also help with finances. They can analyse financial statements and reports, measure key metrics, and identify areas of inefficiency which could benefit from improvement. Accountants can help you figure out why your expenses are so high or why profitability hasn't increased with sales. They can help you look at your debts and strategically advise on how to go about paying them back.
Delegating financial affairs is a smart choice, especially if you don't have a background in finance. By doing so, you'll have more time to focus on your business, and you'll also be able to relax knowing that the company's money-related affairs are in good hands.
Business Loans and Overdrafts
Ever since the 2008 financial crisis, banks have been hesitant when it comes to giving out loans, especially to small businesses, which are considered a risk. They need to be reassured that the money given out in loans will be returned, and an accountant can help have all your paperwork in order to support your case and put you in a better position to get your loan approved. Armed with good accounting software, they can back up your loan application with facts and figures. An accountant will also be able to help provide your bank – and you – with figuring projected profits.
Not only can accountants assist with operations of existing small businesses, but they can also help new ones get off the ground. Quickbooks says an accountant can assist with navigating some of the administrative elements and tasks of starting a business like deciding on a business structure and whether or not you should register for GST. They also will help you understand and account for startup and operating costs, and create accurate and reliable revenue forecasts. In times of growth, accountants can help you through the financial and administrative stresses associated with opening stores, hiring staff and serving wider customer bases.
Finding an accountant for your small business
When searching for an accountant, it's important to ensure that they are certified by a body like the Certified Practising Accountants Australia. If your accountant is certified by one of these bodies, you can be assured they are qualified, knowledgeable, experienced and professional. Additionally, since only registered tax agents are legally allowed to prepare and lodge tax returns, you'll also want to check that your accountant is registered on the Tax Practitioners Board Register.
Some other things to consider when choosing an accountant and things you can inquire about directly during your hiring process are their services and areas of expertise, their main client base, their fees, and their software.
WMC Accounting in Geelong, VIC specialises in accounting with services including small business accounting software, tax preparation and business consulting. For more information about how WMC Accounting can serve your business' needs, browse the website or call today.