What does an accountant actually do?
When they think of an accountant, most people picture someone sitting at their desk with a calculator and a portal to the tax office open on their computer. But great accountants do so much more than tax returns.
As a small business owner, you may try to minimise costs by doing your own accounting. However, you’ll quickly realise you don’t understand how to keep track of your finances, ensure you have cash when you need it and use money wisely enough to grow your business.
If you’re on the fence about enlisting the services of a small business accountant, here are 15 ways we can help you take better control of your business.
1. We can help you launch your startup
Many accountants come on board after a business has been operating for a few months or years but having one by your side from the start makes a great deal of sense.
Talk to an accountant about how to structure your business and what loan arrangements may be right for you. They can help by figuring out operating costs and sharing benchmarks so you understand how much revenue your business should generate.
Having an accountant from the get-go will save you from making big, costly mistakes. They can also put you in touch with a reliable lawyer, loan broker and insurance specialist.
2. We can help with planning
A basic accountant will look at your money retrospectively as they complete your tax return.
The good ones will also help you look forward.
Forecasting and goal setting is important if you want your business to grow and succeed. Work with an accountant to set realistic targets and track your performance.
3. We can create dashboards
Speaking of tracking, dashboards give you at-a-glance views of your key revenue drivers and how close you are to your targets.
Having access to real-time information will notify you if your business is at risk of losing money before you end up in a hole you can’t get out of.
4. We can troubleshoot
If those dashboards don’t look how you want them to, we can work with you to figure out why.
5. We can control cash flow
Many small businesses end up on the cash flow roller coaster, with ample funds in the bank one month and negative account balances the next.
Accountants identify your cash flow trends and look at expenses to create a plan. This means you’re more likely to have money to hand when you need it.
6. We can have honest discussions about debt
Not all debt is bad. Sometimes owing makes sense when it comes to cash flow. Other debt is the only option you can take to grow your business, and it represents an investment that will pay dividends in the long term.
Who knows how to create a positive debt strategy? That’s right… your small business accountant. We can also put you in touch with a broker to help you apply for a loan.
7. We can make sure you get paid
If your accountant is more than an ‘everyday’ service provider, they will keep an eye on who owes you money.
The result is fewer unpaid bills (which means less stress and a more valuable business).
8. We will work on your budget
Controlling cash flow is linked to your budget. It sounds so simple; spend less than you earn. But you need a budget in place to keep things under control.
Ideally, you will meet with your small business accountant regularly to review your budget and make sure it’s workable. It always helps to have an outside pair of eyes to question whether all your expenses make sense.
9. We can get you onto the cloud (and keep you there)
Your accountant will bring all your financial information into the digital realm so it is easy to keep secure records and reconcile accounts.
Using a cloud-based system saves so much time. A platform like Xero or MYOB can also be connected to a number of other services which help to automate areas of your business.
10. We help manage inventory
Speaking of systems, talk to your small business accountant about the best way to keep track of inventory so you don’t overspend on items you can’t sell or run out of the goods that your customers want.
11. We can support you as you grow
It’s not always easy to know when to hire someone and how much to pay them. Small business accountants have many clients who are ahead of you on the journey. We can share advice so you make the right decisions.
12. We can help you to establish a trust
If a trust is right for your business and or family, you can talk to your small business accountant about setting everything up correctly. We can work with your lawyers and take an official role in the process.
Read more about trusts here.
13. We help you to save money
Saving money isn’t just about getting rid of headcount or cancelling your weekly delivery of biscuits to the tea room. There are plenty of ways to reduce costs without compromising on the quality services you offer. We know a lot of the strategies and can apply them to your business.
14. We help you make spending decisions
You might want to make a purchase but not feel confident if it’s the right move. Let us crunch the numbers so you can make a more educated assumption about the outcome.
15. We take the stress out of tax returns
And yes, your small business accountant can look after your quarterly BAS and annual tax requirements. That’s bread and butter stuff but we take it very seriously to ensure you aren’t paying too much tax.
As you can see, an accountant is worth so much to your small business. To get to know a dedicated and well-rounded team that’s committed to your success, contact Imagine Accounting today.