by Shane Adair, Marketing Manager
Although it's not the first thing on most business owners' minds when they start developing their companies, every organization eventually needs the services of an accountant. While many of the tasks these professionals provide can be handled by the owner or another employee, the skills and experience accountants bring to the table can lead to a variety of benefits. From finding ways to reduce tax liability to identifying a variety of potential improvements to financial security, accountants are an especially valuable partner for small businesses.
Finding the right accounting partner can be a long, time-consuming proposition for small-business owners. Use this advice to make the process easier and reap the benefits sooner.
Accounting is a field of great specialization. Some accountants work exclusively with individuals, helping with tax preparation, estate planning and many other tasks. Others focus solely on working for large companies or conducting audits. An accountant with small-business experience will be in a better position to help your organization succeed. Small Business Trends said it's important that a potential accountant have a good understanding of your industry and your specific needs, as well. Knowledge of and past interactions with things like industry-specific taxes and financial opportunities go a long way toward creating value for your business.
A great accountant does a lot more than prepare tax returns. Many of these highly trained professionals develop a deep understanding of the many financial processes that are tied to the audit, taxation and other forms of work they engage in. AccountingWeb said a great small-business accountant will help you dive into the details of your business and offer valuable insight that leads to positive change. Additional information that helps you make efficient, productive decisions is just one of the many advantages a strong accounting partner can offer.
Business News Daily pointed out the value of an accountant who can capably assemble financial reporting and similar documentation that's needed when your company wants to request a loan or take any number of other financial actions. While this is a task a business owner or staff member could potentially take on themselves, it's often not the best course of action. The chances for inaccuracies, missing information and other problems increase when someone without a strong background in such efforts is in charge.
Accountants learn their craft through education and on the job experience, but they are also professionally licensed by many countries around the world. In the U.S., individual states offer exams to those working in the accounting field to earn the designation Certified Public Accountant. In essence, this credential allows accountants to work with the general public. There are positions where the CPA title isn't needed, but working with your small business isn't one of them. When you work with a CPA, you know the person is a fully vested professional who has passed a rigorous exam that proves his or her qualifications.
Accountants offer a valuable service to all of their clients, and they can also provide insight into the financial workings of your business as well as suggestions on how to make positive changes. That means finding a strong accounting partner is a vital need for a small business. As you begin to look for an accounting partner, don't rush - take the time you need and make sure your choice meets these four important criteria.
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