Most small business owners handle the vast majority of their business financial matters on their own. If you're one of these and have no obvious problems with your books, could you still benefit from a checkup by an accountant? The answer may be yes, and here are three times when it could be one of the smartest decisions you'll make.
1. After Your First Year as an Employer
Most people think about what they need to do in order to hire the help they need. They may recruit independent contractors, hire a payroll service, and open accounts for payroll tax remittances.
But once your system is in place, are you certain you're doing the right thing in all areas of being an employer? For instance, failure to understand the differences between independent contractors and employees can be an expensive mistake if you're audited by any number of agencies. An accountant can look over your current payroll and hiring system to ensure you aren't accidentally breaking any labor laws and are keeping necessary records.
2. Before Seeking New Funding
No matter what you need new funding for or what the source — from investors to partners to banks to personal loans — have an accountant give your books a once-over check to make sure you present the best possible face. Trained in financial statements, GAAP, lending rules, and leverage, accountants will not only assess your financial standing but also offer recommendations to improve it before you meet with anyone.
3. When a Key Employee Leaves
The loss of a key employee — such as a manager or partner — is both a dangerous time and one full of opportunities. When key employees leave, you have the chance to start fresh with new ideas and new methods with the next employee. Accountants can help you get a jump on these changes.
The business, though, may discover that too few instructions were left and processes aren't clear. This can often happen if the key employee simply handled many tasks and the knowledge of them wasn't passed on to others. So, the remaining employees may need help getting up to speed. And you may want an informal accounting audit to ensure that the employee didn't engage in any wrongful activities or leave a mess to clean up.
Where to Learn More
Accountants can help small businesses at many points in the company's life span. These are just a few. Your business's needs and financial situation may call for a variety of others. And the best place to learn more about getting regular checkups from an accountant is to meet with an experienced accountant in your state today. Together, you can keep your company running smoothly from start to finish.