As a small business owner, you handle multiple responsibilities on a daily basis. One area where you can reduce your load is by hiring a CPA or accounting firm. These firms can ease the administrative load in terms of bookkeeping, accounting and even payroll. During tax season, your CPA can assist you in filing the appropriate returns and handling your audit. Additionally, using an accountant can often be more cost effective than hiring an additional employee. Below are a few of the duties an accountant could handle for your small business.
A CPA firm often employs junior accountants or full-time bookkeepers that can handle a variety of tasks for their small business clients. Some of these tasks including accounts payable and receivable, payroll, monthly and quarterly taxes, billing, bank reconciliations, monthly trial balances and general ledger entries. They may also create your financial statements, although these are typically reviewed by a full CPA before the client receives them. These tasks enable you to focus on other aspects of your business, while not getting bogged down in the administrative aspects of your business’ financials.
Budgeting and Audit Services
CPA firms also offer additional services that fall under the role of accounting. These include assisting clients to create a budget; preparing their tax returns for the federal, state and local levels; and finalizing your financial statements. Depending on your small business, you may need audit services to submit to government or regulatory agencies. A CPA firm can typically perform these audits and present their findings in a specific format to match your needs. Other firms may offer business valuation services, assist business owners to determine their cash flow needs and even track the depreciation of your business’ assets. Depending on the firm, they may be able to assist you in setting up your internal accounting and auditing systems.
Tax Payments and Filings
These accounting firms also offer their clients the ability to file their tax returns on a yearly basis. Many of these firms can assist you to estimate your quarterly tax payment, so you can budget accordingly. Additionally, your accountant or tax professional can provide their expertise in determining what deductions your business might qualify for, as well as ways to invest in your business for the future without increasing your tax burden.
While we have already discussed payroll as a bookkeeping task, it also has more details that an accountant can assist you with. One of these is any retirement options you may offer your employees. Understanding how much you may have to match in terms of contributions or other concerns can be discussed with your accountant. If you are going to start a 401(k) for yourself, you need to be sure to understand if that obligates you to do the same for your employees. However, these retirement options might provide another potential deductions and should be discussed with your accountant.
If your business is on the verge of a growth spurt, this can be both exciting and financially nerve-wracking. Most CPA firms offer options such as their consulting services, which can assist in determining the best financial course for your business. Using their consulting services, a professional can assist in finding ways to lower your tax burden, as well as update your business plan to reflect the changing marketplace.
There are a variety of CPA firms that specialize in managing financial investments. By working with an accountant, your business can invest appropriately for your size and growth plan. These firms also can assist you in reducing the financial impact of your tax liabilities from your investments. For example, an accountant monitoring your investments can be sure that your basis for reinvested dividends is appropriately recorded to reflect your true tax liability.
Finally, it is important to note that the government and other regulatory bodies often change their regulations throughout the year. By working with a CPA firm, your business can receive the benefit of their up to date regulatory knowledge. This can include regulations regarding your bookkeeping, new deductions that may apply to your business, or changes to the audit requirements.
For many small business owners, it is easy to see why a CPA firm would be a great investment. They provide many services that save your business both time and money. At the same time, depending on the size of your business, it may still be worth taking the time to explore the options that they provide as part of your future growth plans.