Accountants are a lot more than just bookkeepers. That’s a fundamental misunderstanding that many new business owners need to get cleared away as soon as possible. Chartered accountants are fully qualified to give legal advice that regular bookkeepers can’t, and they have the insight to provide information that can be critical to the success of the business. Here are a few instances that a good accountant can really come in handy.
Filing your business’s taxes is rarely fun. Without a professional eye over your returns and records, it's all too easy to make little errors that can lead to the dreaded audit. However, accountants do more than make your taxes less taxing. They can help you devise a filing strategy to help you better fit your aims, whether that means minimizing the risk of being audited as much as possible or filing for the maximum possible deductions that you could potentially benefit from.
Scaling the business
Accountants do more than ensure the books are tidy and the returns are comprehensive. A good accountant is a strategic partner in the business and can help you judge whether or not a certain move is financially healthy for the business. If you have plans to scale the business, ensuring that its able to withstand the initial costs of the growth, as well as the increased demand of its new day-to-day finances, it’s a good idea to put together a new business plan with the help of the accountant. If you don’t have an accountant, then this may be the best time to get one, as you will need all the help staying on top of accounts that get more and more complex.
Selling the business
It might be a long way off, just yet, but when it comes time to sell the business, an accountant can make sure that both parties get the best deal available. Accountants with private equity expertise can make sure you get a good offer by performing a full valuation of the business. Furthermore, they can provide a transaction tax strategy to make sure that any potential profit isn’t getting eaten up by taxes. They can even help sellers increase the final sales price by working with investment bankers and transaction attorneys.
Understanding the business
The financial lens that an accountant can offer to the business is not to be underestimated. For instance, they can help you better understand the seasonality of the business with a forecast, helping you understand when your business is in most demand and when your lean periods are. With that kind of insight, you can scale back on your costs during the low season, saving for a big marketing and outreach bump when demand is at its very highest.
Can your business live without an accountant? Most likely, yes. However, you could be missing out on the key financial advice that makes some of the biggest decisions in the business a lot clearer, so it’s worth bringing them on the team at some point.
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