Why Your Small Business Needs An Online Accountant
Do you know why all businesses need accountants? The work of this profession is to collect, sort and study the financial information from a business, all so they can help the business owner run a better business. Large corporations often hire full-time accountants to work exclusively for them, but small businesses are more likely to find a part-time accountant or hire one as needed.
In other words, accountants are an investment you make in your business to keep your finances in good shape. Businesses become more difficult to manage as they grow, so with an accountant you’ll be able to spend less time working on your finances and more time doing what you want, such as running your business or spending evenings with your family.
Are you interested now in learning what an accountant could do for your small business? Let’s start by diving into the business of accounting and why businesses hire accountants, then discuss how to find a great accountant online using testimonials and accounting providers.
The Business Of Accounting
The general work of an accountant includes:
- Advice on taxes and structuring
- Creating financial records reports
- Filing income taxes
- Informed estimates of future revenue
- Looking for avoidable future expenses
- Managing business EIS or SEIS
- Readying of financial statements
- Registering for VAT and sending records
- Studying the true costs of a business
Depending on the size and complexity of your business, accountants will often ask you to buy specialized online invoicing and automated accounting software which simplifies much of their work. This is a normal procedure, and if you can learn the software well enough on your own, you may not need an accountant as much.
Very busy small businesses may want to hire a bookkeeper to catch and catalogue all of the daily transaction records, which again makes the process of accounting easier.
Some accountants specialize in working for businesses that haven’t even started. They look over the business plan for problems, help in the many requirements of business formation, estimate future revenue and value over time so investors give you money, and provide other assistance with CAPEX, growing profits and market insights. There are a lot of details to decide at this stage, and an accountant can provide answers to questions you didn’t even know about.
Why Businesses Hire Accountants
Accountants do everything: double-check records to find and fix errors, help with yearly tax compliance, and offer advice to overcome your financial worries. If hired on a more regular basis, they may also provide financial guidance, telling you what you need to know from local industry forecasting to global market trends, while performing other very complex or routine accounting tasks.
Do you know the different methods of taxation based on whether your business is a sole trader or a limited company? An accountant will, which makes hiring an accountant especially valuable when you don’t have much previous experience with business finances.
Regulatory bodies will send hefty fines your way for improper records and tax filing. Accountants assist you through Companies House and HMRC regulatory compliance, such as filing account and payroll records, readying tax and VAT returns, and keeping up with changing rules and regulations.
Let’s say you needed to hire more people to run your expanding business. How many can you currently afford based on expected wages and benefits? What would be better, contracting or hiring part-time workers? Would your business actually need those workers if the busy part of the year is ending soon?
With an accountant, you’ll be far less likely to run out of money or have your accounts held up for some reason. If your business does get low on money, you’ll better understand why and you’ll be prepared with plans for this possibility.
Signs Of A Great Business Accountant
Your accountant will be looking through what is usually very private information about your business, so you need to find a good one you can trust. Spend some time looking for the best accountant you can afford because this is a very important investment.
Job boards and online searches will bring up many online accountants, or you can simply ask trusted friends who also own businesses. Online accountants often have reviews written about them and references you can call from their past work. Just remember that a lot of online reviews can be faked so read them with a critical eye, and always call references when you are seriously considering hiring someone to learn what they really thought of that accountant. Even personal recommendations can be a bad fit for your business if their experiences don’t fit your needs.
When you reach a shortlist of good choices, that’s the time to look at their reviews and testimonials from former employers. You might also sort them by available services, price and years spent in accounting. Then perform a background check on your top pick just as you would for any employee with access to your money.
Take the time to interview your potential accountant so you can ask about their work history. What more can they tell you about their past work to give you a better idea of their capabilities? Can they list their most noteworthy achievements? As with any employee, asking about successes and failures can help you determine what will drive them.
You can also ask questions that test their knowledge of your industry and focus on the profession. Which recent laws and regulations do they think most change how you do business? When are they reliably available during the day to answer immediate questions? Some accountants are simply doing this work as a side job, which may or may not be okay with you.
Why & Where To Hire Online Accountants
You can hire accountants from your local area, but this won’t always be successful. You might try working with a local accountant and not get along with them. Sometimes you may only need an accountant for a one-time need or problem. Or perhaps you might be worried about bringing an accountant into your home business due to either pandemic or privacy concerns.
For these reasons and more, you should look for an online accountant. They likely offer a number of more affordable service plans compared to full-time accountants, such as charging either by the hour, using flat rates per need or with monthly packages.
Virtual accountants can work for you as much as you need and from anywhere, especially if you use accounting software. This also works well due to the HMRC’s Making Tax Digital requirements, which are designed to bring business records online, create fewer tax errors and use less paper.
One of the best places to find online accountants are companies and platforms specialized to provide fully qualified and professionally trained accounting services to clients of all types. They will only keep accountants as members if they have good previous work, and may also have access to the software an accountant uses.
Clyde Offices is a leading virtual office provider for new businesses in Glasgow. We have a range of support services including Glasgow business mailing addresses, forwarding services, telephone answering and virtual assistants. Contact us soon and sign up for your new business!