When To Hire a Professional – Accountant

Starting a new business? Most new businesses are bootstrapping it, trying to get the business going while spending the least amount of money. But at what point does it make sense to hire a professional? This is the first in a series on how and when to hire professionals for your business.

After 20 years of offering accounting services I can tell you when most new businesses finally hire an accountant. It is when their business has hit it’s first growth spurt and they are running to keep up with business, their accounting system (or lack thereof!) isn’t working for them, and maybe they have even gotten a letter from the IRS. Things tend to be in chaos and the business owner(s) have no idea if they are making money or not. They are just trying to keep up. I’d like to suggest hiring an account before crisis hits. You’ll save money and maybe even your sanity. Here are some times when it makes sense to visit an accountant.

Right Before You Open Your Business

This is probably the most important time to consult with an accountant. During these initial first sessions a good accountant will give you advice on how to set up an effective accounting system, how to maximize your tax deductions, and which type of business entity is best for your business. (Corporation, LLC, Sole Proprietor, etc.) They will also point you in the right direction as far as what payments and reports you need to file with various government agencies.

Tax Time

You may be an expert when it comes to doing your own taxes, but the rules are different for businesses. Not only that, with tax law constantly changing, you are probably too busy running your business to keep up on the latest tax law. Often a good tax accountant will save you more in taxes than you are paying them in fees. At the very least, have an accountant prepare your taxes the very first year you are in business.

When You Are Looking For Investors

Smart investors with lots of money don’t get that way by trusting business owners. When you have an Independent Auditor review you books you give investors the assurance that financially everything is on the up and up. They then know that your financial statements are a true reflection of your business.

When Gross Receipts Reach $100,000

Preferably earlier, but once your gross receipts reach $100,000 you need professional accounting . At this point the accountant’s knowledge of money management and tax savings will almost certainly be cost effective. And your time will be better spent running and marketing your business.

Make sure that you are not “penny wise and pound foolish” when it comes to hiring an accountant. At the very least, consult with an accountant during these key times in your business. If you are searching for an accountant, one resource I found was AccountingAisle.com. They provide a service where they will match you with a local accountant based on your specific needs. You can also check with your local chamber of commerce, or ask other successful business owners in your area to give you a referral.