Not many small business owners or entrepreneurs particularly enjoy the accounting aspect of their business. For most people, it’s a tedious but necessary task that must be endured in order to keep doing business.
If you have simple finances and few employees, you may still be handling the books yourself. But at some point, the task may grow beyond what you alone can handle. This points many business owners in an awkward spot—large enough to need some accounting help, but not large enough to require a full-time accountant or financial department.
If you’ve found that accounts receivable or accounts payable are not up to date, or payroll details have been missing, it’s time to seek help with your accounting needs. This means asking a basic question about which accounting services are best for your small business. If you are concerned about IRS tax audits, or find yourself in need of an internal financial statement audit to reconcile some mismatching numbers, you might seek out an accounting firm with tax law experience.
Check out 10 Bookkeeping Tips for Small Businesses to make sure you haven’t missed any best practices for your accounting functions. It will help you ask better questions when choosing an accounting and auditing service.
What Accounting Services Does Your Business Need?
In order to make the decision about what kind of firm will best serve your organization, you should ask yourself which accounting services you need. If you have a high volume of transactions, or complicated financials, you could benefit from seeking a firm with expertise in more than just basic accounting. Some typical accounting functions include:
- Bookkeeping Services: Good bookkeeping is the foundation to good accounting. By keeping accurate records of all transactions, you benefit from greater accuracy and reliability in your monthly statements, cash flow, and future forecasts.
- Payroll Processing: Payroll is often the biggest expense, and the biggest headache, for most small businesses. It’s incredibly important to stay current with payroll. In fact, it’s usually one of the first questions we ask!
- Accounts Payable / Accounts Receivable: A healthy cash flow is dependent on keeping your bills paid on time, so you don’t accrue late fees, and making sure your clients pay on time so there’s always money to pay the bills.
- Financial Statements: Financial reporting is a great way to see the overall picture of your financial health, with documents like a profit and loss statement, income report, and balance sheet. These can be used to identify problem areas and make predictions.
- Future Cash Flow: By having an idea of what future cash flow will look like, you can make decisions about equipment, upgrades, new hires, and expansion.
- Tax Preparation: State and federal taxes can be complicated, and it pays to have these done by someone with in-depth knowledge.
Other services that may be used by businesses with a more complicated balance sheet can include:
- CFO Services: If you need the strategic advice of a Chief Financial Officer, but it doesn’t make sense to pay a full-time salary, these services can be outsourced for an hourly rate.
- Compliance Auditing: For companies that need to adhere to government or industry regulations, internal financial statement audits may be a requirement for compliance.
- Tax Audit Services: Some businesses are at higher risk of an audit, such as those who operate mainly in cash (restaurants, salons, laundromats, etc.) Accounting professionals with tax audit services can make sure financial records are adequate to withstand IRS’ scrutiny.
The depth and breadth of your accounting needs may be unique to your business. By engaging with a firm that can customize a plan to your needs, you ensure that you’re paying for exactly what you need and nothing more.
Benefits of Outsourcing Accounting and Auditing Services
Typically, if someone doesn’t enjoy doing a task, they probably won’t do a great job. When it comes to bookkeeping and accounting, the consequences of poorly maintained financial records could mean closing down the business for good.
But even if you don’t mind doing the books yourself, there are other good reasons to outsource your financial management:
- An experienced accountant has valuable advice: The tips and tricks an experienced accountant can offer your business may save you thousands.
- Consider what your time is worth: The hours spent poring over financial details could be better spent doing other things. Is the cost of your time worth more than the cost of outsourcing your accounting needs?
- Fraud protection: A dedicated financial services firm will know what signs to look for to detect things like embezzlement. Plus, in the event of an audit, if you’ve made any big record-keeping mistakes, they may look like fraud to the IRS. Outsourcing your accounting will give you peace of mind.
- Details are less likely to get overlooked: It’s easy to fall behind on creating financial statements, but falling behind on payments is much more serious. By outsourcing these tasks, you ensure that the critical details are addressed on time.
It’s important to note that there’s a big difference between online accounting software and real accountants. The in-depth knowledge and reliability of an experienced accountant can make a big difference for your small business. Make sure you ask any accounting firm questions about their practice before committing to their services.
How S.H. Block Tax Services Gives You More
At S.H. Block Tax Services, we are much more than an accounting firm. Our team of attorneys, enrolled agents, bookkeepers and accountants have a wealth of experience and knowledge regarding tax law, and we bring that to every meeting. If we spot an advantage that your small business could use to save money, we’ll make sure you understand the details and can ultimately make the best choice for your organization.
Since our services comprehensively cover everything from bookkeeping to tax law and tax audit representation, when you enlist the help of S.H. Block, you also get access to our extensive knowledge and resources for much more than accounting. We can advise you on future tax planning, accounting records for audit defense, legal advice, and more.
We are more than just financial professionals—we truly care about your success. We are always looking out for our clients’ best interests, earning their confidence and their trust as they tackle the challenges of the business world. We will work closely with you to achieve your goals.
Call Today for More Information about S.H. Block Bookkeeping, Accounting and Auditing Services
Our team is happy to answer any questions you have about your organization’s accounting needs, including how S.H. Block Tax Services can help you achieve your small business goals.
To learn more about us, or to schedule a free consultation regarding any of our financial services, call us at (410) 793-1231 or complete this online form and we’ll start working on your questions right away.
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.