Small businesses are always conscious of their spending. Therefore, they are frugal with hiring so as not to drain their finances. But, as they continue to grow and expand, there comes a time when account keeping becomes too tough for just anyone. At such times, hiring small business accountants in Newcastle becomes inevitable.
The role of an accountant in a small business can vary from preparing financial documents to bookkeeping. Also, they can audit already available financial records. Tax accountants are particularly useful when it comes to filing tax returns. This is particularly important if you run a limited company with a complex business structure.
Is there any need for an accountant in a small business?
Well, many small businesses prefer to do their accounting. They will only consider bringing in an accountant when it is time to file tax returns. However, certified business accountants can analyse the financial data of a business. The findings will help them to make recommendations that will help the business to become more profitable. They do this by leveraging on their strong mathematics and economics background as well as past experiences.
Accountants in Newcastle can undertake managerial roles. Managerial functions of an accountant can include cost control, budget preparation, employee performance evaluation, and fraud prevention. Obviously, an accountant can be the bridge between the success and failure of a small business. Due to the critical role of an accountant, it is paramount that you hire only reputable accountants.
Important roles of an accountant in a small business
The roles of an accountant can vary depending on the type of company. Nevertheless, their presence in any establishment should make it easier for the business to handle its finances. Below are some of the important roles of accountants.
1. Data management
Business accountants are responsible for keeping your financial data up to date. They store, manage, and update these data as frequently as possible. Consequently, they relay this information to the business owner, investors, and government in a simplified manner when the need arises. Also, it is the role of an accountant to suggest the best accounting software system for small businesses.
2. Financial consultations
Many businesses will never make big decisions without consulting with their accountants. There is a reason for that. Accountants can bring in tips on how to progress with spending, so the business doesn’t go bankrupt. Also, during borrowing to finance a sector of a business, an accountant can be called in to interpret associated financial jargon. Thus, they can identify good and bad debts and advice the business accordingly.
3. Compliance with state regulations
It is the role of an accountant to make sure that your business conforms to all government financial regulations affecting your business. It is important to mention that government regulations may change rapidly without prior notice. Nevertheless, defaulting on tax or other financial obligations of your business can have dire consequences. As they say, ‘ignorance is not an excuse in the court of law.’ An accountant ensures that your financial report follows state and financial guidelines. That becomes one less headache for you.
4. Advise on business structure
Deciding whether to run a sole proprietorship or limited liability company can be hard. However, by studying your financial inflow and outflow, an accountant can point you in the right direction. They will even assist in the paperwork to fast-track the entire transition.
5. Assist in day-to-day business running
From issuing invoices to recording sales, a tax accountant can assist in the day-to-day running of a business. By properly documenting the sales, a small business can know their biggest selling products and those they may consider phasing out. Also, it helps small businesses to keep track of their inventory so that they never run out of supplies.
6. Suggest expansions
As a business expands, what it needs to run effectively continues to expand. It may mean employing more staff or buying more machines. An accountant should be able to predict the profitability of your actions before you take them. They can relay their findings to the business owner through weekly, monthly, or annual reports.
The types of accountants
It is easy to find small business accountants in Newcastle that can take up all sorts of accounting challenges. However, there are three broad distinctions when it comes to accounting. They include:
- Enrolled Agents: they must pass comprehensive exams encompassing business and individual tax laws. They can prepare your tax returns. They need to renew the validity of their license through continuing education. If you’re audited, they can stand for you before IRS.
- Certified Public Accountants: these accountants write specific exams to get their license. Consequently, they can represent your company in all tax matters with the IRS.
- Bookkeepers: they take charge of a broad range of business activities like weekly reports and bill payments. All accountants can do bookkeeping, but non-certified accountants can take up this role too. However, non-certified bookkeepers cannot prepare your taxes.
Qualities of a good accountant
Every accountant has unique qualities. When you are ready to hire an accountant for your business, look for accountants with skills that fit a small business. Some accountants may have all the paper qualifications but lack the soft skills to succeed in your business setting. Below are some of the qualities you should consider when hiring accountants in Newcastle.
1. Continuous learner
In addition to having a broad knowledge of the field, the right accountant should be a constant learner. Every business is unique, and the right accountant should be someone ready to catch the small details and be in tune with new trends in their field.
2. Strong ethical sense
Integrity and honesty are some of the most crucial characteristics of an accountant. The right accountant should be able to differentiate between right and wrong at all times. They should show integrity and accountability in their records and day-to-day activities. Also, the accountant should be reliable and trustworthy. They must be able to keep the organisation’s confidential data confident and secure.
3. High organisational skill
Accountants will be dealing with a high volume of numbers and paperwork. Therefore, staying organised will help them to access the needed information speedily.
4. Team player
An accountant often acts as a meeting point for every member of the organisation. So, the person must be comfortable meeting new people and coordinating tasks in collaboration with staff or stakeholders. The right candidate should be able to work with all parties to achieve the organisation’s objectives.
The right accountant should be able to use their initiative at all times. They should know when to take critical decisions that will benefit the business even without being told by their superiors. Creative accountants would easily come up with strategies to solve complex issues facing the business.
Small business tips for hiring an accountant
- Hire an accountant within your business budget. Consider hiring part-time accountants to save costs.
- Make sure the accountant has experience with business tax
- A virtual accountant can save you a lot in the long run
Finding the right accountant can be a daunting experience. However, you need to tread carefully to make sure you are hiring the right candidate. You can go the hard route of asking for references and meeting them informally or checking their records. On the contrary, you can save all that time and stress by sticking with certified professional accountants. The choice is up to you.