Challenges for growing small businesses
There are very good reasons for hiring an accountant at different stages of your business. From a business plan to company formation, loan application to tax requirements, an accountant can make your life much easier for you at each step.
Sometimes just a couple of hours of their time will be enough you don’t always need to employ an accountant full-time or hire one on a retainer basis.
Like all small business owners who are looking to save money, you may think you can’t afford an accountant. But look at how long it would take you to do certain tasks (such as taxes). Ask yourself, is that a good use of your time? What they can do in a few hours might take you a few days.
Let’s say it takes you 10 hours to do your taxes, and your time is worth €50 an hour. That’s a cost of €500 to do your taxes yourself. And of course, there’s always the risk you’ve made errors – especially if you’re multi-tasking like most business owners.
If you ask an accountant to take care of time-consuming tasks like taxes, it’s likely they will cost less per hour than you would pay yourself. You’ll not only have extra time to free you up to generate revenue, but you’ll have peace of mind that an expert is taking care of the details.
So what other moments during the life of a typical small business, might you want to hire an accountant to help you?
Advice when you write a business plan
If you involve an accountant while you’re writing your business plan, they will be able to use accounting software to add financial projections and other reports to it. This will help you create a business plan that’s realistic, professional and more likely to succeed.
Hiring an accountant at this early stage will mean you get the benefit of their financial knowledge and advice right from the start.
Advice about your company’s legal structure
Not all businesses have the same legal structure – there are different types that are determined by a number of factors. Some might be called limited companies, limited liability partnerships or corporations, sole traders or proprietors.
An accountant can explain the legal business structures available and help you choose the one that best suits you.
Help with the finances
Small business accounting can become complex if you do it on your own. If you feel you’re losing control of who owes you money and how much, an accountant can help you get back on track.
You may also want to measure key business metrics, such as the ratio of salaries and other employee payments to total revenue. An accountant can help here by managing your payroll and producing graphs so you can see how the ratio changes over time.
Hire an accountant when you’re ready to delegate
As a small business owner, no doubt one of the things you like best is that you have control. You can set your own working hours, craft your business strategy, regulate your workload (at least to some extent) and determine your own finances. And being the master of all of these things is a wonderful and liberating feeling.
Business owners can feel overworked, partly due to a reluctance to allow other people to help out. You might feel that no one can possibly know your business as well as you do, therefore nobody can handle any part of your business as well as you can.
Inability to delegate can mean you’re left feeling overworked and stressed.
Delegating your company’s financial affairs is a very good start. You need to choose the right accountant and make sure you trust them with your company’s financial information. Once you’ve handed over your company’s finances to someone more experienced in accountancy than you are, you will have more time to concentrate on other aspects of your business.
Most successful business owners in the world are experts at delegating work to the right people – so try to learn from them.