Having a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) on your side as a small business owner can be very beneficial to your overall growth. From start to finish, there are tons of tasks that a CPA can take over for you so you can spend more time focusing on your productivity and business goals. Let’s dive into the things a CPA can help you with at each stage of your business growth:
During the Startup Stage
When you’re starting out as an entrepreneur, there are several decisions to make and systems to put in place to lay down the foundation for a strong and successful business. Some of these decisions you may not even realize you need to make, which is where a CPA comes in handy:
- One of the biggest decisions you’ll need to make includes determining which business structure is necessary for your ongoing operations. For example, will you be a corporation, an LLC, or enter into a partnership?
- Aside from helping you set up the appropriate business structure, a CPA can also assist you in creating a business plan based on financial analysis.
- A CPA can advise you on the best accounting software to use. This way, you can better understand project financial performance with the right accounting features. This is crucial when you have your eye on scaling the right way — being able to identify your most lucrative revenue streams in a glance ensures you stay on track.
- They’ll also take the time to set up a business bank account for you and ensure that all of your accounting procedures are set up to comply with government regulations and requirements.
The Ongoing Operations
Once your business is up and running, you have to stay on top of your accounting system and make sure your records remain sound. Usually, when it comes to ongoing business operations, a CPA can assist you with the following:
- Making sure that everyone you hire is classified correctly, for example, independent contractors versus regular employees
- Making sure you understand all of your financial statements so you know exactly where your business stands budget-wise
- Taking care of your payroll and payment processes
- Advising you on making tax payments throughout the year
- Taking care of all your accounting needs when it's time to create financial reports at the end of the year for the IRS
Essentially, your CPA will ensure that you remain within your budget and understand the money coming in and out of your business, so you can continue your daily operations with any financial hiccups.
When It’s Time to Grow
Eventually, you’re going to want to grow your business and accomplish more. This is when a CPA will be most valuable to you, as they can oversee the entire process:
- One important thing they’ll do is determine the areas of your business that are actually ready for growth by providing insight on your income and expense patterns, inventory management, financing, and so on.
- For example, if you need to purchase or lease more space or equipment, they’ll review your budget and figure out whether or not there’s financial room to acquire these things.
- Additionally, your CPA will work to prevent the IRS from auditing you by helping you keep your books accurate and up-to-date. Of course, if the IRS does decide to audit you, your CPA will be there to guide you through the process.
- Lastly, they’ll work with you to create a new budget that will support your business growth and goals by creating financial forecasts to help you with your decision-making.
These are just some of the things a CPA will do to help budding entrepreneurs reach their business goals. You can delegate as many financial tasks as needed to your CPA, or just keep one on your payroll to take care of the big tasks and to consult with when it comes to budget concerns.