By Jorge Olavarrieta.
There are so many people, especially after two years of the pandemic, that are looking to start a small business or work as an independent but perhaps don’t know where to start or how to get support. The advice an experienced tax and accounting professional has to offer can really make the difference in your success, not only in the area of business operations and optimization, but when planning and beyond. As your business grows, their specific expertise can help guide your decisions.
More and more small businesses have an accountant, but it can be one of the places small business owners don’t always think to go for advice – here’s why they should.
Counsel & Goal Building
While many accountants will simply do the bookkeeping, financial reports and taxes, there is so much more they can offer – from broader business tasks to setting up your entire accounting system, goal-setting and more.
Your accountant or tax professional already knows the ins and outs of your financials and can help you address any concerns or questions you have on getting started. Part of what you already pay for with your personal accountant may be advisory services, so check with your tax professional and ask them how they could assist you with your future goals and plans for your business.
You shouldn’t approach self-employment and small business work alone. Tax professionals have their clients best interest in mind – the better you do, the better the tax professional can do to build relationships and further grow their own business. It’s a win-win.
Available, Recommended Software
If you’re a small business today, you need to use trusted, recommended software. Your tax professional or accountant likely already uses great software for their other clients and can recommend something for you to use to fit your needs. For individuals, Mint is a great option to track spending and saving or QuickBooks for small business owners. You should be leaning into personal financial software – what it can do for you today is completely different than the past and it’s time to get on board.
Using your accountant to help with this software is also recommended because it can be complicated. Accountants can offer so much more than bookkeeping. Also, it’s a good idea to have them help – your tax professional will understand tax laws and bookkeeping to help you stay streamlined and focused on what matters most – your clients and bottom line.
Some tax professionals are small business owners themselves. Reach out to specific accountants that work in the same field or industry and may have relevant experience for you. Have them guide you as not only your tax professional, but as a mentor to help you set goals, build a mission statement, and track progress 1, 2 or 5 years down the road. A tax professional should be involved in your business on a regular basis – not just at tax time – which can help you reach your goals and succeed.
Accountants can be a real value to your business and you may already be paying for these additional services with the bookkeeping or tax filing you do every year. Don’t discount the valuable advice, counsel and guidance they can give you to help your small business succeed.
Jorge Olavarrieta is VP of Product Management and Design at Intuit.