A business is successful when it grows profitably, and accounting is integral to a business’s success. Accounting services go way beyond counting money. They help you prepare a tax-efficient business structure and even optimize costs. You may think accounting is not a direct contributor to revenue. But its value is felt when you file your taxes, raise funds for business, transfer assets, or face scrutiny from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
Different Types of Accounting Services for Small Business Owners
Accounting is a more significant term. There are various accounting services, like payroll, bookkeeping, taxation, accounting, and business and financial consultation. Their pricing differs depending on the expertise needed to do the job. For example, some tax and business consultants charge you hundreds of dollars for two hours of their time. You don’t need all the accounting services while the business is small, but you can add these services as your business grows.
This article will discuss some accounting services that an entrepreneur needs at different stages of business.
Accounting begins with bookkeeping. It is a healthy practice to maintain books from day 1. A sole proprietor may do their bookkeeping first, but it would be wise to hire a freelancer or full-time bookkeeper or outsource bookkeeping services as transactions grow.
What they offer – A bookkeeper will compile your financial records and accurately input them into your accounting software or general ledgers. The bookkeeper will also reconcile your books with your bank and credit card transactions, bill payments and receivables, and payroll, ensuring every transaction is recorded correctly and completely.
Why you need it – Complete and well-maintained books give you the power of data. You can use this raw data to file and pay taxes, calculate revenue and spending, and prepare an efficient invoicing and collection system as your business grows. In a nutshell, you need bookkeeping services to be more organized and spend less time fire-fighting and more time strategizing.
Financial Reporting Services
As your business grows and gets more clients and revenue, books of accounts won’t suffice. Instead, it would help if you had an accountant who can do some heavy lifting and prepare financial statements. These statements will help a third party get a gist of the financial condition of your business.
What they offer – These services prepare journals, balance sheets, cash flow, and income statements. When preparing these statements, they will identify discrepancies in a business’s financial records and help you rectify them before making the statements.
Why you need it – You need financial statements when you want to raise business funds, sell them, or transfer them to your heir. These statements help come up with a fair value for your business. In addition, as a business owner, you can use the financial statements to identify gaps and make strategic decisions to optimize costs.
Tax Management Services
Tax rules and benefits differ from state to state and industry to industry. Tax planning begins from registering your business to withdrawing money from your business to how you dissolve it or transfer it. As the business grows, so does its complexities. Therefore, it is advisable to seek help of an expert, preferably the one specializing in your industry.
Tax services need specialization. Hence they are offered by a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Remember, all CPAs are accountants, but not all accountants are CPAs.
What they offer – The most basic service is reviewing financial statements and filing taxes accordingly. CPA advises you on the business structure (partnership, corporation, or sole proprietor), income and expense accounting, asset purchase, depreciation methods, estate planning, and even raising funding in a tax-efficient manner. They will update you on the various tax benefits offered by the government. They prepare, file, or submit documents and provide audit support strategies in the event of an audit by the CRA.
Why you need it – As your wealth and estate grow, you start attracting a heavy tax bill. Tax laws are complex, and a good CPA can save you a significant amount in taxes and penalties, saving you way more than his professional fees.
Business Consulting Services
While the above three services focus on accounting and taxation, some CA firms offer consulting services that can take your business to the next level. For example, strategic decisions like initial public offering, mergers and acquisitions, succession planning, and creating trusts need business-specific expertise. Business consultants give you a strategic edge and a wholesome picture of business and finances.
They offer budgeting, cost management, debt reduction planning, purchase of property, business planning, etc.
When you need it – Instead of asking why you need it, you should ask when you need it. For example, is your business suffering from multi-year loss, your balance sheet carries a heavy debt, or you are having trouble managing the rapid expansion? If you have a business problem, business consulting services can be your solution, no matter how big or small your business is. These services are expensive, but you earn more than you pay.
Select Your Accounting Services Wisely
Each accounting service is different and plays a different role in helping your business succeed. So now you have to analyze your business needs. Some accounting firms offer all the above services, so you can start with one and gradually avail more services as the business grows. When considering an accounting firm, look at its philosophical principles, location, industry expertise, and level of dedicated service.