Do Small Businesses Need an Accountant?

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Starting a small business is an exciting time, but it also comes with plenty of questions and unknowns. One question asked by almost every small business owner when they’re starting out is “do small businesses need an accountant?”

To answer this, we thought we’d provide some helpful information about what an accountant does and how they can support small businesses to help you decide if you could benefit from engaging one.

business woman using a calculator and doing finances

What does an accountant do?

Accountants assist businesses and individuals to manage a range of financial matters by maintaining, analysing and interpreting financial records and providing strategic financial advice.

They often perform tasks including:

  • Preparation of financial reports and tax returns.
  • Bookkeeping.
  • Ensuring compliance with relevant laws and regulations.
  • Forecasting and risk analysis assessments.
  • Providing strategic business advice.

How can accountants support small businesses?

Accountants can assist small businesses in a range of ways, including:

  • Taxation – They can prepare tax returns, develop tax planning strategies, provide taxation advice (including advice about Capital Gains Tax and Goods and Services Tax) and help with end of year tax planning.
  • Payroll – They can help you determine what your payroll requirements are, as well as maintaining payroll records and processing payrolls.
  • Bookkeeping – They can record and reconcile transactions, conduct regular reporting and manage your accounts payable and receivable.
  • Small business advice – They can provide strategic business advice and guidance on issues such as business structure, cost reduction strategies, revenue enhancement and profit maximisation.

Can I just use a bookkeeper?

The short answer is yes, however there are benefits to using a dedicated accountant.

While a bookkeeper can help with tasks such as payroll and accounts management, accountants take a more in-depth view of your business as a whole, analysing performance and understanding the overall financial health of the business. Using this knowledge, they can provide strategic advice to help the business operate as efficiently as possible and maximise profits.

When it can be helpful to engage an accountant

Accountants can be particularly useful in a range of scenarios, such as:

  • Setting up a new business – Your business structure will have various taxation and asset protection implications. An accountant can discuss the various options with you and recommend the most suitable structure.
  • Growing your business – An accountant can develop long-term financial projections and provide valuable information and advice to support your business throughout growth periods.
  • Managing tax affairs – An accountant can ensure you comply with all tax requirements and legal obligations.
  • When cash flow is an issue – If cash flow has become a problem, an accountant can provide strategies to minimise cash flow issues.
  • If you’re short on time – Financial administration can consume a lot of your time when you run your own business. Engaging an accountant can remove a significant amount of that workload and free you up to focus on other things.

Need an accountant for your small business?

If you’re looking for a small business accountant that can support your business to grow and prosper, look no further than Drescher Accounting.

A boutique accounting firm based in Cairns, we’ve helped hundreds of small businesses with everything from payroll and bookkeeping to taxation and strategic business advice.

We’d love to discuss how we can support your business—get in touch with us to find out more.

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