March 01st - 4 minutes to read

When Do You Need an Accountant for Your Small Business

Here’s what an accountant can do for your Central Ohio business.

an accountant helping a small business owner go through their transactions
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Being a business owner comes with a lot of responsibility, and it can all pile up. You might be ready to hire an accountant for your small business in Lancaster, OH, and free up some of your time to focus on other aspects of your operation. Here are some of the things an accountant can do to keep your business running smoothly.

How Can an Accountant Help Your Small Business?

As a small business owner, you likely want to throw yourself into all aspects of your business. Still, an accountant is more equipped to address legal issues, determine financial strategies, and generate crucial financial reports as your business grows. You can even benefit from hiring an accountant for business consulting.

When building your business, an accountant can help you ensure you get off on the right foot by:

  • Helping you write your small business plan with solid goals that can help you secure financing and rent office or retail space;
  • Guiding you to the proper legal structure for your business needs or personal financial situation;
  • Advising you on the appropriate licenses that your city or state requires.

An accountant has knowledge and skills beneficial to the successful operation of your small business. A full-service accounting firm might offer bookkeeping, tax preparation, financial planning, and payroll services.

Bookkeeping: An accountant will keep track of your small business’ incoming and outgoing transactions as well as their source or purpose. A clear benefit to having an accountant handle these matters is that they can provide you with more detailed financial statements and reports than you’d generate on your own.

Taxes: Your accountant will help you estimate your quarterly tax payments, make sure you comply with all applicable tax laws, and take the lead on tax preparation to ensure you get the most from your tax return.

Financial Planning: After reviewing your financial report, a certified financial planner (CFP) can help you set up an ideal budget to ensure your small business operates within its means. Go a step further by asking your accountant about managing growth and how it affects your business’ financial situation.

Payroll: It is safe to use a payroll app to help you remain compliant when paying employees and withholding taxes, but you’ll still want to check in with your accountant every quarter. There are some things an app can’t catch.

Note, your accountant does not have to be on your payroll full time. Meeting with your accountant periodically to check in on your financial status might be all your small business needs. As you grow your business, you can reassess which accounting services you require.

Can Business Owners Handle Their Own Accounting?

There are some circumstances where you might not need an accountant, like:

  • If your business is more of a hobby that only brings in a little bit of extra cash,
  • If you’re a freelancer with a manageable number of clients,
  • If you don’t have any complicated tax situations.

All of these scenarios still require accounting and bookkeeping. As long as you are tracking income and expenses for tax reporting purposes, you should be in the clear. If going alone gets trickier than what a spreadsheet can handle, there are many accounting and payroll programs out there that can help you do some of what an accountant can do.

You may think you only need to consult an accountant once a year for tax planning, but 89% of small businesses credit an increase of success to working with an accountant. At the very least, scheduling quarterly meetings with an accountant will ensure your business is more than just compliant with laws and tax filings. Whenever you plan time to check in with your accountant, they can break down the financial health of your small business by analyzing incoming and outgoing transactions, employee pay stubs, tax records, audits, and more.

Working with an accountant is beneficial for every business, but it isn’t always necessary. However, periodically seeking advice from an accountant is a smart idea for any business owner in Central Ohio. When you’re ready to hire an accountant for your small business in Lancaster, OH, Royal Oak Financial Group is just a phone call away!