Turning an idea into a successful business can be very exciting but stressful. Small business owners often lack the financial knowledge necessary to ensure their small business is running at its maximum potential. Small business owners are also usually looking to cut costs in the initial stages, however, managing your own accounting system incorrectly can hurt your business not only now, but also in the long-term. With the help of small business accounting services, your business might actually experience more success.

Most successful business owners who work closely with an accountant will tell you an accountant is an absolute must. In fact, results from a study conducted by Intuit, the maker of QuickBooks, TurboTax, and other financial software packages, show that 89% of small businesses say they see more success with an accountant or an advisor.

It is reasonable to wonder if every single small business really needs an accountant or certified public accountant. Some business owners believe hiring one is overkill if they haven’t reached a certain revenue level or are very small. Below we have outlined some ways small business accounting services could help ensure success.

The Start-up Process

From the very start of a business, there are actions owners can take to create a sound foundation for a successful business. An accountant can assist by :

• Determining the best business structure for your situation. The structure you choose will affect how your business is taxed and the degree to which you (and other owners) can be held personally liable. Some of the different options include sole proprietorship, LLC, Corporation, or Partnership.

• Developing financial forecast estimates. It is likely that most start-ups need to provide banks, lenders or investors with a financial forecast related to a new business venture. This is essential for obtaining outside funding for startup costs. This information will be heavily relied upon by lenders or investors to ensure the small business owner has an accurate reliable picture of financial expectations.

• Assisting with financial analysis in your business plan. The financial analysis section should include data such as your business’s balance sheet, cash flow analysis, profit and loss analysis, break-even analysis, and personnel expense forecast.

• Making sure your accounting procedures comply with government regulations and requirements. Tax penalties with the IRS can be extremely costly and could even be the demise of your small business

• Explaining the importance of keeping personal and business expenses separate. Differentiating between personal and business finances can provide an array of benefits, including tax advantages and the ability to shield your personal assets. However, if left undone, it can also leave you high and dry when things go awry.

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Regular Business Operations

An accountant performs financial functions related to the collection, accuracy, recording, analysis, and presentation of a business, organization or company’s financial operations. Once your business is off the ground, you will need to maintain the accounting system that your accountant helped you set up. Some ways your accountant may take to assist you on an ongoing basis include:

Explaining your financial statements so you can understand the ins and outs of your business. Having accurate and up-to-date financial statements are critical to small business owners who need to make business decisions regarding their business. Without proper financial statements and without the knowledge to understand them, small business owners risk making decisions that could hurt their business.

Small business tax preparation can be an extremely confusing and daunting process. Small business accounting services can provide advice on estimated tax payments you should make during the year. Your accountant can help compile and submit your taxes, financial reports, and all necessary paperwork to the IRS.

Deciding to hire employees and having a payroll is a big decision for small businesses. This can add new complexities to a business’s accounting system because the business will not only have to pay the employees, but the business has to pay federal employment taxes and state unemployment taxes.

Business Growth Stage

When you are ready to grow your business, your accountant can be an integral resource that provides advice and helps you manage the process. An accountant can also:

Help you determine areas for growth by providing insight on cash flow patterns, inventory management, pricing, and business financing.  The pattern of cash utilization can determine a firm’s success or failure. A businessperson must control his/her company’s cash flow so that bills can be paid on time and extra money can be put into the purchase of inventory and new equipment or invested to generate additional earnings.

• Work with you to create a business budget that will support your business goals. Budgeting enables the business owner to concentrate on cash flow, reducing costs, improving profits and increasing returns on investment. Budgeting is the basis for all business success. It helps with both planning and control of the finances of the business.

• Provide advice on property and equipment leasing and purchase. Depending on the type of equipment your business needs, as well as the shape of your business finances, leasing your business equipment could be a good fit. And if yours is a start-up business that is strapped for cash or if you are finding it difficult to secure the credit necessary to finance your purchases, leasing may be your only real option for acquiring needed business assets

When to Hire an Accountant

There are good reasons for hiring an accountant at different stages of your company’s growth. From a business plan to company formation, loan application to a tax audit, an accountant can make life easier for you at each step. That doesn’t mean you always need to employ an accountant full-time or hire one on a retainer basis. Sometimes just a couple of hours of their time will be enough which is why small business accounting services may be a perfect fit for your business.

Limitless Investment and Capital’s Small Business Accounting Services

In order to stay focused on building your business, companies need solid financial management with a dependable accounting function. Limitless Investment & Capital combines a team of experts, systematized processes and procedures, and the latest in accounting technology to ensure our clients receive the best service to support their unique business needs at an affordable rate. We don’t just handle your business accounting needs, we get it done right! Contact a local CPA today for more information regarding packages and pricing.