How Can I Find the Right Small Business Accounting Services?

Searching for the right small business accounting services for your organization can be an overwhelming task. A single Google search reveals thousands of accounting service opportunities. Furthermore, companies offer a variety of services, including controller services, managerial accounting, bookkeeping, audit services, and so on.

As a small business owner in need of expert financial assistance, how can you find the right accountant? In the following content, we discuss the process of identifying small business needs and finding the right accounting services.

What Are Your Specific Small Business Needs?

Many self-employed entrepreneurs play every role within the business for a while, including that of an accountant. According to the 2017 Small Business Taxation Survey, one-in-three small businesses spend over 80 hours on federal taxes annually. While 61% utilize external help, over 15% still rely on a single staff member to handle company taxes. As businesses begin to develop, even tech-savvy owners often look to a financial expert for accounting assistance.

Recognizing a need for an accounting professional is a good place to start. Identifying what you require of an accountant is the next step. As mentioned, “accounting services” encompass a variety of specific activities that fall under the accounting umbrella.

A short list of tasks commonly performed by accountants include:

  • Basic bookkeeping activities
  • Maximizing tax deductions
  • Filing tax returns quickly and accurately
  • Dashboard reporting
  • Financial statement
  • Accounting support and strategic tax advice
  • Analyzing business finances and assets
  • QuickBooks setup, support, and training
  • Maintain acceptable cash flow levels
  • Identify potential growth and/or problem areas
  • Support with complex transactions
  • Accounting software consulting

Before searching for the right small business accounting services for your organization, identify key areas of financial concern. What do you expect the accountant to perform – two of the aforementioned tasks or all of them and more? For example, a certified public accountant (CPA) with industry expertise can offer complex financial assistance and business advice.

Evaluate business problem areas and write them down. Once you have pinpointed and listed concerns, these qualifications will help you select the right small business accounting services for your specific business needs.

Is Cost a Factor?

For many small businesses and startups, cost is an important factor of consideration for any decision. When budgeting is a concern, outsourced accounting – rather than hiring an in-house accounting team – is often the best course of action.

Considering annual salary, taxes, benefits, and health or life insurance, full-time employees are costly. Outsourced accounting offers small businesses a team of experts to perform the same functions on an hourly rate schedule, depending on the complexity of required services. Furthermore, the right accounting expert will strive to save a company money above and beyond hourly fees.

Especially as a small business owner, wisely allocating financial resources is a matter of survival, and outsourcing services often affords long-term savings.

Evaluate the Team and Look for Key Qualifications

You identified core needs for your business and selected the most cost-effective accountant option. How do you know which type of accountant you need? Understanding a few key terms and qualifications will guide your search.

Bookkeeper vs. Accountant vs. Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

A bookkeeper is qualified to handle day-to-day business finances, including basic bookkeeping tasks. What tasks does bookkeeping include? Managing accounts payable and receivable, invoicing, and running payroll are a few common bookkeeping activities.

An accountant offers tax and business advice. Accountants provide an overview perspective, instead of completing daily financial tasks. However, some accountants provide bookkeeping services along with tax advice, tax filing, and big-picture financial management.

A CPA is an accountant who has passed a specific certification example. Small business in need of accounting services are often drawn to CPAs for their unique level of knowledge and trustworthiness. CPAs perform basic accounting tasks – additionally, certified accountants can represent businesses before the IRS and make audit reports.

All CPAs Are Accountants – Not All Accountants Are CPAs

If want to hire a CPA, be sure to look for proper qualifications. One cannot assume every accountant is a CPA. Furthermore, accountants specialize in different areas. Ensure the team you select is an expert in your specific, predetermined needs. For example, a forensic accountant analyses looks for fraud and discrepancy – especially employee theft, while a cost accountant specializes in cost improvements and budgeting. If you suspect dishonesty in your books, hire a forensic accountant not a cost accountant.

A management accountant guides business owners in making the best decisions for their organization, aids with planning, risk management, and strategy. A project accountant oversees specific projects and is often hired as needed.

Understanding various qualifications and specialties will allow you to select the best-fit accounting candidate (or team) for your specific business needs.

Is the Accounting Service a Good Fit for Your Business?

Beyond professional qualifications, evaluate the accounting team on a personal level. Do you feel comfortable with the company, culture, and team members? Remember, these individuals will be working closely with you and your business finances. Ensure you are outsourcing the right-fit accounting team for your company account.

One excellent area of consideration is company core values or philosophical principles. Do these principles align with your business values?

Additionally, identify whether you will work alongside a dedicated team during your experience with the accounting firm or if you will rotate between teams. Do you feel comfortable that the team assigned to your account will become acquainted with your business? Look for an accounting service that will provide personalized service, growing intimately familiar with your specific business needs.

Small business owners may find most success in accounting services with a personalized, intimate approach to partnership and national-level expertise.

Should You Pursue Accounting Services if Self-Employed?

Even as a self-employed entrepreneur, consider pursuing accounting services. Although your financial needs may not be as complex as a business with 10 employees, a professional accountant will reveal missed advantages and expenses you may be able to capitalize on.

DHJJ: Outsourced Accounting Solution

At DHJJ, we provide timely and accurate accounting services tailored to your small business. We understand that every company is unique, in need of varying financial assistance. Our team of Certified Public Accountants will provide the highest level of service and accuracy for your accounting needs, while helping you optimize efficiently.

Our range of accounting services include:

  • Financial statements
  • Dashboard reporting
  • Customized management reports
  • QuickBooks setup, support and training
  • Support with complex transactions
  • Accounting software consulting
  • Customized accounting support and advice

Please do not hesitate to reach out to our knowledgeable accounting advisors today. We look forward to helping you reach your goals.