Survey any group of entrepreneurs and ask, “What are the most challenging aspects of operating your own business?” And one in two will give an answer related to managing their finances.
Whether it’s sourcing the funds to launch or expand your business, guaranteeing profitability during uncertain times, or simply carving out enough time for careful bookkeeping, small business accounting can make or break your business.
To give your company its best chance, look beyond simple bookkeeping and enlist the insights of a CPA who specializes in small business accounting. From tax planning and regulatory compliance to comprehensive financial consultation, our experts explain why successful, intelligent businesses rely on professional accounting services.
CPAs Shine at Navigating the Complete Business Growth Cycle
Why is it never “too late” or “too soon” to outsource your company’s day-to-day financial management to an accountant? Because a certified public accountant is a master of financial planning, artfully equipped to steward your business through each milestone in its growth cycle. For example, consider how an experienced CPA can nimbly guide you through the following watershed moments in any successful business:
- The Launch Stage: Turn to a CPA for expert advice when selecting your business structure (e.g., LLC, sole proprietorship, corporation, etc.), introducing accounting
software or bookkeeping best practices, acquiring a new business, or complying with state or federal guidelines for financial operations.
- The Growth Stage: Devise a tax plan that pays long-term dividends by maximizing your deductions, avoiding audits, and minimizing your payouts to Uncle Sam, apply for a small business loan to expand your business’s reach, and automate repetitive bookkeeping tasks (like invoicing, profit & loss reporting, and digitizing receipts)—all with an accountant’s guidance.
- The Maturity Stage: Even a mature business can benefit from a CPA’s seasoned touch. Established companies trust CPAs to monitor and comply with changes in tax law, navigate external audits and prevent internal fraud, and manage interactions with the IRS.
- The Transformation Stage: Franchising your business, merging with a competitor, or divesting yourself of a struggling company? Complex financial decisions require
sophisticated decision-makers. And, financially savvy executives faced with challenging choices know when to call in the big guns. When combining or dissolving intricate assets, entrust a CPA with reconfiguring your company’s financial infrastructure, maintaining tax-efficient operations, and consolidating any accounts or debts.
Now that we’ve surveyed the big picture, let’s zoom in on a few essential services CPAs deliver to small businesses.
Accounting Services to Launch Your Small Business
“I can’t wait to fill out these mounds of government paperwork!” said no business owner ever.
When launching your financial enterprise, you’re going to be bombarded with fiscal decisions that carry long-term consequences. One of your earliest decisions will involve a pesky (but exceedingly consequential) legal requirement: appointing your business structure.
The structure you choose affects not only how you pay your taxes but also your liability, filing obligations, and a cascading slew of state and federal regulations you must follow. To make matters worse, it’s not an easy decision to undo.
Consider this analogy: Only 27% of college graduates work in a field related to the major they declared as 19- and 20-year-old sophomores.
Needless to say, making important decisions at the outset of any endeavor is incredibly challenging. However, unlike your overwhelmed academic advisors, CPAs have the time to meticulously explore your fiscal goals, identifying the financial opportunities that best suit your business’s needs. This assistance not only includes guiding you to make wise decisions about your business structure but also assisting you to apply for state licenses, establishing your EIN, and completing a variety of exciting tasks.
(OK, so we may have exaggerated… just a smidge. Those “exciting” tasks aren’t actually exciting. But, fortunately, performing them will no longer be your sole responsibility. Instead, you’ll be carving out time to focus on the projects you genuinely enjoy—like developing your brand voice, forging lasting connections in your community, and watching your business vision come to life.)
Systemizing a Well-Oiled Recordkeeping Machine
Are you looking for a one-stop-shop to streamline your recordkeeping? Your accounting guru has undoubtedly mastered QuickBooks, the industry standard for delivering customized accounting solutions to simplify your day-to-day financial ops.
Leverage your accountant’s software expertise to monitor invoices, track payroll and other business expenses, digitize receipts, build custom reports, and more. Set up sophisticated interactions with third-party apps like Salesforce, Microsoft Excel, Shopify, and PayPal. Or take things a step further and request that your accountant provide actionable insights based on monthly, quarterly, or annual data. The possibilities are seemingly endless.
Moreover, we’ll let you in on a well-kept industry secret: Successful integration with QuickBooks can mark the end of the launch phase grind and signal the beginning of your company’s growth stage. And, here’s why:
With a QuickBooks pro in your corner, you’ll be able to automate repetitive processes that would otherwise zap your productivity. In the long run, your most valuable asset is time. With the tedious processes running seamlessly in the background, you’ll have the energy and resources to divert your attention to more sophisticated endeavors. Although it may seem a little intimidating at first, you’ll soon be grateful that the days of painstakingly updating spreadsheets are over. We know we are!
Smart Business Owners Know: Tax Season Operates Year-Round
Tax filing deadlines come and go. But savvy business owners know—when it comes to tax season—it’s always game on. That’s because the tiny financial decisions you make throughout the year have BIG consequences when tax time rolls around.
Not to mention, tax codes are complicated and constantly shifting. With the rules of the game forever fluctuating, consider an account your lifeline to the rulebook.
Who doesn’t desire to use their money wisely? A CPA can help you maximize your business deductions, minimize your payouts to the IRS, avoid costly filing errors, and squelch audits. At the bare minimum, a CPA can prepare your annual business taxes to ensure regulatory compliance with the federal government.
But that’s just the bare minimum.
While careful tax preparation is undoubtedly essential—as well as time-saving—year-round tax planning provides the biggest bang for your buck.
Consider the following example:
2020 proved to be a particularly challenging year for your business. As a result, you’re looking to save every eligible penny during the upcoming tax year. So you reach out to a certified public accountant who audits your business for missed opportunities to minimize your tax burden. After pouring over your records, your account makes the following recommendations:
- With a few simple tweaks to your home office setup, you’ll now be able to claim the home office deduction. Accordingly, you’ll no longer pay taxes on business expenses related to home office repairs and essential services like high-speed internet to operate your business. And, you’ll also be able to deduct a percentage of your home’s mortgage interest payments and utilities based on the square footage of your office.
- By opening an HSA account for your employees and making regular contributions, you can lower your payroll tax liability and push your business into a lower tax bracket. Not to mention, overall employee satisfaction and productivity rise as a result.
- Because your business runs on accrual accounting, you’ve been overlooking the opportunity to write off “bad” debts from delinquent customer accounts. In addition to identifying these deductions, your CPA generates an automated report that fires any time a future account meets this criterion.
With the suggested tweaks in place, you easily save thousands of hard-earned tax dollars when filing your 2021 tax returns. Could anything be more rewarding?
Introducing Our Masters of Small Business Accounting
At Steven Lissner & Company, our team of accounting experts has 30+ years of experience in navigating small companies through the complete business growth cycle. Whether you’re launching a new business enterprise, devising a tax plan that maximizes your deductions, or designing streamlined processes that simply day-to-day accounting tasks, our CPAs understand how to meet your company’s unique needs while keeping an eye on the prize: profitability.
With your collaboration, we’ll create a sustainable and scalable business plan that helps your enterprise thrive. By introducing easy-to-use accounting solutions that meet your business at each milestone in its evolution, we ensure that your establishment achieves its full growth potential.
When it comes to planning your taxes, our accountants work year-round to secure your largest refund to date. Using sophisticated tools and keeping our finger on the pulse of tax law ensures that you never miss a profit-saving deduction.
Where day-to-day operations are concerned, our team specializes in detecting realizable opportunities for explosive growth. With your business’s needs at the forefront, we generate bookkeeping solutions that revolutionize your workflow, enhance your cash flow, and increase your most valuable resource: time.
Our small business accounting solutions free up your busy schedule to enjoy performing the tasks you love. Where you once spent hours pouring over payroll or googling how-to instructions for excel, your repetitive processes will operate like a well-oiled machine where they belong: in the background.
Learn how you can jumpstart your productivity today while saving thousands on your end-of- year taxes. Contact one of our devoted tax specialists to schedule a consultation!