Small business owners are always looking at ways to save money. Luckily, these days there is a wealth of apps and technology that help SMB owners run their business in much more cost-effective and efficient ways. Whether it’s daily operations, communication, or marketing, there’s an app to help optimize the process. There’s also great financial and accounting software, like Xero, that helps with invoicing, payroll, reporting, and more.
Of course, accounting software does not make you an accountant, and making sense of all your financial data and responsibilities can be super challenging. The one role that an app really can’t replace in a small business team is an accountant or bookkeeper.
Having a financial advisor makes running a business easier at every step and can also help keep you from getting into deep trouble come tax time. We gathered the top 5 reasons you need an accountant or bookkeeper to help you stay clear of problems and get ahead.
1. Get help with your taxes from the pros
We’re not going to ignore the top reason people hire an accountant: taxes. There’s no denying that taxes are complicated, and this is especially true for small businesses.
From GST to end-of-year tax returns, an accountant is your tax expert. They’ll be able to advise you on deductions, preparations, covid relief packages, and the complex network of payments a small business owner needs to think about all year long. Plus, they’ll tell you how you can save on your taxes in ways you didn’t realize—this alone helps to offset the cost of hiring a professional.
2. The big picture of your business
You are an expert on running your business. Your financial advisor is an expert at looking at the big picture of your business—and not just the financial picture. Everything you do in your business contributes to your business’s financial health. Your bookkeeper or accountant can help you identify what you’re doing that might be hurting your cash flow and what choices you need to make before you can buy new equipment or onboard a new employee.
3. Accurate accounts keep you and your business honest
Figuring out what to do next in your business requires having accurate data. The word data can seem scary, but all it means is information. That information is the secret to running a business that can survive and thrive.
Unfortunately, a lot of small business owners try to do all their own bookkeeping. Human error can easily lead to a mistake that can throw off all your options and have serious consequences. An accountant or bookkeeper helps you ensure you have accurate, complete, and timely data about your finances. Pristine financial data is not only vital for your business survival but a legal obligation when you file taxes or apply for a loan.
4. Preparing official documents
Running your own business can involve a lot of paperwork, even in the age of apps and automation. Your accountant knows your company and can maintain your business’s records, prepare annual statements of accounts, and file all your required compliance documents. Getting the help of a financial advisor saves you time and gives you the peace of mind that it’s going to go right the first time. Accountants who use tech, like Aider, can easily provide monthly reports about your business.
5. Making the most important decisions so you can grow
A financial advisor doesn’t have a crystal ball, but they can help you forecast the future of your business. You will want an accountant who knows about the ins and outs of your business so they can help you make strategic, data-lead choices about your next step. A financial advisor looks at current and past data to advise you on what you can afford to do and how you can properly grow. They’re skilled at analyzing your information to help you determine the when what, and how.
The right financial advisor helps you focus on running your business so you can avoid spending your valuable time trying to make sense of financial legal jargon and endless pages of numbers. It’s true that there are so many apps that help you run your business, and we definitely recommend having an accounting app, like Xero, to make everything run smoothly. However, even the best financial software cannot replace the value of an accountant or bookkeeper.
If you and your accountant or bookkeeper use cloud-based accounting software, like Xero, and a digital assistant, like Aider, you’ll both always be able to see the same information and have smarter, more strategic conversations about what to do next.
Learn more about how a digital assistant can give you a glimpse into your data here.