Top Tips: Find The Right Small Business Accountant

Whatever your business, whatever your experience as an owner and however long your business may have been running; you will face the constant and rather daunting aspect of dealing with your business finances.

Dealing with finances is no easy task and the pressure is regularly on as one slip up could land your business in murky waters. From bookkeeping, to tax, to VAT and PAYE returns; there are numerous financial ‘boxes’ that you must continue to tick off but with a business to run, employees to manage and success to reach, many agree that the best way to keep on top of it all is with the ongoing advice and support of a professional and qualified accountant.

There is a stigma surrounding accountants and I am almost positive that as I have even uttered the word; many of you will think of boring, suited men that charge far too much money and do very little to help your business. However, contrary to popular belief the right accountant will not only charge little for your services but save you a heap of money in the long run and of course ensure that your business finances remain in the best shape possible.

Below are my top tips that can help you ensure that, in your search for the right accountant, you get only the right results…

Experience- This is almost a given point to look for; as the more experienced the accountant, the more chance you have of ensuring you receive the best service. There is however another point to consider; has your chosen accountant got experience in dealing with small business and start-up business finance? The two can differ greatly from the financial situations faced by moderate and larger sized corporations so be sure to check into this before you make any decisions.

Fees- There is a myth that all accountants including small and start up business accountants charge large fees for an hour’s service however did you know that there are many accountancy firms that offer fixed fee services too? a fixed fee accountant is your best chance of getting the right service without a crippling price tag.

Services- An accountant isn’t just the tax man; the right accountant can become a trusted advisor who can help your business stay in the best financial shape, pay less taxes and may even advise on ways in which you can save money. Take the time to ask what services are on offer; bookkeeping, tax return advice, PAYE checks and help and support on VAT returns are services you will all need at one point and getting them all from the same trusted accountant is often easier, simpler and far more cost-effective.

Whatever your business, an accountant can make life easier by ensuring your finances are up to date and in the best shape possible. The right accountant is out there; one that supports your business in a way that it deserves and one that ensures you aren’t hit with constant crippling fees. Simply take the time to research your options, think carefully and think ahead when making that all important decision.

Ben Black is the Director of Calculated Accountants, a firm of professional start up business and small business accountants dedicated to providing solid, trusted financial advice and support.

Small Business Accountants: Top Services Available

Whether you are a small business or start-up business owner one of the main worries you will no doubt face is taking care of those finances and managing the costs as best as possible. On top of running your business, managing employees, ensuring optimum results and planning for growth; as a business owner you must keep your finances in the best state possible in order to ensure that your organisation strives.

Dealing with a growing business is a lot for anyone to contend with which is why when it comes to finances, dealing with the specialist advice and support of an accountant can help. The right accountant can not only ensure that your finances stay in prime condition but help you save money and allow you the freedom to concentrate on the things that matter.

For many small business and start-up business owners however, there is often a major drawback. In an attempt to manage costs, the seemingly excessive fees of an accountant can be considered unnecessary. However there are many accountants out there who not only work on a fixed fee basis but offer a range of vital services that can give your business the fighting chance it deserves.

Below I have listed a few of the services the right accountant can offer, in an effort to keep your business in the best condition…

Bookkeeping- Bookkeeping is the task of recording all financial records and is a legal obligation that all businesses must comply with. An accountant can help maintain accurate and detailed records of all incoming and outgoing expenditure, records of accounts, records of cash expenses and details of business expenses.

Year End Accounts- Year End is a daunting prospect that all businesses must deal with however with the right accountant you can finalize your Year End accurately, review your company performance and financial forecasts and ensure that all accounts, business and personal tax returns are filed on time.

VAT Returns- One of the most complex issues any business owner will have to face is the VAT return however an experienced small business accountant can normally deal with the majority of the process, freeing you from the hassle. Accountants will often work with you to ensure you are registered, your return is accurately complete and submitted on time and any possible future reductions are planned for.

Payroll- Whether a small or start-up business, you will naturally have employees that will need to be paid. An accountant with payroll experience can keep on top of employee salaries, ensure all tax and national insurance deductions are made, ensure that PAYE submissions are made to HMRC on time and students loans, sick pay and maternity cover is accounted for.

The above are just a few of the services that the right accountant can offer. With the right fee and the right experience, allowing an accountant to deal with the above issues amongst others can provide you with the ease and security of knowing your finances are in the best possible hands and even save you time and money.

Whatever your views on cost saving; putting your business in the hands of a professional accountants could be one of the best investments you make.

Ben Black is the Director of Calculated Accountants, a firm of professional start up business and small business accountants dedicated to providing solid, trusted financial advice and support.

The Importance of a Business Accountant

Business Accountant

Business accountants are a critical component to any small business. But it is just as critical to find a great business account because just having one isn’t enough. An accountant is no longer just a number cruncher. They are financial advisers and planners as well and they can point you in the right direction to properly manage and maximize your company’s money. They document exactly where the company’s money goes and they are up to date on current tax laws and can help a business save money where it might be losing money without an accountant. Because accountants are in charge of company finances it is critically important that you find an accountant with integrity, that is honest, and that can be trusted.

Certified Public Accountants

To become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) an accountant must pass certain qualifications. CPA’s require a certain level of schooling as well as experience. They also need to pass rigorous testing to prove their competence. In addition they must continue their education so that they are informed on all the newest tax laws. Because of these things a CPA is a much more knowledgeable and informed accountant. When starting out small businesses generally need a CPA to make sure that they aren’t losing money where they shouldn’t be and to keep their finances in very good order. There are many laws that a CPA will know about that a general accountant just won’t know because they haven’t had the schooling. CPA’s are more expensive, but if you hire one that is trustworthy your accountant will tell you when you are paying them too much for services that could be handled by a general accountant.

What Does an Accountant Handle?

Accountants do a variety of tasks for small businesses. They should be involved in the start up process of any new business. They can help with planning, negotiating leases, and setting up book-keeping systems. As soon as a business is up and running an accountant prepares tax returns, annual information returns, quarterly reviews, and can offer financial advice. An accountant will set up efficient and organized book-keeping systems to make sure that any information needed can be found easily. An accountant can take care of business taxes as well as helping with personal tax planning. A lot of the time personal taxes are intertwined with business taxes and having an accountant will help to manage money more effectively. Accountants also provide a business an opportunity to network and receive referrals that it would not otherwise receive. Accounts have many different customers and they can let those clients know when beneficial opportunities arise. They may bring in new customers to a business they work for, or they might be able to facilitate new business partnerships that a business wouldn’t get without them.

Accountants are highly valuable in the business world. If you are a small business you need a business accountant or a small business consultant to make sure that you aren’t wasting money when you could be saving it. A business accountant knows tax laws and can make sure that you pay what is necessary and don’t pay what you shouldn’t be paying. The value of having a small business accountant can not be overstated. They are critical to financial planning for a small business and handling business taxes, which are governed by complicated rules. A business accountant can make or break a business, especially if it’s just starting out. You need to make sure that you have an accountant that is knowledgeable and that you can trust.

Rebecca Moser is the founder of Moser & Associates which provides business accountant services to Minnesota including, tax planning, tax preparation and payroll services. Rebecca is a Certified Personal Accountant (CPA). She has over 15 years of tax and accounting experience with small and mid-size CPA firms. She is very active in professional, business and community organizations including several not for profit organizations and has made an art of helping others and their businesses.

Business Accounting Services that Can Make Your Company More Profitable

In order to manage your business profitably it is necessary to have access to the appropriate financial data, advice and services. For small business in a very competitive market you are faced with the challenge of constantly improving profitability, the need to decrease taxes, eliminate tax surprises and free up time for other competing interests. Using business accounting services will make your company more profitable by reducing staffing cost and attaining cost savings based on expert advice.

Business Accounting Defined

Business accounting is the process in a business that tracks and communicates financial information. This consists of three basic activities: identifying, recording and communicating the economic events, such as transactions and investments of a company. Bookkeeping techniques are utilized to record these economic events. A key business practice for profitable small businesses is outsourcing business accounting.

Interpreting Business Accounting Reports: Internal Users

Data collected from bookkeeping is used by accountants to generate financial statements that are then presented to the internal and external users. Accountants can also analyse and interpret these financial statements and explain the meaning of reported data. Internal users, such as marketers and supervisors, of small businesses would need the expertise of a managerial accountant to interpret these financial statements. If such staffing is not a part of your small business it is then pertinent to gain the services of business accounting professionals with the requisite qualifications and experience who will assist small businesses in understanding the economic status of their company, and, by extension, run the company profitably. Without the expertise of accounting professionals your business could run the risk of failing to meet legal and regulatory standards, this mistake could potential eat away at your profits.

Interpreting Business Accounting Reports: External Users

The external users vary. Investors who are seeking to expand his/her investment portfolio would need financial information on an organisation as well as creditors and government agencies. Government agencies typically seek out tax accountancy information of an organisation. Small business that seek profession tax accounting services ensure that they are advised on using the most tax effective strategies so that they pay the correct amount of taxes, and are compliant according to government standards. Financial accountancy services are required to manage and produce the reports needed by the various external users. Accurate data drives profitable business decisions, and that’s why small businesses must ensure their books are in the hands of experts.

Financial Reports Produced

Business accounts are usually kept in the form of financial statements that show all of the financial resources within the organisation and how these resources are being allocated. Accounting records typically filed are balance sheets that give a snapshot of a business’s financial information from the period of the snapshot through the end of a specified accounting period. Additionally, profit and loss statements, and cash flow statement are produced along with an analysis of the business’s performance by applying ratios, benchmarks in their reports so as to enable their performance to be improved.

Business accountancy should be outsourced for small businesses as there is a variety of financial expertise required for tracking and communicating analysing and reporting financial information about the business. Typical services provided are in the form of accounting, bookkeeping, taxation and business consultation. This information is generally sought out by shareholders government agencies and business managers to keep track of finances of the business. Basically, business accounting services provide an important function in empowering small businesses understand their financial reports to make decisions that positively impact the bottom line.

Outsourcing Accounting helps many companies cut costs. Amitaabh heads a leading Accounting Outsourcing Service that caters to small and medium businesses worldwide with a structured process to ensure client success.

4 Tips For Choosing The Perfect Small Business Accountants

Business accountants play an important role in the life of small businesses even though the financial state is no longer as steady as it was in the past. The field where accountants shine vary greatly and it might not be what you are searching for. To be able to find an accountant that can work efficiently for your small enterprise, read this post.

Tip 1: Be Sure You Know Exactly What You Need

It is important that you figure out the assistance of business accountants before you decide to look for one for your business. Several of the specific tasks that they can perform are accounting, tax return and accounting software installation among others. The cost of their services depends on the work that you ask them to conduct. This is the reason why it is vital that you figure out what you would like them to perform in your small enterprise. Carrying this out enables you to figure out what are the characteristics you prefer for a business accountant.

Tip 2: Come up with a Short List

The next step that you must carry out is making a list of names of business accountants that you might like to hire. Internet is the best way you can utilize so that you won’t be having any difficulty locating an accountant. In the internet, expect to see many accounting companies and people who provide the services you want. If you want, you can always ask suggestions for an accountant from people you recognize and are close to you like legal professionals, bankers or individuals who have their small business.

Tip 3: Checking their Credentials Is Important

Perform a little research. Most accounting companies have their very own website which you can check out if you want to find out more about them. It is exactly where they post the services they give as well as the price. Make sure that they are associated with accounting companies such as the National Institute of Accountants (NIA) and Chartered Accountants (CA). These companies require their members to update themselves by obtaining continuing professional education. This will also help you in narrowing your short listing to 3 to 5 accountants.

Tip 4: Have a Chat With Them Personally

Small-scale businesses have distinct monetary dynamics when compared with larger businesses. Come across business accountants that know your needs. It will be easier for you to clear up some concerns if you set a personal appointment. Ask pertinent queries such as their approach to monetary difficulties and the reason why you should employ them.

Don’t be disappointed if the services they provide are expensive. Instead of the cost, take into account the value. If the service they give you has been useful for your business, then it’s definitely a valuable investment.

Business Accounting Services – Consideration of the Two Sides of the Coin

When was the last time you came across broadcast advertisements such as “Contact us for your business accounting services needs” or “We provide world class professional accounting services” on printed media or internet portals? Well, with the growing popularity of outsourcing primary accounting functions to expert third parties and service providers, it is common to find services providing firms, offering a wide range of services to global clients. The synonyms for professional accounting services may vary from user’s bookkeeping services to accounting reporting delivery services, but the areas of service delivery are the same.

There is an increasing demand for firms offering world class business accounting services and tax and finance related solutions for entrepreneurs and SMEs. The cost effective and error free services provided by the professional service providers helps business owners save time and energy spent in languishing over the books of accounts and other standardized accounting processes. It is a fact that these non core functions do not add to the bottom line and the resources saved through outsourcing the same can be utilized for more strategic and core processes, that help in generating revenues.

The limited time, energy and monetary resources are encouraging the small and medium enterprises to look towards outsourcing the taxation and accounts related work processes to professional accounting services firms. These third party experts are highly experienced and equipped with the best technologies and software to take care of all the processes related to the handling of accounts, generation of final accounts statements, filing of tax returns, management of accounts receivable and payables, planning of tax benefits and providing valuable consultancy in all matters related to all financial aspects of the client’s enterprises.

The outsourcing of business accounting services helps in cost reductions and efficiency in areas related to accounting software, vacation and sick leaves, employee turnover and training costs, locking of office infrastructure and equipment, employee incentives and medical benefits, etc. The advantages of availing professional accounting services are many and awareness about the same is leading businesses into outsourcing their primary functions to external agencies.

Along with the pros, there are certain disadvantages that have to be kept in mind by the business owners to avoid complications at a later stage. It is important to hire the services from qualified and experienced firms, as mistakes or omissions in the accounting procedures will lead to a lot of mental stress, penalties, punishments due to non compliance and legal hassles. Non timely submissions of the statutory documents and accounts to the authorities and failure to meet deadlines can lead to the loss of reputation of the firm and termination of business operations in certain cases.

The relationship between the business providers and the client establishes the grounds for the safety and confidentiality of the strategic financial information related to the client’s business. The absence of ethical measures in the processes followed by the professional services provider firms may lead to the exposure of highly sensitive data to rival companies and competitors. This leads to litigation and disputes and unnecessary legal hassles for both parties.

Accelcia business accounting services provides customized professional accounting services to high-growth companies across various industry segments to ensure that your business is set up with seamless accounting processes, allowing you to focus on growing your business.

Small Business Accounting – A Reasonable Solution to Your Accounting Woes

Are you in constant stress just because accounting work at your firm has become unmanageable? Is it true that you toil hard, spend almost whole of your day in office and yet your work doesn’t gets streamlines? If this is what you have been facing since long time, do not worry and look for some small business accounting help. This will make your firm flourish well with efficiently organized and intact accounting data.

If you are running a small scale business and have accounting task done, then there are several small business accounting firms available in the market. These firms have expert accounting professionals who are well equipped with latest information on handling accounting task and software usage too.

One of the major benefits a business firm reaps via small business accounting services is that one is spared from tallying the balance sheet at the end of the day. Professional help from accounting personnel sorts out smallest to largest issues concerning accounting work.

Accounting standards and policies are such that they keep changing, making it almost impossible for someone other than a CPA to solve them. They need a professional touch. The businessman also needs to concentrate on more important matters other than accounting problems. Since accounts supplement the business, the business needs to stay profitable for accounts to make them look good. For this sole reason the businessman should devote his time growing the business and acquiring new businesses.

Accounting help from outsourcing firms can be of immense help to your business. Also these services are cheaper than recruiting accountants and setting up a whole department in your firm for them. A small time business should be able to bear the cost of accounting service and this is how they can do that. The cost factor is very important in modern day business as everyone is in competition and the prices should be quoted well for the business to make profits. These small businesses need to be extra cautious about their business costs because if they don’t then they get gobbled up by big business houses.

The quality of business also improves because the business gets added help of professionals on how to manage it. Small business accounting services help the business in making important decisions like what the fair valuation of the business is and how to make a profit with the current speed of business activity. The business gets a facelift and improved financial performance makes the profits increase. The businessman needs to know if the stock of goods he is maintaining for his business would be better or not or if the debtors should increase above a particular limit or not. All this information would be supplied by small business accounting at cheap prices, making the business reach at the zenith of success.

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Small Business Accounting: How to Choose an Accountant

A small business is an enterprise that is usually small in scale in terms of number of employees and/or sales revenues. A large majority of the businesses in the United State are small business. These businesses are usually registered as sole proprietor, meaning one individual owns it, or partnership, meaning 2 or more people owns the business.

One of the problems facing a small business is in terms of accounting. With the limitation in funds, some accounting is done by the business owner. The entrepreneur is tasked to run the business and at the same time handles the day-to-day accounting requirements of the company. Because of this, the company is often penalized by the government for late payment of taxes, late submission of tax documents and at times, non-submission of tax forms. Also, the business can also be penalized for erroneous computations of tax dues. The business owner has his/her hands full with running the business that handling the accounting requirements can be turned over to another person.

A business owner can hire an in-house accountant or he/she can outsource the small business accounting work to a CPA firm like Desert Rose Tax & Accounting. An outsourced accountant can sometimes be more beneficial than hiring an employee because it is less expensive to outsource than to hire. Also, the outsourced accountant doesn’t need a designated space while an in-house needs his/her own space in the office.

In choosing an accountant to handle small business accounting for the company, some tips can be useful. Before opening a business, the business owner must have a ready accountant. Since a CPA requires a license before he/she can practice the profession, one has to make sure that he/she has a license. The accountant must have experience in the kind of industry the business is in.

Also in a small business accounting setup, before hiring an outside CPA make sure that one knows how much the accountant charges. Fees charged by CPA firms can vary widely. It is good practice to compare the accountant fees with industry standards. The accountant must be able to fill the needs of the company. Before hiring an accountant, one has to interview at least 3 or more prospective accountants so one can compare which among the three will best serve the company’s purpose.

In handling the accounting needs of the company, the business owner must ask the prospective accountant about other possible services he/she can offer to the company like sales tax and payroll tax reporting services. Some Certified Public Accountants offer business advice to help the enterprise grow.

Also, the accountant best fitted to handle the small business accounting is the CPA whose accounting firm is also small. Accountants who own small firms understand how small businesses are run. They also have the time and resources to share with the business owner. It’s one thing to have a fancy degree in business and another to have practical experience running a small business. In the event that the business owner sells the business, the accountant must be good enough to discuss with the owner how to go about with the sale so that tax liabilities are minimized.

Prior to signing up an accountant for the small business accounting, the business owner must ask the accountant for client references so that the owner can investigate. One must also make sure that the accountant establishes a business relationship with the owner, meaning the accountant has time to visit the company every now and then rather than just seeing him/her only when it’s tax filing season.

Methods For Small Business Accounting

Small business accounting plays a crucial role in deciding the success of a business enterprise. Financial matters related to small businesses are a little different from that of the large business firms. So, if you wish to administer your business in a proper way, understating of these accounting matters are mandatory. Optimum utilization of funds, correct business activities, right credit allocation and timely evaluation of competitors along with effective decision making are all necessary for small business accounting professionals.

There are primarily three main financial measures that are involved in the management of accounting details of a small business. This includes cash flow statement, profit and less account and the balance sheet.

The balance sheet presents the worth of the business and lists the liabilities and assets of the small business throughout the year. The profit earned or the loss incurred by the business is all calculated by the profit and less account. This statement shows the performance of the business and covers either the quarterly report or the monthly report.

The cash flow statement is prepared so as to know about the cash balances of the small business firm in future. This statement predicts about the cash requirements of the small business in future.

Usually, there are two methods that can be utilized for small business accounting. The first method is the cash basis method that involves identification of cash receipts as the expenses and income and bill payments are seen as expenses. This method is used by most small business owners as it uncomplicated and can be easily implemented.

Accrual method is the second method to maintain accounting books in small business. In this method, revenue that is entered in the account books does not rely on the real cash collection. If a sale is made, the product is recorded in the books as “accounts receivable”, no matter if the amount has been paid by the customer or not. Further, when the amount is received from the customer, “accounts receivable” turns into cash and registered into the accounting books. Similarly, if there is any expenditure that is incurred by a small business, it is written to be an expense in the book of accounts, even the bill is paid after a long span of time. Usually, small business that deals in manufacturing businesses, employ this accrual method to maintain their accounting books.

There are also several accounting software that are especially designed for small businesses and their requirements. Generating reports, storage data and performing calculations and managing other such accounting transactions can easily be sorted out with the help of these software. Using these software makes the work of accountants of these small firms not only easily manageable but also this is a very cost-effective option.

Small business owners may also seek assistance from accounting outsourcing firm for the proper management of their accounts and to hire proficient accounting services at affordable rates. So, select the small business accounting firm that suits your budget as well as requirements and lessen the burden of your accounting tasks as early as possible.

Product Review DIY Accounting Small Business Accounting Software UK

Accounting Software Strengths

Easy to use by non accountants requiring no previous accounting knowledge and is basically a list of sales and a list of purchases on preset excel spreadsheets. Each workbook is arranged as 12 monthly spreadsheets with preset columns and uses an entry code letter to analyse both sales and expenditure.

Cash and bank spreadsheets are included as optional extras for those businesses that require them with a built in automated bank reconciliation. The sheet is designed to be completed by copying the figures from the bank statement into the bank spreadsheet and the bank reconciliation is achieved by also entering the statement total which is automatically checked against the entries made.

Monthly profit and loss account also includes a financial health check based upon an automated tax forecast to enable businesses to monitor their financial performance. By entering drawings the package then compares the net profit made with the likely tax liability plus the drawings.

Quarterly vat returns are generated for vat registered business and is also suitable for non vat registered business. To produce a vat return clients simply go to the vat file and select the quarter end date from a drop down menu and the figures for the vat return are automatically generated.

The vat calculations can be disabled by non vat registered small businesses by simply changing the standard vat rate from 17.5 to zero making the accounting software suitable for both vat registered and non vat registered businesses.

The accounting package includes a stand alone sales invoice generator which requires invoices generated to be manually input into the sales sheet.

The fixed asset schedule is preset with the capital allowance tax rates to automatically calculate capital allowances when fixed assets are entered. Depreciation is also automatically calculated with preset percentages that can be changed as required.

A major benefit of using this small business bookkeeping software is the templates are arranged in such a way to automatically generate an excel copy of the self assessment tax return. The excel self assessment tax return is arranged in the same layout as the official inland revenue form with the same box numbers making it easy to copy the figures from one to the other for submission.

Accounting Software Weaknesses

The Self-employed accounting software UK is based upon single entry of transactions and does not produce a balance sheet which is an optional requirement for self employed and therefore not a problem for the vast majority of businesses. DIY Accounting actually recommend clients who are self employed and wish to produce a balance sheet to use their Limited Company accounts package which does produce a balance sheet being based not on single entry but on double entry principles. The small business accounting software is suitable for a single tax year, the latest being 2007-08 and does not cater for accounting periods other than April to April. There are benefits in anyone self employed adopting the standard April to April financial year as this avoids tax allowances from two separate years being a feature of the accounts. When used by small businesses using the cash accounting system the bookkeeping entries to the sales and purchase sheets must be entered according to the dates money is paid or received rather than the dates invoices were issued. At the end of the financial year any invoices not yet entered require to be listed to adjust the final profit and loss account figures. This a major disadvantage if using the vat cash accounting scheme rather than the Accounting Software being reviewed.

Very Low Priced

At £12.99 the accounting software is basically available for loose change and will save many businesses the need to employ an accountant potentially saving hundreds of pounds in professional fees. For the financial year 2006-07 the basic package for non vat registered business is available at just £9.99 and the standard accounting software for vat registered small business is £12.99.

Other Features

The product has a stock control feature to monitor any stock losses. The small business accounting software contains a wages interface that fully integrates the DIY Accounting Payroll Software when those files are saved into the same folder as the accounting software files. Being written on excel spreadsheets all transactions are visible and capable of being changed by for example overwriting any errors as opposed to a database system that requires new transactions to be entered to reverse previous entries. The sales and purchase spreadsheets include columns for entering CIS tax deductions and payments and the certificate numbers. The CIS tax being then automatically entered on the self assessment tax return. As the small business accounting software is written on excel spreadsheets then it is essential that users have a version of excel from 1998 onwards installed to use the program. The accounting software also works fine with an Open Source spreadsheet package.