Starting and running a small business involves a number of tasks that are by turns easy, complex, and technical. Navigating these tasks as a first timer, or even a second or third timer, without adequately understanding the processes can cause problems both immediate and long-term. Hiring a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) to help you get started and to work with you, even part-time, going forward can spell the secret to your success as a small business.
Your CPA can help you decide on the very basics of your business. The CPA can help you decide whether to incorporate as a C-corp, set up a Limited Liability Company (LLC), or operate as a Subchapter S Corporation. If you don’t know what the differences are, or the tax and regulatory implications of each, you need to consult a CPA. The CPA can also help you structure your business operations from your accounting software and procedures to the strategies in your business plan.
Once you get your business started, you will still face challenges every day. A CPA can help you maintain the systems established at startup, but they can also help you prepare, review, and analyze your financial statements. They can also help you keep straight on employment laws on exempt vs. non-exempt employees, for example, or review the status of 1099 employees as independent contractors. Of course, they can also help you review your own tax status, deductions, and financial reports for maximum advantage and compliance.
Growing Your Business
Your CPA can provide great support in the growth stages of your business. By being familiar with your operations, analyzing your financials, and comparing patterns in your operations, the CPA can provide guidance on areas of opportunity. Looking at your production rates compared to expenses and determining that you have a cost advantage in a certain market for a product would be an example. The CPA can also advise you on the impacts of real estate decisions, leasing vs. purchasing equipment, financial planning, and - of course - taxes!
The primary advantage of consulting a CPA is to tap into their experience and avoid the obvious mistakes that could be made due to simple ignorance of “how things are done”. As a cost-conscious and sensitive small business, you may not be able to afford a full-time CPA - and it may be unnecessary. To meet your need, however, hiring a contract CPA firm such as CustomOne CFO & Controllers will provide you the support and services you need. By contracting for part of a CPA’s time, or using a virtual CPA to provide consulting online, getting the advice of a CPA will avoid mistakes. It is something you can’t afford to ignore.
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