As an entrepreneur, solopreneur, or all around business owner, you likely thrive on that sense of ownership. When someone says, “DIY”, you say, “Already did.” And at the sight of many hats, you pile them all on.
It’s who you are. It’s in your DNA. And it’s why — when placing those bets — you should never underestimate your ability to succeed against all odds.
With that being said, the DIY mentality is appropriate sometimes, and dangerous at others. Choosing to manage bookkeeping and accounting is possible on your own, so long as you’re conscious of and prepared for each pinnacle moment of business growth and change.
When considering the question, “Do I need an accountant for my small business?”, ask it through the lens of these three stages of business growth to find the right level of support appropriate for you and your business.
Stage One: Do I Need an Accountant When I’ve Just Launched a Business?
At the beginning, you’re fueled by potential and, undoubtedly, a smidgen of fear. It’s the good kind of fear though; like the lift in your stomach at the top of a roller coaster drop. Despite the unknown that lies ahead, you’re grounded in possibility and creative freedom — it’s a beautiful thing.
Here is where the foundation of your business begins to set. It’s where you define your offer and develop a model with which to make good on your deliverables. Additionally, you start to make sense of who your ideal client is, where to find them, and — most importantly — how to pitch them in a way that leads to signed contracts and long-term relationships.
In these early stages of shifting and settling, it’s easy for owners to underestimate the importance of financial organization. Every transaction — from invoice payments, to everyday business expenses — should be tracked and monitored. Doing so on a monthly basis ensures that you’re 1) prepared in the event of an IRS audit, and 2) free from the stress of having to find and consolidate all year-end receipts at the start of tax season.
The good news here is that you don’t necessarily need an accountant to stay on top of these early finances. If you want to keep hold of the reigns, find a business budget template that works for you and make maintaining it a habit.
Stage Two: Do I Need An Account When I’m Building Efficiencies?
Flashforward 2 years later and it’s 11 p.m. on a Saturday. After some short-lived time spent with the family earlier in the afternoon, you’re back in the office, doing your books.
Less time on your hands is likely a good sign. It means you’ve proven your business model and the outside world is starting to take notice. More clients are signing on, more money is coming in, more money is flowing out, and — yes — more of your time is being spent keeping everything in order.
Efficiency becomes the name of the game at this stage. If you’re not going to explore the upside of outsourcing your financial team, you’ll need to put the best practices (and possibly people) in place to keep that financial engine running. Whether you outsource it to an experienced team, like Officeheads, or delegate to someone internally, you will need to create a strong process, and put the right tools in place to keep your financial engine humming.
All of this becomes important for the sake of both payroll and capital. The more complex your machine becomes, the easier it is to make a mistake that could cost you a paycheck (or two). This complexity also translates to the investments you make in your business for fueling future growth. If you’re going to be soliciting banks and/or investors for capital, you’ll need to prove fiscal responsibility with solidified reports that tell the story of your business’s past, present, and future.
Stage Three: Do I Need An Accountant When I’m Strategically Planning for the Future?
There’s that word again — scalability. At some point, continued business success is going to rely on your ability to strategically plan for growth. In other words, now that you know what your business is capable of, where are you going to take it?
You need expert help across the board for financial planning; budgeting, setting goals, tax preparation, bookkeeping, you name it. There is simply not enough time in the day to wrap your head around every facet of operations without it.
As managing your business begins to get more complex, you can’t be legal, HR, finance, sales, marketing, and chief visionary. You can’t juggle this level of fragmentation on your own and expect the job done for each to yield your best possible results.
At this stage, it’s critical to get the expert advice of professionals in order to grow. Relying on a strong financial team will provide you the reports, advice, and information for your future.
Timing is everything when it comes to bringing on the help needed to see your business succeed. And whether that time is now or down the road, Officeheads can provide the financial tools and services necessary for every stage of the small business journey. Contact our team today to set up your free consultation.