Some businesses may think hiring an accountant is too expensive for them. But a full-time accounting professional can offer small and midsize organizations a great ROI.
First off, CPAs aren’t just glorified bookkeepers. They wear many other hats besides that of general accountant, serving as tax adviser, compliance specialist, budget forecaster, business analyst and financial watchdog. Here are the top 10 reasons your business should consider hiring skilled accountants:
1. Reduce expenses
A good cost accountant is intimately familiar with a particular field, product and/or service. These professionals continually analyze business data and look for places to trim bloat and waste. Some examples of this would be excess inventory, extraneous staff and too-high overhead. Naturally, lower costs translate to higher profits.
2. Boost income
All businesses rely on a steady flow of cash into their coffers. A financial expert can help you optimize and regularize revenue stream by overseeing accounts receivable, improving debt collection and advising wise investments. A trained accountant can also review market rates for your products or services, and adjust your prices up or down to maximize income.
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3. Jumpstart stalled growth
Businesses often suffer a slowdown at some point within their first few years. During this “sophomore slump,” hiring an accountant can help a company restructure its debt, identify unprofitable business lines and realign prices of goods and services. Accountants play a large role in advising executives on how to refine an otherwise solid strategy and move back into growth mode.
4. Free up your time
Managers and business owners have enough to do without having to deal with the minutiae of taxes, compliance, payroll, insurance, leases and internal controls. You should be focusing on generating revenue, not signing checks or preparing financial statements. A controller can take over these important yet time-consuming operational tasks, giving you the mental space to extend your market reach, innovate products, manage change and create strategic partnerships.
5. Handle tax matters
When your business was small and lean, you may have been able to handle your own quarterly payments and annual filings. But as a company grows, taxes and payroll become much more complex, as there are more variables and applicable regulations — on a federal, state and local level. For organizations with an international presence, taxes become even more onerous. Tax accountants keep up with legislative changes and help an organization remain in compliance. With in-depth knowledge of how to maximize deductions and minimize tax bills, you save money. Hiring a good tax accountant can pay for itself many times over. What’s more, they’re at your side in case of an audit or dispute.
6. Navigate regulatory processes
Taxes aren’t the only aspect of your business a governmental body oversees. Companies big and small face a growing regulatory burden. Of the finance professionals interviewed for the 2017 Benchmarking the Accounting and Finance Function report, only 2 percent of respondents believe their compliance burden will decrease in the next three years. An experienced controller or management accountant can set up a system to ensure compliance and plan for the implementation of new regulations.
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7. Create forecasts
A CPA is trained in analyzing large data sets and advising senior management on what they can expect in the near future. Whether for staffing needs or to woo an investor, a skilled accountant builds models and makes data-backed projections for the next quarter or fiscal year. With better forecasts, you can make better decisions.
8. Track return on investment
Are you measuring your ROI on advertising dollars? If not, you should. An accountant can calculate the success rate of marketing campaigns by analyzing sales figures and number of new customers versus the total cost of outreach. With this knowledge, you won’t be throwing away money on efforts that result in little or no boost in profits.
9. Hire and train personnel
As your business expands, you’ll need to add operational support staff to handle the extra workload related to HR, payroll, billing, credit/collections, purchasing and inventory. Part of a controller’s job is to recruit and vet the accounting staff your growing company needs, and then familiarize new hires with your financial systems and corporate culture.
10. Negotiate with suppliers
A savvy accountant can help you get the best deals, be they steeper discounts on bulk purchases or upgraded IT support. This financial specialist could also research various vendors, get bids from each and compile an apples-to-apples comparison so you can make informed decisions.
For businesses of any size, in every sector, hiring an accountant is almost always a smart money move. When it comes to the company you’ve worked so hard to build, it could cost you dearly to try to handle your own finances as you grow.
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