When you start your business on a budget and funds are limited, you are likely to cut costs and strengthen the funds available as much as possible. You might consider taking charge of your business’ accounting affairs, but if you do not have the right skill set and incorrectly capture your financial data, it could be detrimental to your business in the long run. Accountants are valuable at each stage of your business to ensure the growth and sustainability of your business.
Start your Business
An accountant can assist you with validating the proof of concept of your business. Often business owners focus on the business plan, however, there is no short-term measurable proof of concept sprint to ensure the business survives the first year. Accountants bring their expertise and experience to ensure your business is viable from the start, and if it is not feasible, they will minimise your financial loss as much as possible.
In South Africa, it is essential that you chose the right business structure (Sole Proprietor, Partnership, Private Company, NPO of NPC). Having the right accountant means that they can advise on the best business structure to minimise your financial liability. They will be able to assist in regulatory and compliance requirements for your business, e.g. Tax registration, Department of Labor Registration, COIDA and any other industry-specific compliance.
When looking into hiring the right accounting firm, find one that is familiar to your industry. For example, if you own a small business, you want to find an accounting firm that advocates for small businesses. Accuracy and precision are of the utmost importance in the accounting of a small business because it is so much more difficult to find funding in the first place. Compare this to a large corporation where an error, even in a large amount of money, is something that they are likely to be recovered from quickly. The same cannot be said for small businesses, as even a small mistake could have disastrous effects.
Run your Business
Once your business is off the ground, your financial data is an integral part of ensuring the sustainability of your business. Your accountant can assist you with the maintenance of your accounting records, cash flow forecasting, market analysis, income projections and many other financial aspects of any business. This information will be vital to your ability to make a strategic decision.
You will know you have the right accounting firm when they are nagging you instead of you nagging them. This lets you know that they are focused on your business and that you are a priority to them.
The last thing you want is an accounting firm that is overwhelmed by other clients and either makes you feel second-rate or takes forever to attend to your books – causing you fines because you have missed SARS deadlines.
Grow your Business
When you are ready to grow (expand) your business, your accountant can be an indispensable resource that provides advice and manage the process. An accountant will provide insight on the cash flow effect of the growth strategy, information on the best funding mechanism to use to fund the expansion are critical in the valuation process of your business if you are looking to sell equity. Having an accountant also makes your business “Investor Ready”. They provide a level of assurance and credibility for your business to gear it up for growth.
The right accounting firm will be able to look at your business holistically and be able to forecast opportunities, expenses and challenges ahead and advise you going forward. Find an accounting firm that will put your business’ best interest first before anything else.
An efficient and honest accounting firm helps you with valuable professional advice for the development of your business. For professional accounting help that will always put your business first, contact Outsourced Finance.