This perception has been, unfortunately, allowed to prosper and has even been encouraged by some accountants.
The thought that we have a high and noble calling to sorting out accounts, taxes, books, and other financial records is a flattering one for many accounting firms.
But at what cost to the business owner?
You need to understand your financials (and you want to)
Many of the business owners who work with us after having worked with a larger or higher-level accounting firm are surprised to discover that we as accountants want you to understand, too.
As a matter of fact, we don't see that there is any reason for you to be confused, frustrated, discouraged, or otherwise in the dark about your financials.
Therefore, it is time to look at accountants differently. Who they are, what they can do – and most of all, what you can do when you are working with the right type of accountant.
Accountants help you understand accounting
The new accountant sees their role not as taking everything over and doing it for you, but working with you as a partner to help you understand the most important items within your financial statements.
This means not just helping educate you about some of the accounting terminology, like balance sheets and net operating income and capital gains, but helping you know whether this even matters to you.
If the term does matter, what is the ideal number for your business?
Accountants help you integrate your small business systems
The rise of cloud accounting software, such as QuickBooks Online or Xero, has not only changed what accountants are able to help small business owners with. It has changed what we have to help small business owners with.
Because your accounting and bookkeeping form the very foundation of your business, it's vital that your small business takes advantage of the cloud business systems that are available to you.
The place to start is with your cloud accounting system. Getting everything set up on QuickBooks Online will be the best first step your business has taken. But what else can you integrate?
Just a few of the apps and add-ons we have helped small businesses integrate:
- Gusto – payroll and payroll tax
- TSheets – job costing and time tracking
- Expensify – expense reporting and mileage
- Jobber – service scheduling
- Rerun – repeat or recurring billing
- HubDoc – one-click upload of invoices and expenses
- Debtor Daddy – get invoices paid faster
- Invoice Sherpa – integrated payments
- Capsule – simple CRM system
- Mailchimp – email marketing
- Zapier – integrate any app with any other app
- Google apps for work – email, calendars, and more
Read more about these apps here.
But just knowing that these systems exist and can help you in these areas is not enough. How do you know where to start? Which one will help improve your profits and save you the most time? Is there a time sheet app that is better than another?
Your accountant needs to be able to have this discussion with you, and give advice and recommendations that will benefit your business above all. Every small business is different, and its cloud systems needs are different.
Accountants work with you wherever you are
When you find the accountant who understands you, speaks your language, or has worked with other types of businesses in your industry (or all of the above), it doesn't matter as much where that accountant is located.
We may be located in Washington D.C., but thanks to the always-available internet, we can help you set up your cloud accounting systems, maintain your books and records, discuss the best apps and integrations, hold accounting meetings, and more – no matter where you are in the country.
For small businesses this can mean a significant cost savings. Instead of having to choose a local accountant, or feeling pressured to choose the "high profile" CPA firm that is near your location, you can work with any accountant you want to. In any state, at any time.