What Is an Accountant?
An accountant is a specialist who performs the bookkeeping and prepares financial records such as statements on income and loss, balance sheets and more. They conduct book audits, prepare tax reports and manage all the financial information that's part of running your company. That is to say, they 're the finance nerd you need!
What Does An Accountant Do?
So what does that mean for you and your business? How can an accountant’s way with numbers and superhuman calculating skills make your life easier? Here are just a few examples of how using an accountant can help to improve your business:
An accountant can advise on business structure. Is your small company set up as a sole proprietorship or an LLC? What’s the difference and what are the benefits of one over the other? An accountant can direct your ship in the right way and even handle the paperwork to get you there.
An accountant can issue invoices. Your company has to make money anyway, and you need to be sure that you bill your customers – and receive payments from payments – in a timely and professional manner. An accountant will set up and give the customers bills so you can get paid.
An accountant can record sales. You need to know what you are actually selling, how much you are selling and at what value to make your company successful. An accountant will keep track of the revenue and run reports of your small company. And you know what your best sellers are, which items you need to phase out, and how much inventory you will need next month. A controller also addresses a lot of other questions that will help your business expand.
An accountant can manage and pay invoices from suppliers. The bigger the company grows, the more stuff you will need to keep it going. Your accountant must bill (and keep track of those expenses) to your vendors, so you know how profitable your company really is.
An accountant can manage payroll. In June, how many hours did your assistant work, and how much was she paid? Your accountant will chart her salary and measure it, plus tell you how much you need to withhold for quarterly payroll taxes. An accountant will follow up on receivable accounts. You know the invoices were sent to all of your customers but have any of them been paid? Your accountant will track who paid (and who didn't) so you know how much cash you've got on hand — and if you have to send out late reminders.
An accountant can keep you up to date with tax laws and changes. Taxes are tricky, and could become even more difficult for small companies with the 2018 Tax Bill. Through estimating payroll taxes for your employees or keeping up with sales tax adjustments on each of your goods, an accountant will help to keep you in line with tax legislation.
Create weekly, monthly and/or annual reports on the financial well-being of your business. How safe is your enterprise? How much cash do you want to have on hand? An accountant must produce all the reports that you need for your company to make the right financial decisions.
When Should You Hire an Accountant?
It's wise to get an accountant's professional advice in the life of your small company, whether you're only in the planning stages or you've already had employees in you so far. But a professional's advice will only be useful if you are ready to take it on.
Small business owners wear plenty of hats and they will fight to transfer some of their power to others. We understand that your baby is that company! You did it from the ground up. Or maybe you've had a poor experience in the past of someone holding your books and never wanting to go through that again. All of these are reasons you need a reliable, qualified , skilled professional.
What Are the Types of Accountants?
Accountant responsibilities come in all shapes and sizes, but there are three distinctions you should keep in mind:
Bookkeeper. Not all accountants are bookkeepers but accountants can be bookkeepers. For your company, bookkeepers deal with a variety of tasks, from bill payments to weekly reports. While bookkeepers are expected to manage several financial obligations, they are not allowed to hold licenses to represent you at the IRS or to prepare your taxes.
Certified Public Accountant (CPA). CPAs are accredited by special tests and licensing standards in the State. They are required to file and sign tax returns for individuals and corporations, and will represent taxpayers for audits before the IRS.
Enrolled Agent. Enrolled agents must pass a thorough review which covers tax laws for individuals and businesses. They are allowed to file the tax returns but are not allowed to sign them. They will have to meet continuing education standards in order to keep their licenses, and if you are audited they will represent you before the IRS.
Robert Arnone’s mission is to serve as the trusted advisor for business owners that helps them achieve their financial goals. By applying expert knowledge in accounting and financial best practices in a personalized fashion, our clients are able to plan for and more importantly, achieve, financial success. We offer these services at a value that large accounting firms can't afford by holding dear the values of Integrity, Service, and Value. Contact us today for accounting services that go beyond your expectations!