This post has been updated and was originally published on June 15, 2017.
If you’re a small business owner, you might have already asked yourself the question, “Do I really need an accountant?” When people ask that, they usually mean, “Can I justify the cost of an accountant?”
It seems simple: Hiring an accountant might seem like something you could do without, and if you handle the accounting yourself, you save money. But that isn’t the best way to think about it. The reality is that there are hidden costs associated with DIY accounting, and you don’t want to come up short. So instead, ask yourself, “Will hiring an accountant add value to my business?”
The answer is yes.
Accounting can be complicated
While you can handle the day-to-day bookkeeping yourself (and our goal here at Wave is to make that easy for you), how savvy are you when it comes to taxes? Financial strategy? Business legal structure? How confident are you that you won’t miss out on any tax breaks or get caught at a disadvantage?
Think of it this way: You’d like to do your taxes yourself so you can avoid spending a few hundred dollars when money is tight. But if it takes you 10 hours to do your taxes, and your time is worth $85 an hour, that’s $850 you could be dedicating to building your business. And then there’s the risk of making errors—especially if you’re multi-tasking like most small business owners. An accountant can help you with all of that.
Mistakes can be costly to endure and repair
Accountants have expertise in many areas that benefit your small business, and trusting them with your concerns means you can be confident that your numbers are good and you can focus on business performance instead of worrying about your books.
Still thinking about it? Here’s a list of situations where accountants can help:
- You’re setting up your business
- You’re growing or expanding your business
- You want to set up financial forecasts
- You’re building a financial strategy
- You’re learning how to understand financial reporting
- You need help with your taxes
- You’re getting audited
- You’re looking to sell your business
- You’re applying for a loan or line of credit
Accountants can also review your business’ overall financial health. Basically, accountants focus on working out the details so you can focus on getting paid.
Not sure where to start?
Visit the Wave Community and post a question or request for an accountant who understand small businesses. We do our best to give you everything you need to succeed.
The information and tips we’re sharing in this article are meant to be a starting point for your year-end tax prep, so you can be informed and feel confident when working with your accountant. Be sure to check with a tax expert in your country or region for any specific advice you need, as each business (and tax district) is different. As our lawyers would say: “This article is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered legal or financial advice.”