In The Swing
by Clive

Two questions that each demand similar answers, so I thought I would address them together…

Lost my swing after taking a break from golf for a month?
“So, I've been busy these days so I had to take a break from playing golf because of school work, however after a month I went to the practicing range and I lost my feel and my swing. It felt really weird to swing the golf

Small Business Accounting: How to Choose an Accountant

A small business is an enterprise that is usually small in scale in terms of number of employees and/or sales revenues. A large majority of the businesses in the United State are small business. These businesses are usually registered as sole proprietor, meaning one individual owns it, or partnership, meaning 2 or more people owns the business.
One of the problems facing a small business is in terms of accounting. With the limitation in funds, some accounting is done by the business owner. The entrepreneur is tasked to run the business and at the same time handles the day-to-day accounting requirements of the company. Because of this, the company is often penalized by the government for late payment of taxes, late submission of tax documents and at times, non-submission of tax forms. Also, the business can also be penalized for erroneous computations of tax dues. The business owner has his/her hands full with running the business that handling the accounting requirements can be turned over to another person.
A business owner can hire an in-house accountant or he/she can outsource the small business accounting work to a CPA firm like Desert Rose Tax & Accounting. An outsourced accountant can sometimes be more beneficial than hiring an employee because it is less expensive to outsource than to hire. Also, the outsourced accountant doesn't need a designated space while an in-house needs his/her own space in the office.
In choosing an accountant to handle small business accounting for the company, some tips can be useful. Before opening a business, the business owner must have a ready accountant. Since a CPA requires a license before he/she can practice the profession, one has to make sure that he/she has a license. The accountant must have experience in the kind of industry the business is in.
Also in a small business accounting setup, before hiring an outside CPA make sure that one knows how much the accountant charges. Fees charged by CPA firms can vary widely. It is good practice to compare the accountant fees with industry standards. The accountant must be able to fill the needs of the company. Before hiring an accountant, one has to interview at least 3 or more prospective accountants so one can compare which among the three will best serve the company's purpose.
In handling the accounting needs of the company, the business owner must ask the prospective accountant about other possible services he/she can offer to the company like sales tax and payroll tax reporting services. Some Certified Public Accountants offer business advice to help the enterprise grow.
Also, the accountant best fitted to handle the small business accounting is the CPA whose accounting firm is also small. Accountants who own small firms understand how small businesses are run. They also have the time and resources to share with the business owner. It's one thing to have a fancy degree in business and another to have practical experience running a small business. In the event that the business owner sells the business, the accountant must be good enough to discuss with the owner how to go about with the sale so that tax liabilities are minimized.
Prior to signing up an accountant for the small business accounting, the business owner must ask the accountant for client references so that the owner can investigate. One must also make sure that the accountant establishes a business relationship with the owner, meaning the accountant has time to visit the company every now and then rather than just seeing him/her only when it's tax filing season.

Small Business Guide in Hiring an Accountant

An accountant is a necessity for any business. Huge corporations may have lesser problems finding one but small businesses might need more effort to hire this professional. How do you choose and hire the suitable accountant for the accounting needs of your small business? Here are some guidelines that you might find helpful for this task.
• Ask for references from your lawyer, banker, or business colleagues. It's either you will be hiring a person or an agency. Check how much work will your company do and the accountant will do.
• Interview the referrals. Here are the things you need to know during the interview:
-Services to render. What will be the scope of the accounting service? The common inclusions are tax and auditing services. Know if bookkeeping, management consulting, business planning, and other specialized financial and accounting services are also part of the offer. Ensure also that they have experience in working with small businesses and if they are suited to your company's needs.
-Personality. Being compatible with the accountant can enhance the working relationship and make the output a lot better. Ensure that the people you meet at the accounting firm would be the same people doing the services for you. Clarify this matter from the start when you contract the agency's services. To assess the competency and compatibility of the accountant, you may ask how he or she will handle a situation relevant to what is happening or might happen in your business.
-Fees. This aspect should be accomplished upfront. Make this as clear as possible. Some accountants charge by the hour while others work on a monthly basis. Costs, however, should not be your sole reason in choosing. Some charges more because they are more experienced and skilled while others charge littler because they are not as experienced. Make sure that you base your judgments by considering all relevant things.
• After choosing, draft the agreement. All details should be clearly seen at the agreement letter. State properly the statements included returns, fees to be charged, and others. A well-written agreement will prevent any misunderstandings in the future. This also ensures that expectations of both parties are met.
• Make your own assignment. Ensure that you'd not just hand the accountant records and loose receipts. Have a record of your income and expenses and the details that goes with the transactions. This helps your accountant work faster which means lower fees on your part.
• Regularly meet with your accountant. Review the financial statements and assess problems if there are any. You should know where your money is going. A good accountant should not only be concerned with preparing financial statements but should also be able to suggest ways to cut expenses and provide ideas and answers to questions you may have.
A good accountant may save you more than you can think of when done effectively and systematically. Working for a Nashville accounting firm, I believe an accountant is a lifetime partner for any entrepreneur to keep a great business going.

Small Business Accounting - Undergoing the Face of Change

Individuals are learning that a way forward is clearly up to themselves, it is no longer practicable to expect that the path laid by big business is the correct one. No longer can we allow big business to pressure our governments into policy creation that serves only a few. Those individuals who are currently enjoying the handouts and privileges from an alliance with big corporations can now expect to enjoy a quick death along with them.
We are now moving forward at an incredible pace and we are seeing a changing of the guard as small business once again returns to the forefront.
Small Business comes directly from the family, and out of the family comes a desire to nurture, a desire to give without the need to make another suffer in the process. Because of this the world of tomorrow will be a far different place than where we sit right now, change may be slow at times but as momentum is gathering we are already starting to see the impact this is having in our communities.
Small Business Finance
As part of this change we have realized that the way we do business, the way we account for our activities can no longer be done using the same mentality employed by the corporate giants.
For decades these same corporate identities have given us accounting methods and programs born out of their own importance, and from their own system of accounting. As we have recently learnt with so many of them going down the drain their method of accounting is no longer working, we need a method that gives power back to small business and back into the hands of mum's and dads. We can no longer sit back and continue to allow big business to dictate to us telling us what we should or should not be doing, because in the end if we allow this to continue we will condemn ourselves to join with their mass extinction.
A New Generation of Software
The biggest complaint is that traditional accounting software programs are so bulky and so unnatural in their approach that the user becomes more confused and more anxious with every use. This has seen an increase in small business failing to satisfactory comply with government regulations, and an increase in inaccurate taxation reporting, simply because the owner has lost confidence in what they are doing with their business finances.
For the most part the average owner starts out with an expectation of meeting their taxation obligations, however they find themselves bogged down with inefficient software and under a mountain of useless reports.
Accounting Systems of tomorrow need to be developed by small businesses for small business, and these programs need to be designed with simplicity in mind. The reason behind this line of thinking is clear, we have learnt that the average user of these types of programs are not accountants and they have no desire to become one. I point this out as an obvious observation, however this simple truth has been overlooked by corporate software developers for the past 3 or 4 decades.
Simple Easy Small Business Accounting Software which is available from EasyAs Accounting Software.
Let me show you a simple easy approach to small business accounting. Lets Face it, many Small Business owners are mums and dads trying to make a living, and the last thing you want is to be spending all your free time in front of the computer. EasyAs, Simple Easy Bookkeeping

Accounting Services For Small Business - Four Types of Services to Look For

There is no doubt that doing all tasks for your new business will help it grow. However, it will reach a point where your company will be known by many people. When that moment comes, you will know why delegating duties is essential. When more customers come, the accountants are normally put under pressure. If you have one accountant or none, important money transactions are likely to be omitted or recorded wrongly. Accounting services for small business will be more preferable in case your company is growing fast.
There are four main types of accounting services for small business that you can buy. If you want to purchase all or some of these services you are free to do so. The first crucial service is bookkeeping. Without keeping your books of accounts properly, your accountants will have a difficult time tracking past transactions. When looking for bookkeepers, in USA, be sure to focus more on registered accountancy firms.
This is because you only want legal accounting services for small business. There are countless companies offering automated or manual bookkeeping. Some of the services they offer include recording accounts payables and accounts receivables, task reporting, producing annual tax projections and financial analysis. Another area where an independent accountancy firm can chip in is the management of business credit files.
Many entrepreneurs fail because of their inability to separate business and personal money matters. Providers of accounting services for small business will not only take charge of your business credit file. They will also offer you free financial advice. Their actual roles will include monitoring your credit behavior and reporting it to the business credit bureaus. When a company borrows a loan, lenders deal with the owner personally. If it defaults, the credit bureaus taint the owner's credit score.
You want to avoid this as it will decrease your probability of receiving more business credit in the future. By having someone working from a remote office to control your credit reporting, you can focus on paying your bills on time. The third accounting services for small business include tax reporting. Although you have an accountant, he or she may not be knowledgeable about reporting tax returns.
They can therefore put your company at risk of facing IRS penalties. To solve this problem, you should simply outsource tax work to a third-party that owns a separate firm. Normally, third-party firms own big teams of accredited accountants and this is why they accept all types of clerical work. The last accounting services for small business that you can find useful entails updating books and releasing financial statements.
Again you must know that it is not all accountants who can update your books manually or by a computer. Thus assigning your task to a team can assure you success. Outsourcing office work to self-employed accountants is not difficult. You can now use the internet to choose a very reliable team in the country. Some providers of accounting services for small business own large businesses that operate in the entire country. If you want no regrets then hire highly reputable and reliable businesses.
Business Accounting Services helps many companies cut costs. Amitaabh heads a leading Accounting Outsourcing Service that caters to small and medium businesses worldwide with a structured process to ensure client success.

Easy Small Business Accounting Practices

If you're trying to figure out how to handle small business accounting jobs and responsibilities for your business there is a lot of information that you need to keep track of. Whether you're using a piece of software or not to keep track of your financial issues, there are several things that are going to be important. Preparing a general ledger, revenue accounts, balance sheet, and income statement are all crucial parts of small business accounting jobs.
The General Ledger
The first part about using your accounting employment practices effectively is creating a general ledger of accounts. This general ledger is crucial in any accounting careers as it is the first place where debits and credits will take place. Whenever you have expenses that need to be added up or revenue accounts that need to be totaled, the general ledger keeps track of both.
Deciding on the revenue accounts and expense accounts that go into your general ledger is another matter. There are several ways that a business can approach this issue, but the best way is to itemize each revenue stream so that all of the revenue accounts can be seen in a clearly organized manner. For example, some of the revenue accounts that every small business will want to consider having in their general ledger include labor sales or even parts and equipment sales. The basic idea here is that the revenue should be broken down into categories. Creating T-accounts for these revenue accounts if using a manual accounting method is important; software programs will probably have a different method of organization.
The same principle applies to expense accounts, however. Your accounting employment practices should ideally include expense accounts on your general ledger such as supplies expense, payroll expense, freight and delivery expense, and advertising expense among many other possibilities.
Balance Sheet and Income Statement
The balance sheet and income statement are two of the most important financial statements of any business; these show the net worth and profit margins of a company. The balance sheet is composed of asset totals, liability totals as well as owners equity. The general formula that you're dealing with here in your accounting careers is "Assets - Liabilities = Owners Equity."
On the balance sheet, the cash balance of the business needs to be recorded along with several other important factors, including inventory, equipment, and any other business furniture that you have. In contrast, liabilities should include your accounts payable transactions, or the money that the business owes such as a bank loan. By subtracting the liabilities from the total assets you should arrive at the total net worth of the business or owners equity.
In contrast, a business' income statement should be a listing of all expenses and revenues to arrive at the business' bottom line or profitability. There are several ways that an income statement of a business can be constructed, including the single step or multi-step approach. Even though both of these methods are different, a business should arrive at the same total or bottom line using each one.
As you can see, creating a general ledger consisting of revenue and expense accounts in order to develop your business' balance income statement and balance sheet is crucial. Whether you are just starting out in your accounting careers using these financial statement methods or you're thinking about using software to take care of the financial matters of your business, keeping track of the net worth and profitability of a business is absolutely needed.

Small Business Accounting Systems

You're beyond the paper and list-keeping stage. Thankfully, your business has grown to a point where you know you will have at least weekly income and expenses. Soon it will be daily. It's already starting to get hard to do your accounting manually and it will only get worse. What do you want to spend the majority of your business day on - accounting for your business, or running it? That's a no-brainer! You need to be making an income for you and your family!
Now it's time to buy that accounting system you've been thinking about. Make it something that doesn't take a CPA to understand, is easy to operate and doesn't take up all your valuable time to set up. Think about these things before you buy:
* If you have employees, you may need a payroll function
* Do you need to track inventory? What method do you use?
* Will the software exchange files with your bank?
* Do you have, or will you need, a tax prep package?
* Are there any unusual accounting requirements for your company or industry?
There are several good packages out there for the new businessperson who is not an accountant. It is important to note that these packages don't replace the need for a business to seek the assistance of an accountant! In fact many businesses require an outside audit. These software packages will NOT replace that cost, but may help alleviate it by providing the accountant with easy-to-follow record keeping!
These are some good software packages that are readily available. Look them up, compare price and features and see which one best fits your needs on paper. These all have a free trial period, but try to make as good a choice as possible before embarking on that free trial. After all, it takes a while to set up any accounting system and you'd much rather do it only once! That said, the free trials are a valuable way to assure yourself that the accounting software will meet your needs before spending your hard-earned cash. Definitely take advantage. And if the package falls short, try another with your newly adjusted requirements in mind.
Here are the best-rated packages available:
* Peachtree Software is a full-featured accounting system that comes in various "flavors" for specific industries.
* Quickbooks is made by the same people as Quicken and has some of the same look and feel. It's a good beginning accounting software.
* Simply Accounting is another good beginners' choice.
* MYOB Plus is a full-featured accounting software that has a Mac version with an especially good reputation.
* Microsoft Small Business Accounting integrates with your current Office products and gives you a similar look and feel, which could shorten the learning curve.

Online Small Business Accounting Services for Improved Accuracy

It is quite a challenge to run a small business these days and owners have to wear many hats in order to get the job done. When you are taking it upon yourself to handle a lot of tasks, you are bound to mess up at some point, and if an error occurs with your accounts it can be very expensive. Additionally, fixing such errors wastes valuable time that you could be using to manage key administrative issues that are vital to your business.
Owners often face a dilemma in this situation as they cannot afford to hire a full-time professional accountant with their limited resources. This is the precise reason that SaaS models like small business accounting services and payroll accounting systems are becoming more and more popular with small business owners. Following are some of the benefits of such accounting services.
Additional Security
Use of the Internet's increased security modules ensure your data is safe and secure so you don't have to worry about unauthorized access, manipulation or theft. This is a common occurrence when your data is stored at your premises and can be accessed by anyone making your sensitive business information vulnerable to theft and manipulation. Since the reputation of these small business accounting services depends on safeguarding your data, they will go an extra mile to protect it.
Affordable Prices
These accounting services are far more affordable and accurate than a professional accountant hired locally. The online accounting services provide solutions to a large number of clients reducing their costs per client and making it more affordable to the marketplace. This is a classic win-win scenario for small business owners as they can get quality, reliable services at reasonable prices. At the same time, the switch from in-house accounting to online accounting enables employers to focus on more productive areas of their businesses.
Ease of Use
One added advantage of small business accounting services is that they are less complicated than your everyday accounting software which at times can be overly complex for the average business owner. You have the ease of sending your data automatically by email, or you can scan documents like payroll time sheets and then send them by email. Another advantage offered by most of the accounting services providers is the availability of a live professional 24/7 via online chat or email for any problem that you may run in to.

The Importance of Accounting For Small Businesses

When starting your own small business one of the most important aspects to think about is the accounting process and how you choose to account all of your financial information. It is important to understand that the accounting of your business's financial information needs to be accurate or else your business may not be as successful as intended. Even if you don't like accounting or numbers, there is no way to avoid accounting for a business. The purpose of accounting for a business is to have a record of the receipts and expenditures of it's daily activities. Also, accounting makes it available for the business owners to assess and analyze the business's performance. This will help the owner to decide what improvements they need to make, or what practices to keep doing in order to keep the company at it's successful place.
In order to file for tax returns, apply for a loan to expand your business, or for certain legal purposes, accounting is necessary. Accounting for your small business is also important so you are able to assess your financial performance. The financial statements such as the balance sheet and cash flow statement show financial information that is important in the success of your business. The balance sheet shows how much your business is worth and what your assets are. The cash flow statement shows where the future cash needs of your business are. Without any of these financial statements your business would not be able to account for the revenues and profits made from day to day, which results in mistakes and inaccurate records.
In the tough economic times we are facing today, having accurate accounting is necessary. There are so many firms that can assist you in accounting for your small business. So many small business owners believe that they need to be able to do their own finances and take the accounting in their own manners. However, that surely is not the case. It is much better to hire a firm that is respectable and can help assist your company in the accounting department. That way, while the firm is handling your accounting necessities, you can be improving your business by putting your name out there to draw in more clients, keep a strong relationship with existing clients, and encourage your employees constantly so that they, too, are putting their best efforts towards your company. This will definitely improve your business and help you as the small business owner to feel more confident and less stressed, knowing that your finances are safe with a trusted accounting firm. There are too many instances where small business owners have tried to take accounting into their own hands, and unfortunately have not succeeded in the process. If you want to have a successful business, you have to learn to keep the accounting out of your job task. In addition to hiring an accountant, as the business owner it is important to purchase accounting software, such as QuickBooks. This type of program is where you will be able to keep track of receipts and expenditures and will help make the financial reports for you as well.
If there is one certain fact about small businesses and accounting it is that the staggering failure rate for new businesses, has more to do with bad financial management than almost any other problem. Whether it means the company does not have a successful business plan, their expectations are impracticable, there is no limits on spending, or just bad decisions made in the financial department overall, businesses such as these need to realize the importance of accounting and what a difference it can make for their company. There are a few options small businesses have for improving some of these mistakes. Small business owners need to be aware of how accounting systems work so that they can realize when their finances are successful or in danger, as well as understanding how to make and read a chart of accounts that makes sense to them.
One of the major problems with small business owners and failing to do the accounting for their business is that the businesses grow so fast to the point where the owners do not have time to worry about the accounting part of the business. They get caught up in trying to perfect their customer service, that they do not see the significance in getting the financial aspect of the business up to par. Hopefully, small business owners will begin to realize how important accounting is for the business, and we will see more successful businesses and less failed businesses in the future.

Identifying and Selecting Small Business Accounting Services Providers

Buying small business accounting services is very beneficial. These services are provided by self-governing external contractors who have registered businesses. As a small enterprise owner, you may not have time to do the accounting functions perfectly even if you have adequate knowledge and experience. Gradually you will get to a point where you cannot tell the financial position of your business. This means being in a position where you cannot estimate the actual worth of your business. Without knowing the quantity of your company's liabilities and assets, it can be difficult for you to demonstrate your creditworthiness to creditors and suppliers.
Although you can recruit an accountant, doing this will simply add a costly liability to your business. The new accountant will need enough office space, working equipment, monthly salaries, mandatory leaves, health insurance benefits and so on. He or she will also need an orientation process so as to get familiar with your company. Providers of small business accounting services are a cheap liability for your business because they work from their offices. They also do not ask for salary raises, bonuses, health insurance benefits, compulsory leaves and other favors. They do not require office equipment too unless you want them to come and work in your office.
Small business accounting services providers are known by the law as legitimate accountancy firms. They are run just like any other company, meaning that they have qualified employees, accounting software tools, office equipment and furniture among other things. In order to obtain small business accounting services, you have to sign a contract with the providers. They will explain to you about their scope of services and how they are delivered and you will explain to them the nature of your accounting transactions. Among the issues included in the contract include the length of the contract and payment terms.
Many companies that offer small business accounting services give you predetermined payment plans. For instance, some will expect you to pay an hourly rate and others either a fixed or an hourly rate. Whether you prefer to pay a fixed or an hourly rate, you have an obligation to find out the current rates being charged by many outsourced firms. Large outsourced accountancy firms are able to serve many small businesses at the same time for up to a whole year contract. If you are outsourcing accounting work for the first time, you may want to buy small business accounting services for one week or one month.
If the services delivery turns out great, you can start creating longer contracts with your favorite service provider. If you think that there is a vital condition or stipulation missing in a contract, feel free to negotiate for its inclusion with your best outsourced company. Although there are many outsourced companies in the US, you want to deal with a company that has done accounting for many small businesses in the past. Perhaps you can request the contractor you intend to use to give you genuine contact details for clients it has served in past. While small business accounting services are very essential, it is up to you to locate smart and reputable accountancy firms.

10 Ways an Accountant Can Save Your Small Business Money

Big business and big fees. It's a common perception of accountants, particularly if you watch Hollywood movies, but how about smaller businesses. Are there any benefits to investing in the services of an accountant if you run something like a local shop or service company?
The first thing to realise is that accounting firms come in all sizes. You have the large organisations that support major corporations, smaller practices with a few partners and the independent accountants who specialise in supporting smaller local businesses and sole traders. The larger firms can offer a range of experts that specialise in different aspects of accounting and are able to deal with large and complex businesses, and they will charge high fees to reflect this service. Smaller businesses don't need such a level of expensive support, however, as the smaller amount of money flowing in and out of the business means the way it needs to be managed is also that much simpler. That being the case, what can an accountant do for a small business that will make engaging their services worthwhile?
1. Bookkeeping advice. Keeping track of all the day to day transactions allows you to account for the money coming in and out of the business. There are different ways to keep your books, depending on the type and size of the business, and an accountant can advise on which would suit a particular business best. Choosing the right one can save you time and make sure you claim all the expenses you can to reduce your tax bill. If you really have a problem doing this yourself, many accountants will be able to offer this service as well.
2. Cashflow Advice. If you get your cashflow wrong you can actually got out of business. It's all well and good having orders in the pipeline for the coming year, but if you haven't got cash in the bank to pay the bills that are due right now, you're still in trouble. An accountant can help you plan properly to check your cashflow is keeping up with expenses, and if it isn't, to spot the problems early enough to give you a chance to head them off.
3. Personal financial advice. The whole point of being in business is to make a good living from it. An accountant can advise you exactly what you can take from the business and when to ensure you get the most from your hard work.
4. Cost Control. Every business has overheads and bills to pay. An accountant can look at the way your business is running, see where the money is being spent and advise you on ways to keep those costs to a minimum.
5. Business Planning. Accountants are involved in many types of business and see them at all stages, from start-ups to long established corporations. Because of this they are able to bring a wealth of experience to look ahead at how your business could develop, and provide guidance on how to manage your financial growth.
6. Tax Planning. Tax regulations change all the time as each budget brings a new round of politically motivated updates. Accountants keep up to date with all these changes and are able to advise you on how they affect your own particular business. It may be a change on the rate that means you have to put more money aside, or it could be a new allowance you can take advantage of. Either way, you could save money by avoiding a penalty for not being able to pay on time, or by benefiting from a change you may not have been aware of.
7. Annual reporting and returns. These are a legal requirement and you will be fined if you are late submitting them, or don't actually bother. The fee an account charges for completing the returns on your behalf is much less than it will cost you if you get this wrong.
8. Knowing where you stand. A clear picture of your financial situation allows you to make sensible and timely decisions. Many people need help with reading their financial statements, such as Profit and Loss and Balance sheets, and making good choices and plans based on what they tell you is crucial to the prosperity of a business.
9. Business Structure. As businesses change and grow, the way they are structured have a big influence on the tax that becomes liable and how much the business owner can take as an income. There are pros and cons to being a sole trader, in a partnership or trading as a limited company, and which is best for you will depend on the kind of business you run and where you plan to take it in the future. An accountant will provide you with the facts and information to help you decide which is best for your own circumstances.
10. Time Saving. Running a business is a big commitment. Getting the finances right is crucial, but it does take time. If you are a top class salesperson you are far better using your time to bring in more business than sitting at a desk with a calculator working through the books. In the early days you may find that money is so tight you feel you can't afford the investment needed to work with an accountant, but think carefully about this. For all the reasons stated above an accountant can help you make the most of the money you do make, and it will free you up to make even more of it.
It is rare to find the money you spend on the services of an accountant is not more than repaid in the ways they can keep on the right track, minimise the tax you pay, and keep you from making costly mistakes.

Easy Tips and Tricks to Get Small Business Accounting Right

Making mistakes in your accounting can have serious implications for any business, such as significant fines for suspected tax evasion. For a large corporation, this can damage both the finances and the reputation of the company. For a small business however, it can have a huge impact and possibly even cause the company to go under, if there is not enough money to pay the fines.
Good accounting is therefore essential right from the very start. Many small business owners believe that they do not need to do any kind of accounting, or do only basic bookkeeping, but this is wrong. It is critical for every business, no matter its size, to start accounting from the moment it starts trading. Simply keeping hold of customer receipts and invoices is not enough, the business must set up a simple but thorough system to record all transactions made and to produce reports as and when needed. Getting off to a good start with accounting will set your business up for long-term success.
When you launch your small business, open a separate bank account for it. It is not uncommon for sole traders for example to simply use their personal checking account for their business but this then makes it impossible, or at least extremely difficult and time-consuming, to carry out a reconciliation, which is a check to ensure that the figure your bookkeeping tells you should be in the account is indeed the amount in the account.
Reconciling your books and accounts regularly, such as weekly or monthly, is a great way to avoid accounting errors. This way if the figures do not add up you will have more chance of being able to correct the mistake. Imagine trying to find a small receipt from ten months ago, for example. That is the kind of problem that can occur and be impossible to correct if you only check your books against your bank right before you have to submit your annual tax return.
Good bookkeeping and accounting such as producing monthly cash flow statements not only benefits you when it comes to submitting your tax return, which is much easier when you have all of the necessary figures and documentation already in place, but it also benefits you because you can see if you are overspending on particular items or services, and predict whether you will make a profit or loss. You can also start to see trends, such as seasonal increases and decreases in profit, which may otherwise have gone unnoticed.
Another great tip is to find out if you are entitled to any tax credits as a small business owner. Too many small companies do not realise that they may be able to claim certain expenses such as travel, home office costs and even childcare as untaxed. Be sure to do your research to make sure you are not overpaying.
For small businesses who want to keep their accounts in good order but who perhaps do not have the expertise needed to do their own accounting, there are a couple of options to choose from. It is possible to buy accounting software online that will produce reports for you. These are relatively cheap and easy to use, however the reports are only as good as the figures you enter into them so if you make an error, it is likely to go unnoticed.
Hiring a small business accountant, however, ensures that your accounts will be prepared by a knowledgeable and experienced person who pays meticulous attention to detail. You can opt for a local accountant or, to keep costs down, you can find an accountant online who generally charge lower fees.
It would be highly recommended to any small business to hire a small business accountant as a consultant right from the start of the process, which gives them time to familiarise themselves with your business before the busy period at the end of the tax year. However, you want to ensure that you are working with an accountant who understands your position and can advise on how best to handle your finances, so wherever possible opt for someone who specialises in small business accounting and, preferably, who has already worked with small businesses that are in the same industry as you are. If you live in a large city, accountants tend to be readily available with the necessary background, but if none of your local accountants can offer what you need, then it would be best to find one online, rather than opt for someone who only knows how large corporations work.
Sarah Shore writes for Choose Your Accountant, an online service where you can find small business accounting professionals. For a dedicated small business accountant who really knows your industry, a quick visit to Choose Your Accountant is all that is needed.

4 Tips For Choosing The Perfect Small Business Accountants

Business accountants play an important role in the life of small businesses even though the financial state is no longer as steady as it was in the past. The field where accountants shine vary greatly and it might not be what you are searching for. To be able to find an accountant that can work efficiently for your small enterprise, read this post.
Tip 1: Be Sure You Know Exactly What You Need
It is important that you figure out the assistance of business accountants before you decide to look for one for your business. Several of the specific tasks that they can perform are accounting, tax return and accounting software installation among others. The cost of their services depends on the work that you ask them to conduct. This is the reason why it is vital that you figure out what you would like them to perform in your small enterprise. Carrying this out enables you to figure out what are the characteristics you prefer for a business accountant.
Tip 2: Come up with a Short List
The next step that you must carry out is making a list of names of business accountants that you might like to hire. Internet is the best way you can utilize so that you won't be having any difficulty locating an accountant. In the internet, expect to see many accounting companies and people who provide the services you want. If you want, you can always ask suggestions for an accountant from people you recognize and are close to you like legal professionals, bankers or individuals who have their small business.
Tip 3: Checking their Credentials Is Important
Perform a little research. Most accounting companies have their very own website which you can check out if you want to find out more about them. It is exactly where they post the services they give as well as the price. Make sure that they are associated with accounting companies such as the National Institute of Accountants (NIA) and Chartered Accountants (CA). These companies require their members to update themselves by obtaining continuing professional education. This will also help you in narrowing your short listing to 3 to 5 accountants.
Tip 4: Have a Chat With Them Personally
Small-scale businesses have distinct monetary dynamics when compared with larger businesses. Come across business accountants that know your needs. It will be easier for you to clear up some concerns if you set a personal appointment. Ask pertinent queries such as their approach to monetary difficulties and the reason why you should employ them.
Don't be disappointed if the services they provide are expensive. Instead of the cost, take into account the value. If the service they give you has been useful for your business, then it's definitely a valuable investment.