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  • Megan

5 Questions Every Small Business Owner Should Ask An Accountant

As a small business owner, you wear many hats. But no matter how good you are in what you provide or the people you manage, your ultimate success hinges on your balance sheet. That’s why it’s wise to work with an accounting professional to help with the financial side of your business. In fact, there are many questions to ask an accountant, especially if you’re starting a new venture or are looking to expand your small business. How Can You Help Me Grow My Business? From expanded offerings and hiring more employees to opening an additional location, there are several ways to grow your small business. An accountant can help you navigate the financial and tax side of your endeavors by letting you know which opportunities promote growth versus hinder your success. They can also help you track your financial progress in terms of managing expenses, improving cash flow, and planning for the future. What Are My Tax Requirements and How Do I Prepare for Tax Season? Taxes are complicated, especially when it comes to owning and operating a small business. Your accountant is your expert on understanding and complying with tax laws. They’ll instruct you to keep separate business versus personal expenses and help you maintain accurate records to streamline your tax obligations. They can help you collect and file W2s for employees or 1099s for contractors; update your practices to adhere to tax rules for online sales and inventory, and perform an internal review to flag anything that could trigger an audit. How Can I Best Manage My Cash Flow? Having a healthy, positive cash flow is a primary goal for any small business owner. It’s easy to get caught up in your daily operations and end up in the negative zone if you’re not paying attention to your revenue and expenses. An accountant will help you understand cash flow basics, as well as help you put a plan in place to monitor and improve it. Looking ahead, your accountant can also create a cash flow projection to help keep your future more profitable. Are There Any Inventory Rules I Need to Follow? If your business sells or resells goods, it’s important (but not easy) to stay abreast of tax regulations. In fact, several states have requirements regarding where businesses warehouse inventory and fulfill orders. Your accountant can help you thoroughly assess your order process to make sure you’re restocking in a way that maximizes cash flow; that unsold inventory is properly noted on your balance sheet, and ensure your state taxes are collected. How Can I Manage Risk and Protect My Business? Did you know that near three-quarters of all small businesses do not have a plan to protect against risk or operational disruptions? That’s why discussing risk management with your accountant is crucial. You’ll want to make sure your insurance is adequate and up to date; that you’re following proper security and privacy practices; that you have internal controls to protect your business; and that you have measures in place to safeguard against fraud. Other Accounting Related Questions to Consider: Which accounting software should I use to manage my finances? How should I structure my business? Are there any financing options I can pursue? What business records do I keep to stay compliant and avoid an audit? Is it better for me to have employees or contractors? What business expenses can I deduct? When do I need to pay my taxes? How can I best handle payroll? How much revenue do I need to break even? We’re Here to Answer All Your Accounting Questions Starting or growing a small business is a dream-come-true moment. That’s why our experienced Sidekick Accounting staff is here to walk you through all the financial steps you need to help keep your dream alive and thriving. Contact us to schedule a consultation when it’s best for you.

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