Building Your Business Operations & Success Accounting How an Accountant Can Help a Small Business Owner Should you hire an accountant? By Alyssa Gregory Alyssa Gregory Facebook Twitter Alyssa Gregory is an entrepreneur, writer, and marketer with 20 years of experience in the business world. She is the founder of the Small Business Bonfire, a community for entrepreneurs, and has authored more than 2,500 articles for The Balance and other popular small business websites. learn about our editorial policies Updated on October 12, 2022 Fact checked by Sarah Fisher Fact checked by Sarah Fisher Sarah Fisher is an associate editor at The Balance with two years of personal finance and business writing experience. She has written about personal finance for SmartAsset, and has held internships at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand's office. learn about our editorial policies Sponsored by What's this? & In This Article View All In This Article The Start-Up Process Regular Business Operations Business Growth Stage Frequently Asked Questions Photo: Rob Daly / Getty Images If you are starting a small business on a limited budget, you might not want to spend the money to hire an accountant. However, if you lack experience in managing the financials of a business, you might want to hire an accountant. Mismanaged books can hurt your business. Key Takeaways An accountant can help you set up your business plan and business structureAn accountant can help you with your tax payments and financial reportsAn accountant can help you create realistic budgets for your business The Start-Up Process When you start a business, there are many actions you need to take and systems you need to set up to create the foundation for a successful business. An accountant can help by: Determining the best business structure (i.e., sole proprietorship, LLC, corporation, partnership) for your situation. Assisting with the financial analysis in your business plan. Providing advice on the type of accounting software you may need. Providing advice and assistance on opening a business bank account. Making sure your accounting procedures comply with government regulations and requirements. Providing advice on how to track expenses during your daily business activities. Explaining the importance of keeping personal and business expenses separate. Regular Business Operations Once your business is off the ground, you will need to maintain the accounting system that your accountant helped you set up. Some specific actions your accountant may take to assist you on an ongoing basis include: Helping ensure that your independent contractors are classified as such (and not employees) by the IRS. Explaining your financial statements so you can understand the ins and outs of your business. Overseeing company payroll and payment processes. Providing advice on estimated tax payments you should make during the year. Determining when, and to whom, you should send W2 and 1099 forms. Closing out your books and create financial reports at the end of the year. Compiling and submitting your taxes, financial reports, and all necessary paperwork to the IRS. Business Growth Stage When you are ready to grow your business, your accountant can be an integral resource that provides advice and helps you manage the process. An accountant can also: Help you determine areas for growth by providing insight on cash flow patterns, inventory management, pricing, and business financing. Provide advice on property and equipment leasing and purchase. Help you prevent getting audited by the IRS. Prepare you for and guide you through an audit, if necessary. Create financial forecasts so you can make better decisions in your business. Work with you to create a business budget that will support your business goals. Tip You might not need to use an accountant for all of your financial needs. You can hire an accountant during the start-up phase and have them handle your annual reporting, but work with a bookkeeper to manage your books on a regular basis. The most important thing you can do when it comes to your business finances is to recognize when you need to enlist the help of a professional, and then find an accountant who will help maintain the fiscal health of your business. Frequently Asked Questions How Do Accountants Help Small Business Owners? An accountant can help small business owners follow financial rules and regulations, explain financial statements, oversee payment processes, help them file their taxes correctly, and more. Is an Accountant Worth It for a Small Business? It depends on your situation, but accountants bring a lot more to the table than just filing taxes and handling paperwork. An accountant can analyze your business's financial data which may show you how to make your business more profitable. Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Tell us why! Other Submit Sources The Balance uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. PBO Advisory Group. "6 Ways Accountants Help Business Owners Make Smarter Business Decisions."