I think I need an outsourced accountant, but what can you help with?
My strong belief: small businesses need to track their numbers: having a good accounting process, tracking your numbers, and then understanding your numbers can help you make better decisions. Outsourcing is an option if you need accounting help and direction but don’t have the budget for a full-time accountant.
We can work through your needs. Do you need a lot of help or a little? For example, you may want a “Controller-for-hire” where you want a plan and system created and then meetings to understand your numbers. In that situation I would be your outsourced experienced accountant and we work to the point where you hire a data entry clerk or a bookkeeper or even do some of the day-to-day work yourself. On the other hand, you may want more help — we talk to figure out your needs.
My accounting records are behind, should I be concerned?
Yes, but don’t panic. The good news is that I’ve seen businesses behind in their books, so you’re not alone. The bad news, it’s not a good position to be in and the sooner you get the books up-to-date, the better. Being behind actually puts you at risk; a couple reasons:
- You don’t have current information to make good business decisions.
- You can be at risk with the IRS and can start accumulating penalties.
I’ve helped clients through this problem and done “clean-up accounting work” and the reality is: sometimes it’s not easy. But don’t give up hope, get help so you can get a plan.
What software do you generally support?
QuickBooks Desktop is the accounting software I generally recommend for small businesses. Many times businesses can purchase specialty software that is tailored for their specific industry, but this software is usually much more expensive.
Note: QuickBooks has an online version — I don’t think it’s as good — so my niche is QuickBooks Desktop.
An important point: there are different viable solutions, but I tell potential clients: which ever one you choose, get an accountant to set it up at the front end — the setup is key.
Can I use QuickBooks Desktop with cloud technology?
Yes. Many times potential clients think they need to use QuickBooks Online in order to share information remotely. However, there are ways to use QuickBooks desktop “in the cloud” so you can use it from your office and your home.
Can you prepare custom reports?
Yes. My goal is to help you understand your numbers. QuickBooks has some standard reports plus we can work together to create customized reports to help you.
Also, if we need to, we can push the information to an Excel spreadsheet. You may think that is a horrible choice, but in some cases, it’s actually a good choice. The key: creating spreadsheets and customizing them so they are user friendly.
Do you prepare taxes? Do you perform audits?
No and NO. There are many “types” of accountants. I believe that accountants should specialize and do what they are really good at.
Taxes. I do not prepare tax returns — I work with tax CPAs who focus on taxes instead of the monthly accounting. That’s their niche. Many times small businesses go to a tax accountant at year-end to get their taxes done. I am the accountant for the other 11 months of the year. I help monthly … from setting up accounting processes, to tracking your numbers, to helping you use your numbers to run your business. I believe you should have a pulse on your numbers way before tax time.
Audits. I don’t do audits. I am closely involved with my clients that I don’t want to jump over to be an independent auditor. Audit is a specialty. Note: many small businesses don’t need an official audit. If you need an independent audit, we can discuss your options.