Most people tend to think of their Accountant only once a year at tax time or when they are doing their bookkeeping. But as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to present challenges to small businesses unlike anything we’ve experienced before, accountants should now be considered essential.
Many governments have implemented emergency programs, like the Jobkeeper Payment Program, to help businesses weather the current volatile market, most of which require financial statements and other relevant business information. Demand for these programs is high.
Now, more than ever, it’s important to have a qualified Accountant assisting you and your business as you navigate the changing business landscape.
1. Focus on your superpower
As a business owner, you have employees and customers to care for during this pandemic. Your focus should be on business activities that generate the most revenue for your business.
Having the right talent to handle your accounting functions is going to not only take administrative work off of your hands, but give you access to accounting experts who can assist you with the stimulus programs that are available to keep you and your employees in business. This will take away some concerns and allow you to free up your mental bandwidth to focus on what’s important in your business.
While having accountants on the payroll has its merit, contractors or temporary accountants can be helpful too as these personnel can be more affordable than hiring permanent accountants at this critical time. By working with a temporary accounting workforce, companies have the flexibility to quickly scale up or down based on evolving business needs, without having to add a permanent employee to the company’s payroll.
3. Review business costs
Advise clients to review all costs and reduce discretionary and non-essential expenses as much as possible. At times, it pays to think laterally when it involves managing costs, as a unique solution may end up becoming a vital new feature of a business's processes. Some costs may be able to spread across an extended timeframe, or other accommodations made to cut back the near-term burden on your clients' cash flow.
4. You don’t have time to become a CPA
Accountants spend hundreds of hours learning accounting and working through CPA exam studies just to become a certified Accountant. And that’s just to get certified. You’ll still need at least a year’s worth of full-time accounting experience to become licensed. Many business leaders simply don’t have that time to build up the expertise needed to truly understand accounting the way a professional would.
5. You need a trained set of eyes on your business
COVID-19 has had adverse impacts on a large number of businesses and led to substantial furloughing and unemployment around the world. Many people are under financial pressure as never before, and this pressure could see some employees potentially make a poor decision at the expense of your company.
Not saying this will happen, but as an employer or business owner, perhaps it’s a risk worth considering. So, having a second, qualified set of eyes on your business financials can help to avoid or detect any misappropriation by employees. You can find qualified accounting talent here.
6. Assist in disaster recovery loans
Many governments have established small business emergency programs to provide funding for businesses and employees. Most of these programs require tax and financial information.
Additionally, there are rules that your business must adhere to in order to get and keep the funding. A mistake on the application or in compliance with the rules could mean not being able to keep the funding or even get it in the first place.
Now, more than ever, it’s important to focus your effort on the skills that generate the most revenue for your business while having access to the best accounting talent.
Let the professionals do what they do best - support your business. Rely on them to keep your business compliant with tax and financial regulations, and also by ensuring you have the funds you and your business may be entitled to from your government’s stimulus programs.
While this pandemic will likely have lasting changes on the world, this is going to be an opportunity for your business to come out stronger and more focused.
Bryan Kesler, CPA is a passionate CPA exam mentor with a mission of helping all CPA candidates struggling to pass the CPA exam find success. As a business owner and licensed CPA, his first priority was to find a firm who could manage his own accounting and provide him with CFO services. He understood that if he was to stay focused on his singular goal of helping as many CPA candidates pass the CPA exam, he shouldn’t be the one to handle his own accounting or tax services.