Bachelor of Science in Accounting Resources
Every Entrepreneur Needs a Great Accountant by Their Side
Accountants are among the most valuable people on an entrepreneur’s team. This is because accountants often possess the skills that businesses require in order to thrive in a competitive startup environment.
Brian Hamilton, chairman of Sageworks, noted in a Forbes article, “Accountants can provide financial and strategic advice for your business, and they can help with services like estate planning or getting a loan. A startup tech company raising money might also need an accountant in some cases.”
Accountants can offer many invaluable services to entrepreneurs. Read on for specific examples:
When a Business Is Just Starting
Early Growth Financial Services listed some ways in which an accountant can help a business as it is starting. They include:
• Business licenses
• Incorporation filings
• System implementations
• Policies and procedures
• Expense tracking
• Financial planning
Financial planning might be especially critical when a business is just starting. According to the Financial Planning Association of Massachusetts, a financial plan “defines your goals and objectives, your hopes and dreams that take finances to achieve, and creates a plan to achieve them.” As a small business is beginning, an accountant can provide tips on how to save, how much to save, and how to decrease expenses so the entrepreneur can reach his or her business and personal goals.
Another way in which accountants help new business owners is through accountants’ attention to detail. As you pursue an online bachelor’s of accounting degree, you may hone your ability to pay attention to the miniscule details that play a pivotal role in a larger picture. While many entrepreneurs may have an inspiring vision, they do not always have a mind for the nitty-gritty details that can ultimately determine the success or failure of a business.
It should also be noted that in the early stage of a business, an accountant can provide information that will help the business owner establish good habits from the beginning. For example, The Balance pointed out that an accountant can “explain the importance of keeping personal and business expenses separate.”
When a Business Is Established
The aforementioned post from Early Growth Financial Services also highlighted some ways in which an accountant can be of service to a business that is already up and running:
• Month-end accounting
• Revenue accounting
• GAAP financial statements
• Contracts administration
• AR/AP (accounts receivable/accounts payable)
• Tax preparation
• W2 and 1099s
• Financial reports
• Fixed assets tracking
Handling all of the details that go into hiring and paying employees could be especially beneficial to small business owners. Each state has its own tax requirements for employers, and it is important that these regulations be followed, lest a business face severe fines and/or back taxes. As an accountant, you can serve as a trustworthy aide to business owners as they’re building a team.
When a Business Is Growing
Bplans listed poor financial management as one of the top reasons why small businesses fail. This could happen at any stage of a business’s growth, including when a business is seeking to expand. If a business owner expands too quickly, spends too much money on expanding, or raises prices too much in order to pay for expansion, the result could be damaging to the business.
Writing for Forbes, a CPA noted, “Accountants are the unsung heroes of the small business world.” Extolling the value of accountants to small business owners, he admonished entrepreneurs to set data-driven goals. Doing this helps business owners to find problem areas, fix problems, and take advantage of legal loopholes that save money. Accountants are also useful for risk analysis.
How Accountants Can Enter the Startup Scene
Generally, businesses have a choice regarding how they go about acquiring accounting help: they can outsource accounting tasks, or they can hire an in-house accountant. A guest writer for Entrepreneur wrote, “Whether a business should hire an accountant in-house or outsource the function is largely dependent upon the stage of the business.”
The writer, who is the CFO at Venture Capital, said that his company generally provides accounting services to new businesses. However, he went on to note, “Over time, though, we expect our portfolio companies to outgrow their outsourced solution and to bring the accounting function in-house.”
Therefore, accountants may also have a choice about how they enter the startup world. They can seek employment at accounting firms that have a range of clients. This could expose accountants to many different types of businesses and help them gain well-rounded and valuable experience. Alternatively, an accountant could seek to join a startup that is reaching the point where it needs to bring its accounting department in-house. Either option may be viable for accountants with the proper degree in-hand.
Another way accountants can enter the startup realm is by becoming entrepreneurs themselves. The Accounting Path listed five reasons why CPAs make great entrepreneurs:
• Their financial knowledge equips them to self-fund their startup.
• The accounting industry has a lot of space for innovation.
• The CPA certification carries a lot of credibility, which may make it easier to establish relationships with other businesses.
• Accounting skills will help them manage the everyday operations of their business.
• If a startup adventure fails, CPAs have a reliable fallback career. They are not putting all their eggs in one basket, so to speak.
The Right Education Can Make a Difference
Accountants are vital for many small businesses. Individuals with in-depth accounting knowledge can have an exciting and fulfilling career alongside innovative startups.
If playing a role in startups as an accountant appeals to you, consider furthering your education. A bachelor’s of accounting degree could be helpful as you navigate the business world, whether you are working for an accounting firm or a thriving startup. To learn more, visit Maryville University’s online Bachelor of Science in Accounting degree program.