Why Entrepreneurs Need Accountants by Their Side

accountants with their hands and a bag on a table

As their small business grows, business owners should seek out the services of a trained professional, such as an entrepreneur accountant, who can guide the company on a path toward financial success.

By developing your knowledge of accounting procedures and best practices, you can position yourself among the most valuable assets on an entrepreneur’s team, possessing the skills businesses require 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.”

Pursue your career as an accountant, and you can support entrepreneurs by offering invaluable services to business owners. Read on for specific examples.

Entrepreneur accountants can help new businesses get started.

There are a number of ways small businesses can benefit from your services as an accountant — especially in the early stages. Here are just a few examples of how, according to Early Growth Financial Services:

Business licenses
Incorporation filings
System implementations
Policies and procedures
Expense tracking
Financial planning

Financial planning is especially critical when a new business is getting started. 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, its owners may turn to your accounting expertise for tips on how to save, how much to save, and how to decrease expenses so entrepreneurs can reach their business and personal goals.

It’s possible for entrepreneurs to form a financial plan for their companies independently, but these plans may lack the extensive analysis, detail, and forecasting that a trained accountant familiar with entrepreneurs can provide. That’s why they need you.

Another way you can support entrepreneurs as an accountant is through attention to detail. When you earn your online bachelor’s in accounting degree , you can gain the skills and knowledge to pay attention to the miniscule details that play a pivotal role in the larger picture. While many entrepreneurs may have an inspiring vision, they don’t always have a mind for the details that can ultimately determine the success or failure of a business plan.

As an accountant, you can provide critical information in the early stages of a company’s life cycle to help the business owner establish good financial habits that can lead to strong performance and sustainable success. For example, The Balance pointed out that an accountant can “explain the importance of keeping personal and business expenses separate.”

Entrepreneur accountants can help improve already established businesses.

Your role as an accountant won’t only be important during the startup phase of a new business. There are areas in need of improvement in every stage of a business’s growth, and as a skilled accountant, you’ll be able to identify weaknesses and suggest better strategies.

Early Growth Financial Services highlighted some ways in which an accountant with an entrepreneurial understanding can be of service to an established business:

Month-end accounting
Revenue accounting
Generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) financial statements
Contracts administration
Payroll
Accounts receivable/accounts payable
Tax preparation
W-2s and 1099s
Financial reports
Fixed assets tracking

Guidance on the details of hiring and paying employees can be especially beneficial to small business owners. Each state has its own tax requirements for employers, and it’s important that these regulations be followed to avoid severe fines and/or back taxes.

As an accountant, you’ll serve as a trustworthy aide to business owners as they build a team and expand their processes and procedures. When CEOs are confident that their delicate financial materials are being managed by a knowledgeable professional, they can focus on the tasks at hand and work toward their business goals.

Entrepreneur accountants can assist when a business is growing/

In the world of small businesses, a clear vision isn’t always enough to guarantee success.

Business planning company Bplans listed poor financial management as one of the top reasons why small businesses fail. This could happen at any stage of business growth, including when a business is seeking to expand.

If a business owner pursues growth too quickly, spends too much money on new hires or equipment, or raises service prices too high to pay for expansion, the results could be damaging to the business.

Writing for Forbes, a CPA noted, “Accountants are the unsung heroes of the small business world.” Emphasizing the value of accountants with start-up savvy to small business owners, he advised entrepreneurs to seek the counsel of accountants to set data-driven goals. Doing this helps business owners find problems, fix them, and take advantage of legal loopholes that save money.

Accountants are also useful for risk analysis and can provide meaningful insight into a small business’s future decision-making.

How can accountants enter the startup scene?

Small businesses have two primary choices for acquiring accounting help. They can outsource accounting tasks externally, or they can add a full-time accountant to their staff. A 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.”

Outsourcing is a common choice, according to the article. However, it isn’t always the best long-term solution, as business needs change with growth. Companies tend to outgrow the outsourced accounting solution, and eventually, businesses experiencing extreme growth will need to bring accounting services in-house to best suit their needs.

Because of this, accountants with a strong small business background have a choice about how they enter the startup business world. With your accounting degree, you can seek employment at accounting firms that have a range of clients. This path could expose you to many different types of businesses and help you gain well-rounded and valuable work experience.

Alternatively, you can seek to join a startup business that is reaching the point where it needs to bring its accounting department in-house. Either option may be viable for you with the proper degree, certifications, and skill set.

While helping a small business prepare for financial success, you should also keep in mind what your future role with that company is and align it with your career path goals. As startup businesses evolve, your role as an accountant may need to evolve with it.

Accomplished accountants don’t always need to rely on entrepreneur business partners to achieve their own career goals. Another way you can enter the startup business industry as an accountant is by becoming an entrepreneur yourself. The Accounting Path lists five reasons why CPAs make great entrepreneurs:

Their financial knowledge equips them to raise money or 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 can help them manage the everyday operations of their business.
If a startup fails, CPAs have a reliable fallback career.

The right education can make a difference.

Business accountants are vital for the sustainable growth and long-term success of many small businesses. With complex codes and statutes that new businesses need to follow, they place their trust in accountants like you with the extensive skills, knowledge, and expertise to help them succeed.

That means as an accountant you can look forward to an exciting and fulfilling career alongside innovative startups with your in-depth accounting knowledge.

As an accountant aiming to work with entrepreneurs, you may consider furthering your education with a bachelor’s in accounting degree. This educational pursuit will help you navigate the business world — whether you want to join an accounting firm, help a new startup, or launch your own startup business.

To learn more, check out Maryville University’s online Bachelor of Science in Accounting degree program and see how your online degree can jumpstart your career.

Sources:

Forbes, “Accounting for Startups”

U.S. Small Business Association

Entrepreneur, “Determining When You Should Hire a Full-Time Accountant”