It’s hard to believe that the year that’s felt a decade long is now somehow almost over.
And what a year it’s been!
The way we work has been changing for a while now – recent work-from-home requirements in Victoria have flipped things on their head even more, dramatically accelerating the pace that change is happening.
However, there are a couple things that have stayed the same (and even proved to be more important than ever) for any business needs to succeed regardless of their industry, location or size:
- A separate bank account for your business
- A strong business model
- The ability to accept purchases on credit
- An Australian ABN
And of course, how could you forget your small business accountant?
While many things have changed over the last couple of months, one thing that hasn’t is the need for a small business accountant in Melbourne to look over your business’ finances.
Unfortunately, many smaller businesses go without, deciding that the money would be “better spent elsewhere”.
And unfortunately, that can often lead to all sorts of different problems…
7 signs that you need an accountant
Sign 1: you’re just starting up
Okay, so we’re kind of stretching the definition of “sign” here – however, if there’s one time when your business absolutely needs an accountant’s assistance and advice, it’s when you’re first starting.
Right from the word go, a small business accountant can help you lay the groundwork for future financial success, with a wide range of different services such as:
- Helping you evaluate risk
- Determining the best business structure
- Financial forecasting
- Finding lending options
All of this is essential for your business’ success – they’re also things that most business owners can’t really do on their own.
If you’re struggling with each of these or find yourself relying too much on guesswork, it might be time to stop trying to DIY, and instead put this important role in the hands of a professional.
Sign 2: tax time is causing unnecessary stress
Many people find tax time stressful, especially business owners. With all of the different exemptions, deductions and reimbursements that businesses often need to deal with, it’s little wonder that so many find filing their business taxes to be such a difficult time.
A certain amount of stress is inevitable when filling out your small business tax return – those things are complicated, after all.
If it’s so stressful that you find yourself unable to focus on anything else however, it might be time to look at getting help!
And it’s especially important if you’re having trouble keeping up with your BAS lodgement requirements. These documents are comparatively easier to file than your annual tax return, and can even be automated to a large extent.
If you’re still having trouble in spite of that, it may be time to call for professional help!
Oh, and while we’re still on the topic of business taxes…
Sign 3: you’re paying more tax than you did before
Is your business tax return leaving you scratching your head? Could you swear you paid less last year? Wondering what’s changed?
If so, a business tax accountant can help with that.
Chances are you’re:
- Missing out on a deduction that you used to be able to claim
- Accidentally filling out your tax return incorrectly
- Not making all the claims that your eligible for
- Not keeping up with the latest changes to the tax system
It’s not your fault – this stuff changes year-on-year, and with all of your other responsibilities as a business owner, it’s easy for them to slip through the cracks.
If you can’t keep up with all these changes (or simply forget to include them come tax time), it may be time to hand this responsibility over to an accountant.
Our entire business is built on understanding Australian taxes and keeping up with the latest changes. We’ll ensure that the amount of tax you pay each year is as low as it can possibly be.
Sign 4: you’re going through a growth phase
You might think that this is actually a time when you don’t need an accountant. You’re doing well – why do you need one now?
A business accountant doesn’t just work reactively to get you through financial problems – a lot of what we do is actually predictive (sign 1 should have tipped you off!)
On top of fixing problems, a lot of your accountant’s work is proactive, focused on fixing issues before they arise and more importantly, ensuring that growth periods are managed properly.
If you’re growing, our job is to ensure that said growth is properly managed and reinvested by advising you about:
- Potential business expansion
- Large equipment purchases
- Additional hires and wage increases
All of this is important, and it’s something that only an accountant can do for you!
Sign 5: increasing work
More work is good for business – however, it isn’t quite as good for your workload.
Is the amount of work that comes with looking after your finances simply ating up too much of your time? Fed up with the late hours or being forced to take work home with you?
If so, it’s probably time to bring an accountant on.
Sign 6: your accounting is a mess
The biggest problem with DIY accounting? Not all business owners are accountants. In fact, you might not even be that great at maths!
There’s nothing wrong with that – however, it does raise some issues if you try to do your own accounting. Our small business accountants have seen certain issues popping up time and time again:
- Calculation errors and mistakes
- Missing out on crucial tax changes
- Missing deadlines (you’re a busy person, after all)
- Lost invoices or missing accounting periods
- Disorganised recordkeeping
All of this stuff can make it so much harder to properly get a feel for your business’ financial health, and can slowly snowball until you reach the point where you have major financial problems and can prevent you from making sound business decisions.
Worst of all, trying to go through everything and fix all of these issues (what we in the business call reconciling your accounts) is itself a huge undertaking.
Best leave it to a professional!
Sign 7: your business is struggling
As much as it pains us to say it, not all small businesses succeed – we’re sure you’ve heard the scary statistic that almost 1-in-3 small businesses fail within their first three years.
The number one culprit? Bad accounting and poorly managed finances.
Luckily, it isn’t too late!
Shutting your doors isn’t the only option when the numbers aren’t looking good. In many cases, it may be possible to dig you out of your financial hole with the right decisions and action plan.
A small business accountant doesn’t just identify areas that need urgent improvement – they’ll also devise a strategy to ensure that happens, helping your business stay afloat and even saving it from closure.
At the same time, there are also instances where you’ll lose more by trying to save your business than by fighting to keep it open.
Either way, having an accountant onside means that you’ll be able to make the right call for your struggling business.
So now you know why your small business needs an accountant
Now for the next step: finding one to look after your small business
Whether you’re starting a business, growing one or deciding what step should come next, you’ll need an accountant on your side.
And that’s where we come in.
Since 1966, we’ve been helping small business owners with all of their accounting and tax needs. We’ve built up years of experience providing a wide range of accounting services and helping business owners get where they want to be.
How can we help you?
Contact our small business accountants in Melbourne today to find out – give us a ring on (03) 9589 5488, or click here to get in touch online.