Small businesses in Atlanta often fail to recognize the need for expertise. As an entrepreneur, you have many challenges to tackle than handling business books. Yes, bookkeeping, accounting, and tax preparation are aspects that you cannot afford to ignore. If hiring an in-house team doesn’t seem like an apt financial decision, you should definitely consider outsourcing without further delay. There are numerous Atlanta accountants that work extensively with small businesses. Before you hire one, here’s what you need to know.
Bookkeeper vs. Accountant vs. CPA
- Bookkeeping is the first step of accounting. Bookkeepers are responsible for keeping track of day-to-day transactions and managing accounting software like QuickBooks and FreshBooks. They also track payables and receivables and are in charge of tasks like generating bank reconciliation statements.
- Accounting starts where bookkeeping ends (bookkeeping never really stops, though). An accountant will use the information organized by the bookkeeper to make financial statements and file tax returns. Although not all accountants deal with taxes, they are always involved in analytics.
- Certified public accountants, or CPAs, are accountants who know everything about accounting and tax filing and handle matters related to the IRS. They can generate financial statements and help with audits too.
Ask the right questions
Hiring a small business accountant is about looking for the right details. Ask questions like:
- How long have you been in business?
- What percentage of your clientele consists of small businesses?
- Can you explain your small business accounting service profile?
- Who would be in charge of day-to-day transactions and work?
- Do you offer unlimited consultations?
- Can you help us with an audit?
- Can we get a few references?
- Do you have experience in our industry?
How much does small business accounting cost?
The cost of outsourcing small business accounting depends on the work a firm does for your business. CPAs charge more, but with their expertise, you don’t have to bother about hiring an accountant separately. Experienced firms charge a tad more, but again, you can rely on them for around-the-year support. Many accounting services in Atlanta have packages for small businesses, which typically cover most of the key things. Let’s assume that you have a business with many branches or have extensive overseas transactions; you may have to shell more than an average small business.
Lastly, make sure that you meet the accounting team in person. You need to feel at ease working with them because they would be in charge of handling the financial matters.