List of Accounting Services for Small Businesses

The Milestone Team August 6, 2021
accounting services small business

When you’re a small business owner, you’ve got plenty on your plate. Toss in accounting—which is a daily and absolutely vital task—and it can feel overwhelming. If you’re not a wiz with numbers, accounting isn’t necessarily a fun task. And frankly, it can take away from things that are far more important for a business owner to be doing. 

Of course, choosing to outsource any part of your business isn’t a step to be taken lightly. And questions come with it: Do I need a CPA for my small business? Should I hire someone internally? What accounting services do small businesses even need? 

You’ll find that if you partner with the right outsourced accounting firm, you can get all of the accounting services you need for your small business in a cost effective solution. 

Let’s look at a list of accounting services most small businesses need. 

What Accounting Services Do Small Businesses Need? 

Small businesses can outsource a myriad of accounting services, from daily transactional bookkeeping to more complicated, strategic CFO functions. And outsourcing, rather than hiring, allows you to get a wider set of skills to benefit the company. Here is a list of the most common outsourced accounting services that small businesses should consider.

Bookkeeping

Bookkeeping is the most basic accounting function, and it involves tracking and maintaining a company’s financial records, including revenue and spending. Bookkeeping is often performed by a bookkeeper with entry-level financial skills. Although bookkeeping is the basic level of accounting service, it also provides the foundation for good information. If your bookkeeping isn’t accurate, then all other financial reports  and forecasts are going to be off. 

When it comes to hiring a bookkeeper, be careful. Not all bookkeepers are created equal. Look for an outsourced accounting firm that has the right mix of bookkeeping services for small businesses, and understands how to leverage the latest technology to improve efficiency and provide better information to support decision making.   

Monthly Accounting

Monthly accounting is the next step up from bookkeeping. It involves closing the monthly books and providing insights about the current financial health of the company. Although bookkeepers help business owners record transactions and keep things organized, they don’t typically interpret the results. This is where an accountant or controller comes in.  

Accountants use the records a bookkeeper provides along with their expertise to help prepare reports, build budgets, and provide the analysis required to make good business decisions. A good outsourced accountant will not only reconcile your accounts and prepare reports, they will conduct regular financial review meetings to go over your operating results, explain variances to budget, and explore ways to improve efficiency and profitability.  

Cash Flow Forecasting

Every business should forecast their cash flow. It’s the only effective way to plan for the future and make decisions with confidence. By intentionally reviewing a company’s cash inflows and outflows, an outsourced accounting provider can help business owners avoid surprise bills or shifts in income that can spell disaster. They can also leverage the latest technology to help business owners gain a firm understanding of projected cash flow.  In the long run, cash flow forecasting helps business owners make better decisions and react to an ever-changing business environment.  

Outsourced CFO

There’s more than just number crunching, too. It’s also possible to outsource services that are more thoughtful, strategic, and require in-depth knowledge of the business. Outsourced Chief Financial Officer (CFO) services are just that. An outsourced CFO is a good option for businesses who are finding success, experiencing rapid growth, resolving a challenge, or are in need of project-based expertise. An outsourced CFO is a financial advisor and strategic consultant that provides services to a company on a part-time or project-based level. When looking for an outsourced CFO, look for someone with the unique understanding of owning, growing, and operating a business.

What Is Small Business Accounting?

Small business accounting is the transaction processing, month-end reconciliations, etc. specifically for the financial activity of small businesses. Many owners don’t account for the advantage that strong accounting systems can provide their small business. The ability to forecast, have financial statements in order, and provide data about KPI’s informs better businesses and can lead to more successful fundraising/valuations.

What Is The Average Cost of Accounting for Small Businesses?

The cost of accounting for small business is dependent on the business. The number of transactions, number of accounts, complexity of transactions, etc. can all influence the level of accounting necessary. However, here are some guidelines for the cost of accounting. The median salary for an account is about $65,000-75,000/year depending on location. The median salary for a controller is about $95,000-115,000/year depending on location. If necessary, CFO’s salaries are even higher. Many small businesses outsource their accounting. These can be the best accounting service for small business because outsourced accounting companies can charge on an hourly rate or monthly rate. This leads to cheaper accounting because small businesses don’t always need a full-time accountant, but need professional bookkeeping and data.

What Are Online Accounting Services?

There are many online accounting services to aid your company’s accounting. Quickbooks Online is one of the most popular platforms. This allows bookkeeping to exist in the cloud under a secure network. Other popular tools include Sage Accounting, Gusto, Expensify, and Bill.com.

Operational Support

Getting information to make smart decisions for your business doesn’t happen by accident. It takes experience and thoughtful planning to streamline processes and optimize financials. Operational support is a service to assess current practices and implement new systems and processes to optimize your financial operations.  A good outsourced accounting firm can provide a roadmap to help a business reach its goals. 

This is just a core list of accounting services for small businesses. Some outsourced accounting providers will offer a handful of others, or specialize in some areas. If you’re ready to outsource your own accounting to a partner that can grow with you, contact Milestone. We use the latest cloud technology to help you make smarter decisions and grow your business to meet your financial goals.

 

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