What services do accountants provide to small businesses?

The Milestone Team August 31, 2021
accounting services for small businesses

What accounting services do small businesses need?

Bookkeeping and accounting services for small businesses can vary depending on the industry that you are in and what types of transactions that you have. However, most small businesses tend to need help with the day-to-day tasks of recording and reconciling financial transactions, keeping track of purchases and payments, recording credit card receipts, processing payables and receivables, running payroll, and reconciling bank and credit card accounts.  There are a lot of accounting tasks that happen on a daily basis and small businesses can quickly get overwhelmed with all of the tracking and processing, especially when also trying to carry out the core business mission and keep customers happy. 

What services do accountants provide to small businesses?

While there is no comprehensive list of accounting services for small business, here are some common accounting services examples: 

Bookkeeping

Bookkeeping is a common denominator for all businesses. Whether you’re invoicing customers, paying vendor bills, or recording credit card charges, every business has to perform bookkeeping functions, and accountants are usually the ones doing it. Good bookkeeping provides the foundation for accurate reporting, which ultimately leads to good decision making. 

Payroll

Some small businesses have simple payroll needs because they have a small team of salaried workers. Most, however, have a mix of hourly and salaried employees and more complex payroll needs that require a higher level of expertise. Processing payroll can be tricky and often requires a level of time and expertise that most small business owners simply don’t have. A trained accountant can remove this burden and own the payroll function. 

Manage cash flow

It’s tricky to figure out cash flow with a small business. Unexpected bills, twists and turns of the economy, fluctuating sales…these can cause your bank account to take a big hit. Accountants can help minimize the surprises by tracking and forecasting your cash flow and helping you know when and why things are happening in your bank account. 

Financial reporting

In addition to recording the daily transactions of a business, an accountant is usually called upon to prepare monthly financial statements for the business. Before this can happen, however, they must first reconcile the balance sheet accounts and analyze the operating results to ensure that everything is accurate. 

Collections

An unfortunate reality for many businesses is that customers don’t always pay their bills on time. Trying to collect overdue invoices and make sure that you get paid for the honest work that you provided is not an easy task to accomplish. Accountants are skilled at managing the entire collections process and being diligent about following up to make sure you get paid. 

These are just a few examples of the many financial tasks that accountants can take off of your plate. Whatever your unique needs are as a business, an accountant can help you and can create a tailored solution that fits perfectly. 

How do I find an accountant? 

There are a few ways to go about getting an accountant, and some are better than others. Some small businesses decide to hire an accountant as an employee and create their own accounting department. This can make sense if you have enough work for a full time person, but be careful with this path. Not only is it expensive to put a full time resource on the payroll, but you often can’t cover the whole range of services that you really need with one person. Another common mistake that we see many small business owners make is that they hire their tax accountant to do their accounting. Tax accountants are great at what they do, but they usually aren’t the best choice when it comes to handling the recurring bookkeeping and month-end accounting tasks. 

Another popular solution that many small businesses turn to is outsourced accounting. With this path, you would hire an outsourced accounting firm or fractional accountant to handle your accounting needs. When you engage a firm you get a depth of resources to cover a wide range of services from bookkeeping to CFO services, all in a fractional, customized solution. You can get the services you need without overpaying. You can also get access to industry or subject matter expertise when you need it. 

How can Milestone help me? 

Milestone offers outsourced accounting solutions that are flexible, affordable, customizable, and hassle-free. We specialize in helping small businesses realize their potential and provide industry expertise at a fraction of the cost. Our accounting solutions start at $250 per month and can be customized to suit your unique business needs. We help you focus your energy on running your business, not on keeping your books. Contact us today to learn how we can help.

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