We’re accountants, so you’re probably thinking that this article is going to be completely biased towards hiring accountants, preferably us, to do your bookkeeping and taxes, right? Well, we’d love to meet you and talk to you about your business, financial goals, and so on. We’d also like to make your life easier by taking care of the day to day management of your books, and filing your business (and personal) taxes come tax time. But we’re going to be honest here and give you the pros and cons of hiring an accountant to take care of things, because we get it – we’re doing the small business thing too, and we know that straight talk, especially when it comes to business stuff, is exactly what you want and need.
Reasons to Do the Accounting Yourself
There are plenty of reasons to hire an accountant, but lets talk about the reasons you might not want to (despite the fact that it may not be in your budget at the moment).
- You can understand tax laws – if reading tax law is your thing, we totally get that. Our guess is that you’re either incredibly savvy (like us accountants are) when it comes to these things, or you’ve missed your calling and should be an accountant. But in reality, some people just seem to get this stuff- they might have taken some accounting courses in college and spending the time deciphering tax laws and codes doesn’t make them pull their hair out. If this is you – you might want to just save yourself the cash and take a go at it yourself.
- Numbers are your thing – when it comes to bookkeeping, we’ve seen it all. If numbers give you warm fuzzies and talking spreadsheets, P&Ls, and Balance Sheets make your heart sing, then handling your monthly books and filing your taxes isn’t a bad idea.
- If your taxes are simple or unchanged – honestly, there are people out there that fit this category. If you’re not taking out business loans, running a large payroll, making investments, buying and selling property, or changing your marital status then doing your own taxes is pretty straight forward. If you’re trying to figure out if your taxes are in the simple or unchanged category and you’re not sure… read on.
- You don’t own property or investments- we briefly mentioned this above, but other investments might include Roth IRAs, 401(k), stocks, bonds, running rental properties, vacation homes, partial ownership in timeshares, and so on.
Reasons to Hire an Accountant
If you’ve read this far you obviously didn’t nod your head to any of the bullets above. Just to make sure we’ve got you headed in the right direction, here are some reasons hiring an accountant will be beneficial to you.
- Getting a handle on your money – everyone needs a budget, and many people have one, but few actually stick to the plan when it comes to their money. If you’re feeling that keeping track of receipts, logging mileage and making note of expenses is kind of something that you do in vain, odds are that you don’t really have a handle on your money and there’s no clear plan for how to grow your business or manage your finances when you business does grow. An accountant can help with that – in fact they love it.
- You’ve started a new business – the best thing a new business owner can do is have a solid financial plan. We get that being business savvy and having entrepreneur mojo is what everyone talks about when their business is an overnight success, but a solid plan will make that success that much more certain and its the best way to keep track of how your new business is faring. Hiring an accountant can get you off to a good start and can answer questions about what type of business entity you want to be so you maximize your income and minimize what you pay in taxes.
- Life changes have happened this year- maybe you got married, divorced or had a child. Purchased a new home, changed jobs, or decided to quit or day job and take your side hustle to a full-time gig. These types of changes make filing taxes intricate. They don’t happen all the time, so the ins and outs aren’t something that you’re filing year after year – for us accountants, we see clients with these changes all the time, and making note of these things is just part of the job.
Ben Sutton is the founder of Mazuma USA, an accounting firm providing tax, bookkeeping and payroll services to small businesses. Since founding Mazuma, Ben has established himself as an expert in the small business world. He’s still driven by that same desire to provide accounting help to all small businesses – from photographers, bloggers and creatives to lawyers, doctors, and dentists, everyone needs affordable accounting help. Ben is a Certified Public Accountant, and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. But Ben considers his greatest achievement and credential to be his happy wife and four children.