Can your small business afford a professional to do the books?

Posted by Elaine Viljoen on 10 September 2018.

Elaine Viljoen

CA(SA), CTA, Hons BCompt, Adv Diploma Banking, BCom (Cum laude), IALMBA Graduate Student, Business School Netherlands

The Tax Shop Head Office

More about Elaine Viljoen

Elaine obtained qualifications from various academic institutions and currently studies towards the International MBA at the Business School Netherlands. She qualified as a Chartered Accountant (SA) in 1988 and is a member of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants. After completion of her articles with KPMG, she lectured in the fields of accounting and auditing at various universities. Thereafter, she occupied high profile positions in the banking sector, including appointments as Group Chief Accountant at Standard Bank, General manager in the enterprise risk management, treasury and finance divisions at ABSA and Chief Financial Officer at ABN Amro Bank South Africa. She served on various executive committees, including audit and risk committees and as representative of the Middle-East and Africa region on the Steering Committee Information and Operations for ABN Amro Bank. Since 2008 she has provided business consulting services to various financial institutions in South Africa and acted as a specialist advisor in the nuclear energy sector.

The real question is – can you afford not to?

Starting a business is an exciting prospect, after all, we know that being your own boss is the best. However, once the dust settles, you may find yourself up to your ears in paperwork, working all hours of the night, trying to turn your business from good to great.

It’s not surprising that many small and medium-sized business owners dread tax time duties. Poor financial management is just not an option when it comes to running a successful small business, so here’s why hiring an accountant to assist with your accounting affairs and do your taxes is all-round smart idea.

There are good reasons for hiring an accountant at different stages of your company’s growth. From a business plan to company formation, loan application to government tenders, a Tax Shop accountant can make life easier for you at each step.

The right support from the start

Writing a business plan. If you involve a Tax Shop accountant while you’re writing your business plan, they will be able to use their expertise to compile financial projections, cash flow forecasts and other reports to it. This value-added information will help you create a business plan that’s realistic, professional and more likely to succeed.  Hiring a professional at this early stage will mean you get the benefit of their financial knowledge and advice right from the start. That could save you time and money compared with hiring one later.

Providing advice for your legal structure. Not all businesses have the same legal structure – there are different types that are determined by a number of factors. Some might be called private companies or close corporations, others could be sole traders or non-profit companies. A Tax Shop accountant could advise you right from the beginning on the right fit for you; for instance, if you do business on a self-employed basis and invoicing under your own name you might be able to offset some of your living expenses against tax.

Long-term strategy. You may be surprised to learn that accountants can also help with long-term business strategy. They can review your financial records and offer ways to save money or even boost revenue. They can also help with cash flow and offer advice on long-term strategy when it comes to investment decisions, acquire fixed assets or a spending plan.

The right tools to manage your business. Small and medium-sized business accounting can quickly become complex if you do it on your own. If you feel you’re losing control of who owes you money and how much, a Tax Shop accountant can help you get back on track. You may also want to measure key business metrics, such as the ratio of salaries and other employee payments to total revenue or cash flow mismatches between receipts and payments. An accountant can help by managing your payroll, identifying opportunities to grow income and save costs, prepare cash flow forecasts, suggesting ways to improve cash flows and producing graphs and useful information in an understandable format so you can see how the key performance ratios change over time.

The benefits of an accountant for tax season

A Tax Shop accountant is a qualified financial expert who can offer valuable advice on the monetary aspects of your business. In additional to analysing and reporting on financial records and reviewing profit and loss statements, they can also help prepare your tax return. Completing tax returns can be a confusing and labour-intensive task for many small and medium-sized business owners. Hiring a Tax Shop accountant to help will:

  • Save time
  • Help lower your tax exposure
  • Deal with any tax debts
  • Ensure your finances are in order and that you comply with legislative requirements.

Ready to delegate? Let us help you

As a small or medium-sized business owner, you should focus on what you know, and do, best; not worrying about professional services that can easily be delegated, such as payroll, tax and accounting. As a start, you need to choose the right accountant and make sure you trust them with your company’s financial information, such as:

  • Providing financial advice
  • Troubleshooting cash flow problems
  • Dealing with unpaid invoices
  • Conducting business reviews
  • Looking for any discrepancies in financial data

Working with The Tax Shop can not only help you save time, but also money. Our professional accountants work to help you reduce your risks, ensure you don’t miss out on critical tax savings or lodge incorrect tax deductions, but most importantly to help your business grow.