[wt_note title=”Part 1 of Some” align=”center”] This post is the first part of a series of posts for small business owners who want to take charge of their taxes. It was supposed to be just one post, but it turns out we had a lot more to say! Instead of trying to squeeze it in, we’re spreading it out into some smaller actionable pieces. [/wt_note]
You are the proud owner/operator/bookeeper/hire-er/fire-er/jack-of-all-trade-er of a start up! And, if you’re wondering how to keep your taxes in line, chances are good that you’re even making money.
Now that you’re making money, it makes sense that you want to protect it. You worked hard to get here, so now isn’t the time to squander it away.
You’ve heard that an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. How about to fail to prepare is to prepare to fail? Even Honest Abe was on the preparation bandwagon “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” Atta boy, Abe.
Seriously though: Getting this stuff right, up front, will save you a TON of time when tax season comes around.
Don’t worry, this post doesn’t mention a single tax form. These are actionable tips that you can do today.
So, lets dig in with the
most obvious tip, ever number one, most valuable tip, ever.
1) Hire an accountant
If your business is really new, you might not have an accountant. That’s ok, not every business needs an accountant. Not every business can afford an accountant but I want to go out on a limb and say 99% of businesses could benefit from an accountant. But not necessarily in the way you think.
Sure, an accountant will help you get your taxes in on time. That much is obvious.
Here is the hidden value:
A great accountant can take a LOAD off your plate. You already have a LOT of day to day stuff to deal with. Your first instict might be “that is not in the budget” (or maybe more like “budget, what budget?!”) but lets break this down for a minute.
How much time in a week do you spend managing your money?
The answer could vary. If you’re in retail, probably a LOT of time. If you’re in food and drinks, probably even MORE. Manufacturing? Sales? Insurance (that’s us!)? Maybe not SO much time. But it adds up.
Now, think about the things that you DON’T get done because you are too busy managing your money.
“If someone awesome is doing nine things, hire someone to take one thing off their plate. Yeah, just one to start (you can always add more to the new person’s plate in the future).”
Did you get that?
In order to grow your business, you have to let the people do what they are best at. Find your best person, find out what they are really, really good at, and hire someone to take something else off their plate.(Read the full Q&A here: When should a CEO of a startup stop “doing the work” and let the others do the work?)
So what does that have to do with hiring an accountant?
YOU’RE SOMEONE AWESOME.
If you can take one thing off your plate, you can do more of what you’re best at! (If you are best at accounting, then you can disregard this, and I hope you’re running an accounting start-up.)
So, to review.
[wt_framed_box bgColor_start=”#ffffff” bgColor_end=”#e6e6e6″] If you can even remotely afford it, hire an accountant. They can give you personalized advice on taxes, and all the other stuff that help businesses make and keep their money.
By the way, before we go any further, I’m just going to put this notice here:
[wt_note title=”Disclaimer” align=”center”] PFP Inc. always recommends the use of a CPA – a chartered professional accountant – for all complex accounting needs. While we often provide general tax related guidelines, we are NOT accounting professionals – just ordinary people (ok, not quite ordinary, we are actually insurance brokers) invested in audit protection! [/wt_note]
Ok, that’s the first most important piece of advice. I hope you think seriously about the value an accountant can bring to your business. If you already have an accountant, great work!