4 signs it's time to hire an accountant

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Many small business owners are put off by the costs of hiring a professional accountant. However, it gets to the stage when it's absolutely necessary.

Hiring an accountant

As a small business owner, you're used to multi-tasking. You wouldn't have made it to where you are today without being able to manage a variety of business tasks all at once.

However, you can't be all things at all times. Eventually, it gets to the stage in any business' growth where it's essential to hire an accountant. The costs of not doing so (in terms of incorrect budgets, forecasts and tax statements) far outweigh the costs of doing so. What are the signs it's time for you to hire a professional accountant?

1) You're launching a startup

If you're beginning a business from scratch, it's important to have an accountant right from the get-go. They'll help you with key financial decisions, as well as choosing which business structure will work for you and assist with accurate budget and sales forecasts. They'll also ensure you're complying with government regulations. At this crucial stage, getting off on the wrong foot can break your business, so an accountant is absolutely necessary.

2) Your business is growing

As your business grows, so does your workload and your financial obligations. Payroll gets harder as you expand your employee numbers, and increased revenue leads to more complicated tax returns. An accountant can help you manage your growth and ensure you don't grow beyond your means, ultimately helping you stay afloat in the long run.

3) The ATO has contacted you about your tax returns

If the ATO or any other government regulatory body has contacted you about your tax returns or any other financial obligations you have to meet, this may mean you've made a mistake. While errors do happen, if it is serious or happening on a regular basis, it may be a sign that your tax returns have got too difficult to complete without the help of a professional.

4) You feel overwhelmed

Running a business is tough. When you've got a million and one little things to do, completing more mundane tasks such as budgeting and finishing your taxes is the last thing you want to be thinking about. At this stage, it's time to hire a professional, who can take the stress off you and let you focus on running the business.

Even with the best accountant in the world, businesses can still run into problems with cash flow. Debtor finance (when you take out a loan against your outstanding invoices) is a great way to combat these problems.

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