By Charlie Brown

Many people are born to be entrepreneurs. They dream of owning a business, and with the right knowledge and skills, they can now make it happen. The rise in various funding sources such as angel investors and business loans, it is now easy to build a small business right from home. Startups operate in small scale both in terms of staff and number of clients. A lot of businesses, running in the United States, are in the small business category. The majority of them are under sole proprietorship and a few in partnerships with two more people having co-ownership.

Though every startup owner wants to make his or her venture successful, there are a lot of challenges that he or she has to overcome to make it happen. Two major problems most small businesses struggle with include:

1. Marketing

2. Accounting

In most cases, with a bit of studying, business owners can grasp the basic concept of marketing, and that helps them to get started. However, accounting is a different altogether. It not only requires mathematical skills, but it also calls for experience in managing financial matters on a large scale. Startup owners may still be able to take care of the accounting part on their own if there is a lack of resources. However, as the business grows, the process gets more complicated, and they must hire professional accountants to do the job.

Need for dedicated accounting process

Due to the lack of a dedicated accounting staff, entrepreneurs tend to run the operational aspects of their business alongside handling the accounting process. Failing to juggle both aspects often leads to errors in calculations and record keeping, late filing of taxes, improper accounting practices, all of which may result in penalization by the government.

Erroneous computations may also cause further losses.

In such scenarios, professional assistance becomes necessary. If you cannot hire full-time accounting employees, the best choice is to look for an accounting firm or consultant to take up your task on a service-on- demand basis. You can outsource your accounting process to a reliable and expert accounting firm. Most of the times, the outsourced accountant may be much more beneficial than in-house employees.

Things to consider while hiring an accountant

While hiring an expert accountant to handle your business finances, always ensure that you choose a licensed accountant only with CPA (certified public accountant) certification. Next thing to consider is the experience of the consultant in the accounting field and what type of industry they have experience in.

While outsourcing your accounting tasks, also ensure that you discuss in detail about all the charges involved including hidden or expected costs that you may incur in the future. The fees charged by various CPA firms may vary considerably. So, the best practice is to get as much detail as possible about different accounting firms in your region and compare their costs against the service expertise they offer to identify the best.

Ideally, you may have to interview at 3 to 4 prospective consultants before hiring one. It is also ideal to ask if the accountant you consider may be able to offer you the other allied services such as sales tax preparation and filing, payroll services, and tax reporting. Going a step ahead, some of the certified public accountants now also offer business advice to the entrepreneurs.

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