When should you employ the services of an accounting professional for your small business?

Accountants can provide assistance at various phases during the growth of a business. In fact, they can handle a lot more besides the typical payroll and tax returns. This does not mean you always have to hire an accountant on a full-time basis. At times just a few hours of their time is enough, especially if you are running a start-up business. Therefore, what other stages during the life of a small-sized business might you need to employ the services of an accountant?

When formulating a business plan

It's important to involve an accounting professional when formulating your business plan. They can employ the use of an accounting software to come up with economic projections among other business reports. In effect, you will be able to come up with a business plan that is feasible, professional and highly likely to flourish. Moreover, working with an accountant at this initial stage will mean you enjoy the advantage of their economic acumen and counsel right from the start.

When determining the legal structure of your company

Generally, businesses have different legal structures, and as such, you'll hear some companies being referred to as limited companies, sole proprietors, corporations or limited liability partnerships. As a business owner, you need to carefully look into each type of business legal structure before choosing the most suitable.

For instance, you may run your company as a sole proprietor and engage in self-employment with invoices written under your specific name. In this scenario, you may be able to offset a number of your living expenditures against tax. On the other hand, this may also mean you will be held personally responsible for any default payments. In regards to a limited liability company structure, the liability of the company is restricted to only the business assets, not you individually.

Accountants can help explain the various legal business structures available and advise you on the most suitable one based on your business.

When you need to delegate tasks

Nearly all small business owners enjoy the aspect of being in full control of their businesses. You can decide on your own operating hours, design your business strategy and determine your company's finances. Of course, being a master of all these tasks is a satisfying feeling. Nevertheless, it can restrict you from delegating tasks. In effect, business owners may end up feeling overworked because they feel nobody else can effectively handle any aspect of their business as successfully as they do.

At some point, you'll have to delegate. Delegating the financial affairs of your company is a good place to start. This means you'll have to work with a trustworthy accountant, thus affording you more time to focus on other areas of your company.