CJA - Questions to Ask Your Business AccountantAs a small business owner, you have a million questions running through your mind each day—and typically, it’s up to you to answer them! However, having a business accountant comes in handy for those questions you can’t answer on your own. According to the SBA, only 30 percent of small business owners use an accountant.

A business accountant can be a huge asset—especially for government contractors, which requires additional insight and oversight. An accountant is a useful member of your advisory team, not just at tax time, but all year long. If you’re not using a business accountant because you’re not sure what they can do for you, or you don’t know what questions to ask your accountant, here are a few to consider.

How can I best manage my business cash flow?

Money in and money out—it sounds simple but there’s a lot to consider when managing your business’s cash flow. First, you’ll want to discuss with your accountant what method of accounting you’re currently using. You should be prepared to talk about upcoming expenses or any business expansion opportunities you’re considering, and any concerns you have about cash flow.

When are business taxes due?

A good business accountant will be up-to-date on the due dates for business tax payments—including income taxes, payroll tax, and gross receipts tax. Additionally, they should be able to advise you on industry-specific tax strategies you may need to know about. Your accountant can be a partner that makes sure your taxes are paid in full and on time every year. They can also ensure you are fully compliant with all tax laws and regulations.

What is the best accounting system for my small business?

Depending on the size, structure, and how long you’ve been in business, it’s possible that your basic accounting practices could use an update. Some small business owners may be technology-averse, preferring to keep paper copies of everything (what we sometimes refer to as the ‘shoebox method.’) A business accountant can help you transition to a simple online system, such as QuickBooks, to streamline your accounting system.

How can I plan for business growth?

Your accountant is a great resource for discussing any planned growth and expansion of your business. Think of a business accountant as an impartial adviser who can assess the risks and rewards of growth with you. Whether you’re expanding into new areas, hiring additional staff, planning a merger or acquisition, or selling all or part of your business, discussing it with a business accountant can bring clarity and answer questions you may not have considered.

Is my business at risk?

You’ve invested time, energy, and resources into your small business—so you’ll want to be sure to mitigate and manage any potential risks to what you’ve worked so hard to build. Ask a business accountant about risk management. They’ll be able to advise, especially on areas of financial risk such as fraud, and can also ensure that internal risks are mitigated with a full financial audit. Having an outside party evaluate and identify areas of risk can alert you to areas you may have missed simply because you’re busy managing the day-to-day operations.

Do you need a business accountant? Contact us for a complimentary ½ hour phone call to discuss your accounting needs.