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The importance of accountants in small businesses

Small Business Accountants. What role do they play?

Small businesses are on the rise, and almost every part of starting a business requires a strong understanding of money and business concepts. However, not all entrepreneurs possess these skills, which is where accountants come in.

Accountants serve multiple functions in small businesses, including assisting with initial planning, day-to-day operations, and even long-term planning. Today, we’ll share the top five ways accountants can make a difference in small businesses. 

#1: Professional financial management

Accountants go to school and earn certifications to understand finances. They are masters at what they do and understand the ins and outs of business finance. Business owners can offload important and difficult tasks to their accountants like keeping track of expenses, revenues, and profits.

With these types of information, accountants can help businesses make informed decisions and prepare for long-term success. These decisions are important for sustainable growth, and while they can be made without an accountant, accountants are confidently more efficient.

#2: Tax compliance

Mistakes can be costly. Rather than pay the time, stress, and money to fix them, business owners pay for an educated professional to handle the stressful tasks for them.

Thankfully, tax specialists like Enrolled Agents (EAs) and Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) are equipped with the knowledge needed to tackle these tasks and make sure businesses are ready when tax season comes around.  

Another benefit of having a tax specialist on the team is that they can help the business take advantage of deductions and credits. In a small business, money is everything at the start, and being able to save or earn wherever possible will come in handy.

Learn more about the career opportunities and benefits EA and CPA certifications can provide in our free exam guides!

#3: Business planning

Entrepreneurs create a business plan before starting their business, but accountants can help strengthen the plan by providing insight into the numbers that will make it work. Professionals like Certified Management Accountants are great team members for business planning.

CMAs can identify and present opportunities and strategies that get a business up and running quickly. Plus, they have skills including budgeting, creating financial projections, and forecasting market conditions.

Going to meetings with business partners and investors with a well-developed plan can lead to a better start for a new business. CMAs involved from the start can also easily identify growth opportunities and avoid risks because they know the business’ purpose and goals, which makes them an essential asset for long-term success.  

To learn more about the personal and professional benefits that come with becoming a CMA, check out our free CMA Exam Guide!

#4: Financial reporting

Accountants are familiar with many aspects of finance. Because of this, they’re qualified to create financial reports and share the meaning of those with business stakeholders.

The information within a financial report keeps business leaders up-to-date with how they are doing financially, and can be important for making impactful decisions.

Accounting professionals like Certified Internal Auditors (CIAs) can work with financial statements, expense reports, and other financial data to ensure the business is recording information properly and complying with laws or regulations.

Learn more about the career path of a CIA, the professional requirements to become one, and the benefits of being one in our free CIA Exam Guide!

#5: Strategic advice

Accountants may not always be entrepreneurs, but they are well-equipped to provide business advice. They’re familiar with business trends and can help small business owners identify how their business fits in the market and provide advice on future decision making.

Whether a business needs to make cuts, is looking to grow, or wants to merge with another company, an accountant can help them make those decisions with data to prove why it may be beneficial (or not). They also keep the company’s long-term goals in mind, so even if something seems like a step back in the present, that decision contributes to long-term success.

Accountants can be the difference

Accounting is a unique, diverse, and fulfilling career with many opportunities that leave a positive impact. The profession’s diversity keeps it interesting and inviting to many professionals.

No matter which certification and career path you pursue, you will be an incredible asset to a small business. The skills and expertise you have are extremely valuable and will help make a difference toward fulfilling someone’s dream.

Take the next step in your career by checking out our free exam guides to learn about education requirements, job titles, salaries, and the testing process. Once you determine which path is right for you, we’ll help you achieve that next step of your career.