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As a business owner, there are so many things that you can do by yourself – from being the human resource rep to managing sales and many more. But when the finances are in the picture, you may find yourself between a rock and a hard place, trying to figure out whether to hire an accountant or do the accounts yourself. The truth is, the answer to this dilemma is not always easy, but it always depends on the type of industry you are in as well as your financial know-how. To help you make your decision way easier, here are a few things that you should consider before you decide on the way to go.
Your business needs a budget –that’s not debatable – just as much as your personal life – maybe even more so. Whether you are an established business or you are just a start-up, you need to know everything with regards to your finances – for instance, you need to know how the finances are being utilized, when more will come, and also how you are planning to spend it.
What’s more, you need to understand your expenses as they form a crucial aspect of the business. So, when it comes to accounting software, a business usually pays a flat monthly fee for it or even a one-time download fee, and it makes tracking and predicting expenses easier. As for hiring an accountant, the fee can change and it is not as predictable. This is particularly so if you are unsure of how often you will be requiring their services.
Complex accounting issues
Now, when it comes to complex accounting problems, an accountant offers an unlimited experience as well as significant expertise. You are able to benefit from their expertise and experience in the industry, and can also give you unsolicited advice on how to handle or solve some of these challenges in the future.
As a business owner, you sometimes need a personal advisor when it comes to your finances. In this case, hiring an accountant is what you need to do. You see, with an accountant, you are able to establish a professional relationship, he/she will also be able to learn more about your business, which means that he will be able to advise you accordingly. Even though it may cost you, it is totally worth it. You may also decide to give your accountant access to your software for him to manage it for you.
When you hire an accountant, you are required to produce all the copies of the relevant documents such as receipts, expenses, credit card statements, bank statements, etc, and give them to him/her. He/she will then input the documents into the system manually, to produce your reports.
But with the software, particularly the cloud-based one, everything is automated. The software automatically downloads and sync all the bank transactions, where it then categorizes and prepares them for reporting, without you having to do anything. Imagine all these happening without you having to pay a dime for it.
Remember though, not all software are a 100 percent accurate, especially when downloading and syncing your bank transactions, where some forget to include the bank fees, while others fail to properly categorize them. So, it’s imperative for you to find the right software for your accounting needs.
Now, this is one of the main advantages of having accounting software over hiring an accountant. If your business is one that keeps retrieving documents every now and then or if you are someone who travels constantly, then an accounting software is what you need to have, rather than hiring an accountant. With an accountant, you may not access your financial documents as fast as you would want, but with the software, you are able to access your reports, financial books and even invoices with just a tap on your mobile phone.
Organizing your records
Businesses use hard copies as well as digital records to keep track of their transactions and other important files. There are those software programs that offer digital storage to store some of these documents. With accounting software, you are able to attach invoices and receipts to expenses, documents to the invoices and can even upload and store business contracts.
When you assess the pros and cons of using an accounting software versus hiring an accountant, making a decision between the two can be challenging. But the truth is, it all comes down to your comfort level and budget. If what you want is total peace of mind, the convenience of an accountant handling all the financial aspects of your business, with the maximum flexibility and personalisation, then hiring an accountant is totally worth it. But if you have a standardised operation and want to save some money in the process, then an accounting software is exactly what you need.