Business owners know the advantages of having an accountant on their team, but what about an accounting consultant? Do consultants offer the same services as a traditional accountant? What exactly do they do, and how can they benefit your business?
What is an Accounting Consultant?
Often times when people think about accountants, they think of having someone to balance your books and ensure you have a clean set of financials. However there are services that many accountants offer beyond general accounting, and one of those is consulting. Accounting consultants work closely with business owners to help them achieve their financial goals. They help with a lot of things. What exactly your accounting consultant assists with may be different from the next accounting consultant, but here are a few of the things many of them help with:
- Analyzing financial information
- Making important business decisions
- Finding financial areas that need improvement
- Optimizing accounting procedures
An accounting software consultant can also help business owners find the best software solutions for their accounting department.
Consultants offer their expert advice and guidance to business owners and help them better understand the financial health of their businesses.
How Accounting Consultants Can Help Business Owners
Although a small business accounting consultant offers different services from a traditional accountant, some of their tasks may overlap. A consultant’s job, in general, is to provide expert advice and guidance to help a business succeed. Accounting consultants can achieve this in many ways.
Here’s what an accounting consultant can do for a business owner.
Set Up a Business
CPA consultants are often with business owners from the very start, guiding them through the process of setting up their businesses. Getting started on the right foot when establishing a business is important, and your consultant can help.
An accounting consultant can:
- Guide you on choosing the right entity type for your business and explain the pros and cons of each option from a tax perspective (be sure to also discuss your options with a lawyer as well)
- Establish the correct accounting processes for your business.
- Provide financial analysis to help you build a solid business plan.
- Assist with setting up a business bank account.
- Determine the best accounting software for your business model.
- Help set up your accounting software
If you’re still in the planning stages of your business, an accounting consultant can provide valuable guidance to help you establish a solid foundation for your organization.
Businesses deal with a number of documents, especially if they run a contract-based business. For the everyday business owner, understanding the financial impacts and deciphering the legal jargon of contracts can be challenging.
An accounting consultant can review your agreements and documents to ensure you are making the right decision for your business from a financial standpoint.
Your accounting consultant will be essential when entering agreements with complex tax or accounting issues.
Provide Advice That Drives Growth
One of the best things an accounting consultant can do for your business is to provide advice that drives business growth.
Your consultant will be familiar with your balance sheets and financial statements. They should understand your business model and your market. Having intimate knowledge of your business allows them to provide sound advice on how to:
- Improve and better manage your cash flow
- Secure financing to achieve your goals for growth
- Optimize operations to improve efficiencies
- Identity bottlenecks that are hindering growth
Consultants can help you find solutions that will lead to growth. They can also assist with creating financial forecasts to help you identify potential risks.
Accounting consultants want their clients to succeed, and they work diligently to identify every possible opportunity for growth.
Help You Understand the Data
One of the primary responsibilities of an accounting consultant is to help their clients understand the data in their financial reports. Financial statements and reports contain a lot of data, but that data is only useful if the business owner understands what they mean and how they impact their business.
Consultants can help:
- Analyze financial statements and help you understand them in simple terms
- Determine the profitability of a business
- Analyze expenses
- Set KPIs (Key performance indicators) and track them to benchmarks
When business owners and shareholders understand the data presented in financial reports, they get a clearer picture of the organization’s performance. That knowledge can also help management make smarter business decisions.
Implement the Right Accounting Practices
Accounting consultants work with bookkeepers to help put the right accounting practices in place for your business. These processes and procedures help ensure compliance while improving efficiency and reducing the risk of error.
A consultant may also create a bookkeeping schedule to ensure that reports are delivered in a timely manner. They will meet with business owners to explain the significance of these reports and what the numbers mean.
Help with Audits and Regulatory Compliance
Businesses that require financial audits can benefit from the services of accountant consultants. Along with helping you prepare for the audit, some accounting consultants will also facilitate the process to ease stress and give you peace of mind.
Further, consultants can also help ensure that your data and documents are ready for internal audits to avoid delays.
Ensure a Smooth Transition
If you’re considering a merger, acquisition or sale of your business, you may benefit from the help of an accounting consultant.
Accounting consultants can help with:
- Succession planning
- Preparing accurate accounting reports
- Ensuring there are clear processes in place to avoid accounting mistakes in the future
An accounting consultant is there to help make the transition as smooth as possible from a financial and accounting standpoint. They can also provide advice on whether an acquisition or merger would benefit the business financially or have adverse financial consequences.
Additionally, your consultant can help you prepare for future transitions by improving the financial health of your business and implementing tax planning strategies that save money.
Achieve Your Goals
An accounting consultant’s job is to protect the financial health of their client’s businesses and help them reach their goals. For most businesses, growth is the ultimate goal. Growth requires investment. Accounting consultants can help businesses find solutions to achieving growth goals and ensuring they have the funds to get there.
Whether it’s through financing, cutting back on expenses or a combination of strategies, consultants are there to offer their expert advice on how to reach your objectives.
Accounting consultants help owners make informed decisions and understand their financial data. They can also identify opportunities for growth and help implement the right accounting practices so you can reach your goals. Not all accounting consultants offer the same services, so be sure to check with your accounting consultant to see what they offer and if it fills a void in your business.
To learn more about our accounting consultant services and how we can help your business, click here to schedule a call.