Keeping track of income and expenses is essential, even if you don't own a business. And if you do own a business, things get even more complicated. There are paychecks to issue, taxes to track, and subcontractors to pay out. All of these details are a whole lot less challenging when you hire an accountant to oversee them. However, it is still important to know a little bit about accounting yourself. Dig into the articles on this website, and you'll gain a better understanding of accounting principles, what services accountants really offer, and the benefits of hiring these professionals to assist with your finances.
Do you contract with an account to handle your small business' accounting needs? Even one-person operations can benefit from professional bookkeeping, especially around tax time. Working with an accounting firm for these purposes makes sense, but you may be missing out on many profitable opportunities if these are the only times you get in touch with your accountant. Business advisory services are a growing trend in the world of accounting, and they offer small business owners many potential benefits.
Advisory vs. Traditional Accounting Services
The primary distinction between traditional (sometimes referred to as transactional) and advisory services is the timing. Traditional accounting services focus on responding to the needs of business owners as they come up. These accounting services are the ones you are likely most familiar with: audits, tax returns, payroll services, and so on. As you require these services, you contract with your preferred accounting firm and receive a straightforward deliverable. This type of accounting work is the core business of most accounting firms.
Advisory services typically work on a more open-ended basis. Unlike traditional services, they focus on providing your business with actionable advice that isn't intended to be reactive to any one particular event. Advisory accountants work with your business year-round, not just at tax time or when your payroll requires an update.
Making Advisory Services Work For You
If this all sounds rather vague, it's because advisory services cover a broad range of business needs. In general, a firm that works in this space will offer consultation services to help you grow and succeed as a business owner. Depending on your specific industry and needs, this can include everything from sales support to cash flow analysis. The purpose of working with an accountant for these roles is to free you to focus on the core competencies of your business while allowing an expert to provide coaching and support on the technical side of management.
As a small business owner, these benefits are especially helpful. If you do not have a large management staff, then offloading some of the strategic workloads to a business advisory service can help to lighten your load and free you to focus on day-to-day operations. To make the most of your consultations, spend a few days or even weeks identifying key areas where your own knowledge is weak or where you have struggled in the past. By focusing on these areas with your advisor, you can ensure that the money you spend will go directly into improving the aspects of your business that need it the most.
To learn more, contact a business advisory firm.