If you're like many business owners, you may find accounting, payroll, and tax reporting to be the most tedious or challenging parts of your job. And while some proprietors are fortunate enough to have a spouse, sibling, or adult child who enjoys bookkeeping and is willing to perform these services for a pittance, in many cases, you'll find yourself facing the decision of whether to hire a staff bookkeeper or find an accountant or firm to help you with these needs. Read on to learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of each situation to help you make the wisest decision:
Advantages of a Staff Bookkeeper
Having a bookkeeper on staff can help you get a handle on your payroll and accounting needs, providing you with someone to whom to direct your employees when they have questions and ensuring that all your tax returns and payments are made on time. You'll be able to rest assured that your business's financial needs are being taken care of while focusing your energies on where they matter most, whether that's getting more customers or making long-range planning decisions to expand.
However, each employee has a higher cost than just their salary and paying FICA tax and other costs for a full-time (or even part-time) employee can quickly add up. You'll also have to spend time interviewing each candidate, perhaps performing some basic training, and dealing with turnover and other personnel issues that can come with hiring any new staff members. For small businesses that don't have much in the way of accounting needs (but more than you can or want to handle on your own),
Advantages of an Accounting Service
An accounting service or independent bookkeeper has many of the same advantages as a staff bookkeeper when it comes to making sure your income taxes and estimated taxes are paid, your books are balanced, and that you're taking advantage of the various credits and deductions available to you.
However, paying an accounting firm on a per-hour basis rather than incurring the costs of adding a new part- or full-time employee can be a far better deal in the long run. Not only will you eliminate many of the headaches that can come from a full-time employee, an independent accounting firm can help you get the most bang for your buck by staying up-to-date on new tax laws and business regulations--something many bookkeepers just don't do.
Contact local small business accounting services for more information and assistance.