Choosing the right accounting services is one of the most important decisions a small business owner has to make. Most business owners know very little about accounting, so they often get overwhelmed when they start researching their choices. There are hundreds of accounting services available online, and each one has its own unique set of options.
For example, just doing a Google search for the phrase ‘accounting services’ will turn up over 17 million hits. You’ll also find millions of listings for related services like bookkeeping, financial reporting, tax preparation, managerial accounting, and so on.
As a result, it can be very difficult to decide which company you should hire to do your business accounting. The good news is that there is a way to make the ideal choice, if you’re willing to use the following information. This information will help you choose just the accounting services your business needs.
What Does Your Business Need from Its Accounting Services?
Like with any important business decision, it’s important to know what your company needs from its accounting services before you decide. Here are some of the key questions to ask yourself. Do you want to hire an accountant who works in your office, or should you outsource your accounting work? Also, is it better to choose a large international firm or should you go with a smaller local company?
This might seem overly simplistic, but you’d be amazed what a simple pros and cons list can do to help you make this kind of decision. The ultimate choice you make regarding your accounting services consists of deciding on questions likes the ones we listed above. Write down the advantages and disadvantages for each of these questions and things will immediately start to become clearer.
Interestingly, a recent National Small Business Association survey concluded that more than 60% of small business owners outsourced their accounting services. On the other hand, a third of these business owners spent over 80 hours each year filling out forms and filing their business tax information.
Obviously, it might be advisable to either hire a part-time accountant or use an outside company if your business has minimal accounting needs. Keep in mind, there might come a time when your company has grown enough that it needs a full-time accountant to handle payroll and other recurring tasks. The upshot here is that the right solution depends on what your specific needs are at a given point in your company’s development.
Cost is another very important factor to consider when deciding between an in-house accountant or accounting outsourcing. If you go with a full-time, in-house employee, you’ll have to pay more than just their annual salary. You’ll also have to pay for health insurance, payroll taxes, unemployment insurance, retirement contributions, and any number of other employee benefits.
Now, compare this to the cost of outsourcing your accounting services. These services might seem very expensive, but you must remember that you won’t have to pay for the long list of employee costs we mentioned above. When you compare the total cost of an in-house employee to what you’ll pay an external accountant, it might surprise you to learn that the outside company is cheaper. Lastly, you’ll save even more money with an outside company because you’ll lower the costs of things like office furniture, rental spaces, and accounting software.
Finding the Right Fit
The final consideration for you to make before choosing an outsourced accounting service is whether it will be a good fit for your small business. Remember– you’ll be dealing with this company several times a year, so it’s important that you feel comfortable working with their representatives. You’ll definitely want to deal with a reputable company that appreciates the value of privacy and security. You’ll also need to explore things like the company’s policies and service options.
Instead of choosing a large international accounting firm, it might be better to choose one that’s located within the United States. That way, you can be sure that the company is familiar with all the state and federal regulations they’ll need to follow when doing your accounting.
Finally, whether you end up hiring an in-house employee, an entire accounting team, or an outside company, just remember to consider all your options before making a final decision. Like we said up above, choosing the right accounting services is one of your most important decisions. So, give this decision the attention it deserves, and you’ll be much more likely to make the right call.
About Kenesha Coleman
Kenesha Coleman earned a Bachelor’s of Business Administration - Accounting and a Master of Professional Accountancy from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in 2007 and 2008, respectively. She is a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and an IRS Enrolled Agent (EA). After graduate school, Kenesha went onto work at the Internal Revenue Service’s Large Business & International division as an Internal Revenue Agent where she served in this position for eight years. As an Internal Revenue Agent, she was responsible for the examination (audit) mid-large size businesses with assets starting at $10 million. Kenesha has worked with a large range of entity types including C Corporations, S Corporations, Partnerships as well as a variety of industries including manufacturing, tech, e-commerce, personal services, financial services, insurance, professional service, real estate and health care. With all the knowledge and experience Kenesha gained from being a Revenue Agent, she wanted to help and educate businesses better navigate the world of tax. So in 2016, Kenesha left the IRS to serve as a Tax Supervisor with RSM (formerly known as McGladrey), the nation’s 5th largest public accounting firm. As a Tax Supervisor she serve as a trusted advisor to small and mid-market businesses by being effective in providing strategic tax planning and compliance services to business owners thus increasing their bottom line. In 2017, Kenesha was offered an amazing opportunity to continue providing effective tax services but to a company that was helping the world on issues she personally related to. She transitioned to being a Senior Tax Analyst with AbbVie, the manufacturer of the world’s best-selling pharmaceutical drug Humira and the 9th largest pharmaceutical company in the world. Simultaneously, Kenesha began ColemanTax, a virtual tax and accounting firm that works exclusively with independent professionals and small businesses. ColemanTax has traditional accounting firm values bringing innovative and modern practices to tax compliance. Its mission is to use tax technical expertise and experience gained from working as a Revenue Agent for the IRS, in public accounting and a Fortune 150 Corporate Tax department to maximizing tax savings. ColemanTax is able to provide the tax expertise and services of a big tax firm in a comfortable small firm atmosphere with lots of personal attention.
In addition to Kenesha’s professional endeavors, she is very active with giving back to accounting community. She currently serves as a director on three not-for-profit boards: Wisconsin Institute of CPAs (WICPA) Educational Foundation Board, National Association of Black Accountants (NABA) Central Region and Milwaukee Area Technical College Accounting Advisory Board. Kenesha is a graduate of the AICPA’s Leadership Academy 2018 and serves as a member of the AICPA’s Young Professionals Committee.
Kenesha has been awarded with NABA’s 2015 Chapter President of the Year award and 2016 Central Region Outstanding Service award, WICPA’s 2018 Woman to Watch award and WICPA’s 2019 Community Service award.