Accounting is widely regarded as the business version of stewardship as every establishment from the initial stage to final stage needs accounting therefore there is absolutely no business if the accounting function is not in place.
From the initial stage, a would-be business owner has to put together a financial model to test the financial authenticity of his idea, defend his business before investors and the start-up capital it requires. At pre-launch, a business owner needs to track all spending and setup costs so that he/she is certainly in line with the financial model and to also estimate how long the funds raised so far can carry the business.
Afterwards the big dream starts to become a reality, business is launched and activities such as CAC registration, bank accounts opening and Tax Identification Number (TIN) for the accounts are completed. At this point, accounting function becomes the most important aspect of the young business.
The major reason for doing business is to make money, grow the money-making into a profitable level before stepping it up by converting the profitability to wealth for the owners thus the need for accounting, regarded as the live-wire of business. How else can owners know they are making money, profits or generating wealth without any form of measurement, which accounting provides.
What Does An Accountant Do?
An accountant is basically the practitioner of accounting. In other words, a professional person who performs accounting functions. An accountant should be able to provide the following services to your business:
WHEN STARTING UP
Policies and Procedures
WHEN YOUR BUSINESS IS UP AND RUNNING
GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) Financial Statements
AR/AP (Accounts Receivable/Accounts Payable)
W2 and 1099s
Fixed Assets Tracking
GROWING YOUR BUSINESS
Cash flow Analysis
Audit Support and Preparation
HOW TO FIND A COMPETENT ACCOUNTANT?
Here are things you should consider when hiring an accountant:
Look for an accounting firm that is similar in size to that of your business and will also be more understanding of the issues and problems you will face. You also have to consider their reputation in addition to acceptability in the face of third parties such as financial providers and shareholders. It is crucial to ensure they are part of a recognized accountancy body. What qualifications do they have? Are they chartered or certified? Do they have professional indemnity insurance?
- Take Your Time
You should dedicate a lot of time to finding the right accountant for a potentially long-term relationship. Examine a few firms and arrange a meeting with them to kick start your search.
Inform the accountant all they need to know about your business and whether they offer the services you need. Discuss the accounting records you plan to keep and also ask for comments on your business plan, that is if you have. You should also find out about the fees involved and when they are payable.
- After The Appointment
You will receive a letter indicating their terms and conditions (Engagement Letter) once you have concluded agreements to hire the accounting firm you have chosen. You should stay in touch with your accountant rather than at the end of the year when they are expecting the records to prepare the accounts.
- Develop An Efficient Relationship With Your Accountant
Don’t be afraid to tap into your accountant’s wealth of knowledge as regards running your business. Use their accumulated experience and expertise to your advantage as they may advise businesses similar to yours.
In conclusion, accounting is the totality and blood of business as it organizes it for expansion, offers an entire life support from idea to exit. Accounting summarizes the entire final rewards of the business whether in form of profit shares, dividends or sell out.