Unless you as the owner of your business happen to have a masters in accounting, chances are that right from the start you’ve been using a third party accountant to keep track of your books, do your taxes, ensure you can survive an audit, and make recommendations on how you manage money within your business.
However, if your business has seen some recent expansion and your accounting needs have become more complicated, you may be considering whether or not this arrangement is still best for your business.
Should you stay with your current small business accountant and up your demand for their time, hire an accounting firm with more capacity, or hire a full or part time in-house accounting expert? All of these options have pros and cons, which will be outlined below.
Staying with Your Current Third-Party Accountant
Accountants who work with small businesses tend to work on their own and take on a number of clients, as most small businesses don’t have the demand for their services to keep them in work all the time.
This casual arrangement can be beneficial to small enterprises, and allows the accountant to be flexible, whether they have been in business for a long time or have only recently qualified by doing an online masters in accountancy. If you have been with them for a while, they know you and your business too, so this is another benefit.
The downside is that they simply may not have the capacity to meet the increased demand as your business becomes larger, and they may also not be particularly expert in some things you may want to start doing, like international trade.
Hiring an Accounting Firm
If your current accountant can no longer meet your needs, then going with a third-party firm with more people may be a good option. This can be a happy medium between using a sole third-party accountant occasionally and hiring someone as a member of staff.
The only downside here is that it may not be the most cost-effective option, and you will also have to manage the contract between yourself and the third party more closely than with an independent accountant.
Hiring an In-House Accountant
Hiring any new member of staff can be a big step, and of course there are the issues of recruitment and HR. However, if the demand is there for even a part-time in-house accountant, then there are some significant benefits to doing this.
For one thing, an accountant who is loyal to your company will work as hard as they can to find ways that you can be more financially efficient, and can give some good input on things like strategy. Additionally, you may be able to find other useful ways their time can be spent, for instance tightening up your financial processes.
All three options have some good merits, but what is right for your business is something only you can weigh up, as every situation is different.