Starting a business is a big undertaking. But it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. If you’re thinking about starting a business, the best thing you can do is equip yourself with knowledge. One of the best ways to get insight and advice is to consult with an accountant.
An accountant can help you set up your business for success from the start. He or she can advise you on important financial decisions and help you navigate the often complicated world of taxes. But not all accountants are the same. Here are some questions you should ask an accountant before you hire them to make sure they’re right for your business.
74 Questions you should ask an accountant when starting a business:
- What accounting software do you recommend for my small business?
- How can I save money on taxes?
- Do I need to pay estimated taxes? When are they due?
- How often should I reconcile my bank account?
- How do I handle inventory for tax purposes?
- Can you help me choose the best entity type for my business?
- What are some common expenses that people forget to include in their budget?
- Should I use accrual or cash-based accounting?
- How do I know if I’m making a profit?
- What tax deductions can I take advantage of?
- Do I need to register for sales tax in my state?
- Do I need to set up payroll? How can I do that?
- Do we need audited financial statements?
- What’s a good method for tracking business expenses while on the go?
- Can you provide some guidance on bookkeeping best practices?
- Do you offer monthly or quarterly review sessions for small businesses?
- Can you help me with financial projections for my small business plan?
- Are there any regulatory compliance issues I need to be aware of as a small business owner?
- Do you offer discounts for small businesses or startups?
- What other services can you provide that will benefit my small business?
- What structure should my business have?
- What are the tax implications of that structure?
- How can I minimize my taxes?
- Do I need to register for GST?
- Should I issue invoices to my customers?
- How often should I do my bookkeeping?
- Do I need to pay employees superannuation?
- How do I calculate employee superannuation?
- Do I need workers’ compensation insurance?
- What other insurance do I need for my business?
- Do I need to set up a company pension scheme?
- What reporting requirements apply to my business?
- Do I need to file a BAS or IAS?
- When are these due?
- How can I streamline my accounting and bookkeeping processes?
- What records do I need to keep for my business?
- How long do I need to keep these records?
- Can you recommend any good resources for staying up to date with changes in tax law?
- How often should I review my financial statements?
- What are some key financial metrics I should be tracking?
- What tax deductions am I missing out on?
- What are some common financial mistakes businesses make?
- How can I get a better handle on my cash flow?
- What accounts receivable collections strategies do you recommend?
- My client just asked for 120 days to pay their invoices – is that OK?
- I’m thinking of investing in XYZ stock – what do you think?
- I’m thinking of selling my business – what’s it worth?
- I want to buy a new building for my business – how can I finance it?
- Should I lease or buy my office furniture and equipment?
- What’s the difference between a 1099 contractor and an employee?
- Do I need workers’ compensation insurance?
- How much should I set aside for quarterly taxes?
- Is it better to pay myself with a salary or a dividend?
- Can you recommend a good bank for small businesses?
- What types of businesses do you typically work with?
- Can you give me references for other small businesses in my industry?
- How often should I meet with my accountant?
- What should I know about payroll taxes?
- When is the best time to start thinking about retirement plans for my business?
- What are some creative ways to save on taxes?
- What are some red flags I should look out for when it comes to my finances?
- How can I tell if my business is healthy?
- How can I reduce my expenses without cutting corners?
- Where can I go for help if I’m having trouble making ends meet?
- What are some resources you recommend for small businesses?
- How do I register my business?
- Do I need any permits or licenses?
- Do I need to charge sales tax?
- When are my tax returns due?
- Am I obligated to offer health insurance to my employees?
- What other benefits do I need to offer my employees?
- Should I rent or buy office space, equipment, and vehicles?
- How do I set up accounts receivable and accounts payable?
- Who are some good vendors for small businesses in my industry?
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you prepare for a meeting with an accountant?
An important factor in preparing for a meeting with an accountant is to come to the meeting with a clear idea of your financial situation. This includes having updated financial statements and records, as well as a solid understanding of your current tax situation.
If you aren’t familiar with accounting terminology, it may be helpful to do some research in advance so you can ask the accountant pertinent questions about your financial situation. Finally, be prepared to discuss your goals and objectives for the meeting.
Is an accountant worth it for a small business?
Accountants can be a great investment for small businesses. They can help businesses keep track of their budget, make sound financial decisions, and stay organized. An accountant can also help a small business prepare for tax season and ensure they are taking advantage of all available tax deductions. Ultimately, an accountant can help a small business save money and grow their business.
By asking yourself the right questions upfront, you can be sure that your accountant or bookkeeper will be a good fit for your small business’s needs – and that he or she will be able to provide the insight and advice you need to set your business up for success from day one.
Do your homework and ask around before settling on an accountant – it’s one of the most important decisions you’ll make as a small business owner!
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