[Source: McGowen, Hurst, Clark & Smith, P.C., 2012; R-2013 | Keywords: Business, Operations, CPA]
As a business owner you already know that growing your business doesn’t just happen by accident. It takes hard work and patience, a bit of creativity, a little luck…and sound financial insights. This is where your CPA can help. The following are different ways CPAs can assist you in meeting and exceeding your business goals.
- Budgets and Projections
The key to achieving the financial goals of your company is accountability. The first step is the creation of budgets and projections. The second step is to hold individuals accountable for maintaining those budgets and achieving the company’s goals. Your accountant should help you develop budgets and projections, as well as measurable goals to insure accountability.
- Fraud Risk Management
Implementation of solid internal controls is the best way to minimize the risk of fraud, embezzlement and other improprieties within your company. No one ever hires employees thinking they will be dishonest; however the reality is that employee theft results in a significant amount of lost profits for companies every day, especially in small business. Establishing and monitoring internal controls for your company will reduce such risks and help maximize profits for your company.
- Profitability Enhancement
There are three ways to enhance a company’s profitability: increase revenues, decrease costs, and improve the quality of life of the company owners. When people think of profitability enhancement, they automatically think of a higher bottom line, but what if your accountant came to you and said “I can help you increase your gross revenues and possibly reduce the number of hours you work?” Most people would jump at such an offer. Strategic business reviews can help you identify the factors that impact your business profitability.
- Benchmarking and Results Analysis
You may believe your business methodology is the best. However, what if you became aware that your competitors were operating with significantly higher gross profits, lower operating expenses and higher bottom lines? Most companies would immediately ask “What are we doing wrong?” Your accountant can be a key resource for specific benchmarks that apply to your industry segment and region.
- Tax Planning
The old adage that “people don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan” is never truer than when addressing tax planning. Tax preparation and tax planning are two distinctly different things. Unfortunately many business owners do not see their accountant until after the end of their fiscal year. In many cases this is too late to take advantage of tax planning strategies that could reduce tax liability. In order to be successful, the majority of tax planning needs to be implemented over the course of the year and monitored regularly.
- Evaluation of Employee Benefits
You recognize that your employees are the primary reason why your company is successful. Therefore, when the company has the opportunity to financially reward its employees, create significant write-offs for tax purposes, and increase overall employee morale, then the employee benefits plan is a win-win situation. Your accountant can help you evaluate your options.
- Succession Planning
Most business owners have a good understanding of how their company operates and are confident they will continue to be successful for as long as they are at the helm. However, not all business owners have planned for the company’s continued success after they retire. Whether your intent is to pass your business down to your own children, turn over the operations to key employees or sell your business outright to a third party, you should begin planning this transition. There are many tax saving strategies that will ensure your company continues to operate and provide for your financial security.
Owning a small business requires a strong commitment and having the right financial resources in place. Your CPA can help you address your business challenges, navigate the field of financial decisions and provide you with the services needed to grow your business.