Proper bookkeeping is an essential part of prudent business management. A professional accountant can help you with various bookkeeping needs including the preparation of timely financial reports, cash-flow statements as well as crucial management reports.
A professional accounting firm Melbourne practice can also double as your financial advisor, proffering advice on legal tax avoidance, tax issues and financial management. However, as your business continues to grow and your accounting requirements become ever compelling, you can expect the costs to rise almost proportionally, sometimes unreasonably.
Small businesses particularly, worry about the cost of bookkeeping as it eats into their small margins. However, you should never forgo a professional accounting service in order to save money. The risks far outweigh the potential savings you are likely to amass by firing your accountant. But you can still have your cake and eat it by pursuing a three-pronged strategy aimed at cost minimization. It is possible to cut down accounting costs at the hiring or selection process, during the engagement and in your ongoing relationship with the accountant Melbourne professional that you will be working with.
Here are some tips on how you can minimize your accounting fees when working with a bookkeeper:-
Hire a Small Business Accountant
The advantage of working with a small business accountant is that there is almost a mutual understanding on what you can afford. There are lots of competent accounting firm Melbourne has whose niche is in the small to medium-sized business sector and which would be happy to grow with your business. Accountants Melbourne firms that specialize in the small business niche are generally in a unique position to understand your requirements and can offer you customized small business accounting services at an affordable rate.
What Software Does Your Accountant Use?
If you are planning on cutting down on accounting costs, you are better off working with an accountant that uses a limited set of software tools for bookkeeping and analysis. The advantage in this is that it will significantly cut down on the processing time and the accountant can subsequently pass down the savings to your business.
Get a Fixed Quote
Does your small business suffer from cash flow issues? You are better off hiring your accountant on a fixed quote basis rather on an hourly basis. Hourly contracts work fine with large corporations but it is likely going to be a serious liability for a small business. If an accountant takes longer to complete a task, the liability will be on you and this could really truncate your margins. Small business accountants are generally quite flexible and will be willing to do fixed-quote contracts which have some predictability.
Look for Accountants that offer some complementary services
Hire accountants that offer some freebies or complementary services that won’t cost you much money. For example, ask if they offer free phone or email advice, free initial consultations or even client business. Some accountants will charge you for these at the end of the month but this might still be advantageous for some small businesses as it spreads out the cost.
Do Some Good Record Keeping
This is where you can make great savings in your bookkeeping costs. Good record keeping will not only cut down on your accounting fees but it helps minimize the risk of fraud and over-taxation. Record all sales and purchases and ensure you have all the paperwork that you will need for your bookkeeping in a logical order. The last thing you want is digging through old emails looking for some transactions or going through old paperwork. Not only does it waste time, it makes the accounting process needlessly complex and costly.
Prepare all the documentation, save it one file and email it to your accountant. Sending out information in bits and pieces will end up costing you more in extra accounting fees.
The best way to go about this is to prepare all the information that you accountant will need for the preparation of your financials and filing of your tax returns. Make sure this information is logically organized and easy to read to make the work easier for your accountant. Doing this also saves you money as your accountant does not have to sort through the information and charge you more for the extra labour.
Engage Your Accountant
Whenever you are engaging an accounting firm Melbourne has, it is important to be very upfront about the range of services that you will require as well as the amount of money that you will be obligated to pay for these sets of services. This should be concrete information and must in the form of an information pack or an engagement letter that the accountant Melbourne service provider is going to offer you. The accountant will always be dependent on you to specify the scope of the work that you want them to do.
As part of the engagement, it is also advisable to be upfront with your accountant on how the accounting fees can be minimized. Let them know that you have some budgetary constraints and they may be willing to work out an accounting package that your business can afford. You can also request the professional accounting firm Melbourne practice for a cap on the accounting fees so that you don’t find yourself in a scenario where the costs run over the roof.
Invest in good accounting software
Talk to an accountant Melbourne practice to recommend a suitable software tool for your business that is simple, affordable and will reduce your overdependence on an accountant. Some of the most popular software tools for small businesses include Quicken and MYOB.
There is accounting software for small businesses that are not only cheap but also robust. They can give you loads of features including a customer base, bank feeds, inventory management, quotation management, and seamless invoicing that will come in handy in your bookkeeping.
Pay Your Accountant Monthly
This may not always be the case but some accountants will give you a waiver or a great deal if you can guarantee them regular payments for their services.
Give you accountant all the information that they need
Ensure that you supply your accountant with all the relevant information that they will need to work on your books. Chasing after information from clients is usually a big timewaster for many accountants and they will charge you more for it.