The other day I heard someone say, “I know I can’t do it alone, but I fear I’ll be giving up control of my finances when I hire an accountant. What do I do?”
We Fear the Unknown
That’s why kids are afraid of the dark. They can’t see who might be lurking in the corner or hiding under their bed. You don’t know who this stranger is that’s going to get all up in your personal business. You might be afraid that they’ll screw up your way of doing things, judge your bookkeeping skills, or worse–steal all your money.
What We Should Fear Instead
What you should really be afraid of is what could happen if you don’t hire an accountant. Are you making crippling financial mistakes? Maybe you’ll miss something important on your next tax filing. Are you sure you know what you need to know to get it right?
You’re More Likely to Fail Without an Accountant
According to the Small Business Association about 20% of new businesses fail in their first year, and about half within the first five years. According to a 2019 Small Business Report, only 30% of small business owners work with an outside accountant. This might be a stretch, but maybe there’s a correlation?
Do What You Do Best
You’re a business owner, not an accountant. You started your business because it was something you loved to do, had a good amount of experience in, or went to school for it.
It’s kind of like my daughter and me. I love to bake. I have years of experience in the kitchen. My daughter, on the other hand, is afraid to step into the kitchen for fear I might ask her to stir something. She does not enjoy baking, which is OK, because she’s not good at it anyway.
Her passion is cheerleading. She was a competitive cheerleader for nine years and now coaches a team of her own, who some day she would like to take to Summit (the Super Bowl of all-star cheer.)
At their next celebration party, should she make the cake? NO! Not if she wants them to live to win another season. She’s a coach, not a baker. She needs to concentrate on coaching her team and leave the baking to a professional.
Let Us Do What We Do Best
You need to concentrate on running your business and leave the accounting to a professional. That isn’t your area of expertise.
That doesn’t mean you aren’t responsible for the financial situation of your business. Hiring an accountant is not a form of abdication – the act of no longer controlling or managing something that you are in charge of. It’s a form of delegation – the act of giving a particular job or duty to someone else. (Cambridge dictionary)
If you’re a gym owner you might be familiar with the CrossFit Open, a qualifying event for the CrossFit Games, and you can sign up to participate in the Open even if you don’t plan on competing.
It’s a timed workout and during the weightlifting portion the weight increases with every round. Those that are competing have someone standing there to add the plates for you each time. The athlete is still the one responsible for lifting the bar, but it’s helpful to have someone add the weight for them.
It’s Still Your Responsibility
As a business owner, you will always have a certain level of responsibility for the finances of your company. You don’t want to hand over your books to your accountant and say here, take care of the finances, and then never think about it again. That would be abdicating your finances to someone else.
You will need to spend some time once or twice a month going over your books. You can delegate your bookkeeper to put the plates on for you, but ultimately you are still responsible for lifting the bar.
So how do you get over the fear and just hire an accountant?
Do Your Research
First, I would say you need to do your homework.
Whenever my husband notices I’ve been on my laptop for an extended amount of time he rolls his eyes and asks, “What are you researching now?”
I research everything. Traveling? I’ll spend hours on Google reading reviews and searching for the best hotels for your money (They’re not usually the 5-star resorts.) And don’t even get me started on how much time I put into researching our new refrigerator. Ninety-nine percent of the time I’m totally happy with my choice. That stupid printer had to go and ruin my track record.
If you ask for referrals and do a little research you should feel confident you’re getting a trustworthy accountant.
Did you know Incite Tax and Accounting has a 4.8 star review on Google?
Yes, they will need access to your bank accounts and credit cards, but you don’t need to give them complete control. You can authorize them for viewer access only without giving them the authority to actually make transactions.
There’s a whole range of services you can authorize your accountant to perform. There are some services, like Profit First, where you can opt for your accountant to actually make transactions and move your money around, so you would need a higher level of trust with your accountant. It’s up to you to decide how much to delegate to your Profit First Professional.
If you’re thinking about hiring an accountant, schedule a call today. Ask questions. How can you help me increase profitability? How often are you in my books? What does the process look like? The consultation is free, so tell us what level of service you’re looking for. YOU ARE THE ONE IN CONTROL!
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