Importance of Recordkeeping

For small business owners, with a little study and familiarisation with your bookkeeping software, you should be able to manage your most basic financial records without the help of a Melbourne accountant. This includes the daily recording of transactions, maintenance of a general ledger, and maintenance of your cash records. There are some other records you may need to maintain, depending on your business, such as accounts receivable ledgers and accounts payable ledgers.

However, you may need a Melbourne accountant to help with less routine tasks, such as preparing periodic adjusting entries, financial statements, closing entries and income tax returns, or helping you prepare a budget. You may also decide to have your Melbourne accountant set up your books when you first open your business. It helps to find an accountant who’s familiar with, and a fan of, the software you prefer.

If you’ve been in business for a while, your Melbourne accountant could give your bookkeeping procedures and records a one-time or periodic checkup.

Recordkeeping and Outside Accountant Considerations

If you are using an outside accountant, how often will you need his or her services?

At a minimum, you will need your Melbourne accountant to help you close the books annually because you have to file an income tax return every year. If you are having financial statements prepared, you will want them done at least annually. However, annual financial statements may not be enough to help you keep tabs on your business. You may want financial statements every quarter, or even monthly.

Depending on the size of your business, you may want to have your Melbourne accountant close the books every month, particularly if you need to submit monthly sales tax to the state.

Selecting an Accountant and Preparing Records for His or Her Use

If you don’t have an accountant, you should shop around for one just as you would for any other service provider. Talk with your peers in the business community about their accountant. Interview several candidates. And ask yourself the following:

  • Does he or she specialize in small businesses of my size? Some firms specialize in and look for large clients.
  • Does he or she recommend software I like? Can they help me set up my bookkeeping system or optimize my current system?
  • Does he or she adequately understand my business and its unique problems?
  • Does he or she specialize in income taxes?
  • Are other local business people familiar with this accountant?
  • Has he or she received positive recommendations from my peers in the business community?
  • Did the accountant explain the fee structure to me? Am I comfortable with it?
  • Does he or she communicate in the way I like to conduct business (via email, text, phone, etc.)?
  • Am I comfortable using this person as a business advisor?

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