Unleashing the Power of Accountants: Your Trusted Partners in Small Business Growth
August 22, 2023
Small businesses serve as the backbone of Canada’s economy, driving innovation, fostering local growth, and creating job opportunities. They are also challenging to launch and keep going; over 20% of businesses fold within their first year and only half make it to the five-year mark. At the heart of these enterprises' financial well-being stand accountants, the most valued partner, for most business owners, who play a crucial role in steering their clients through the intricate maze of financial management of not only their business but personal financial life as well.
Key Supports that Accountants Provide to Small Businesses Owners
Ryan Mackiewich, CPA, CA, FEA and Senior Wealth Advisor with WealthCo, a member of the Integrated Advisory Network, elaborates on the varied and multifaceted ways that accountants support their small business owner clients.
Accountant as Advisor
“One of the best roles an accountant holds is one of trusted advisor,” Mackiewich shares. “Helping small businesses with building and establishing their business plans. introducing them to other professionals to build their network and help them to succeed, getting their systems and processes set up, both on the accounting side and the business side.”
Accountants possess a unique vantage point that extends beyond number crunching, allowing them to play a high-impact and truly valuable advisory role for their small business clients.
Bookkeeping and Record Keeping
Accountants play a pivotal role in assisting small businesses with their critical bookkeeping and record-keeping needs.
“A lot of entrepreneurs are really good at getting sales and driving revenue, they know the ins and outs of their product or service but may be less knowledgeable about understanding what needs to be tracked and assessing whether or not they are profitable,” Mackiewich points out. “A business may seem profitable but being profitable is not the only measure of a healthy business. If the revenue is going to service debt or being taken out of the company by the owner, those types of payments typically don’t count against profitability. But they negatively impact cash flow and that is not a good place for a business to be. By meeting regularly with their accountant and reviewing their financials from the lens of truly understanding how the business is performing is a game-changer. It’ll change how business owners look at certain expenditures differently so they can truly see how they impact the business.”
At the end of the day, an accountant is an investment and an asset in an entrepreneur’s business journey rather than an expense.
“Compliance is a special world that accountants love to live in,” Mackiewich states. Staying compliant with tax laws and regulations is crucial. Accountants can ensure that small businesses meet their tax obligations by accurately calculating and submitting taxes, filing required reports, and adhering to deadlines for local, provincial, and federal taxes.
“From income tax to GST to provincial sales tax to WCB reporting, all the various areas of compliance are subtly different,” Mackiewich shares. “Especially if your business is multi-jurisdictional - things can get pretty complex very quickly. Keeping track of what needs to be filed when, where, and by who can be a full-time job.”
How Accountants Can Assist with Small Business Growth
Beyond the day-to-day support, accountants can evolve from being mere financial record-keepers to trusted advisors who contribute significantly to a small business's strategic decision-making process.
Accountants can assist in projecting future sales and revenue based on historical performance, market trends, and industry insights. This helps small business owners anticipate fluctuations and plan accordingly.
Forecasts and budgets are not static; they should be reviewed and adjusted regularly based on actual performance and changing market conditions. Accountants can help business owners stay agile by bringing a data-driven and analytical approach to business discussions and forecasting.
Serving as a Sounding Board
“Accountants are business people. They have been trained in business planning and risk assessment and have a unique ability to evaluate various scenarios and their financial implications.”
Accountants can offer an unbiased and objective viewpoint, helping small business owners see beyond emotional attachments and make informed decisions based on financial data and analysis.
Assistance with Accessing Funding
“There are a lot of different lending organizations, at multiple levels, with various funding options available,” Mackiewich advises. “Accountants are well in the know on these opportunities and can steer their clientele towards them.”
Commercial lending, venture capital, angel investments – these are special subsets even within the accounting world. Accountants can educate small businesses about various funding options, explain the pros and cons of each option, and help businesses select the most suitable one based on their growth goals and financial situation. There are also various government funding and subsidy options that business owners can access to help grow their businesses.
Furthermore, when small businesses are contemplating expansion or diversification, accountants can provide a critical financial perspective. They can analyze the financial feasibility of new ventures, assess the potential return on investment, and offer guidance on the optimal timing and approach for expansion.
Your Small Business Partner in Growth
By leveraging their financial expertise and insights, accountants offer invaluable guidance and strategic direction, ultimately propelling their clients toward growth and prosperity.
A lot of this is accomplished by having the right network of professionals in place to help with all the intricacies and nuances of small business growth and subsequent wealth management. This is where the Integrated Advisory Network comes in. Reach out to one of the Integrated Advisory member firms if you are looking for the optimal partner to support your business growth.
A member of WealthCo’s Integrated Advisory Community, Ryan Mackiewich, CPA, CA, FEA is a Senior Planner with WealthCo. With over 25 years as a CPA, CA providing tax and business advisory expertise, Ryan also holds the Family Enterprise Advisor (FEA) designation and applies it to working with business families to help them effectively transition business, wealth, and roles. When he’s not doing that, Ryan loves to camp, hike, and explore all the wonderful places the world has to offer.
The Integrated Advisory Network consists of progressive CPA firms, along with best-in-class professional advisors, service, and product specialists, who work together to deliver an elevated and holistic client experience. One that optimizes both their personal and professional lives with an integrated financial strategy designed to help clients reach their goals.
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