What Your Small Business Clients Need from You as an Accountant

Small business is the backbone of the Pennsylvania economy. In order for small businesses to succeed, they need to be able to make wise financial decisions. But most entrepreneurs don’t have the financial expertise that you have and can make serious mistakes that can slow their growth or even spell disaster for the company. You can help. 

Helping start-ups or young companies

Most entrepreneurs have a dream and the drive to go for it but are unaware of the many important financial decisions they need to make right at the start. You can guide them in so many ways:

  • Advise them regarding the best business structure for their particular needs: partnership, LLC, sole proprietor, corporation
  • Obtain an EIN and licensing if necessary
  • Review different financing and lending options as well as other potential sources of funds to help underwrite their early months/years
  • Explain the importance of keeping personal and business finances separate and help set up separate systems
  • Discuss laws and government regulations that may impact their business
  • Set up bank accounts
  • Advise them on setting up an accounting system and the best software for their needs, preferably cloud-based that would allow you to integrate with them

 Ongoing help

Once your entrepreneur client has a strong financial foundation, you’ll be in the position to assist the company on an ongoing basis to maintain financial health so the business can grow:

  • Monitor and manage the aspects of accounting that the client does not want to handle in-house
  • Ensure the client’s financial procedures comply with government regulations
  • Advise the financial and tax effects of major purchases: building, machinery, trucks, etc.
  • Determine tax deductions, depreciation, quarterly tax payments
  • Discuss the importance of security, for both online data and paper documents
  • Create financial statements and explain them to the client to aid in the development of goals and business plans

 Additional services or referrals

Your clients may have other needs that you can help with, or you may know specialists to recommend. In order to keep your own firm growing, it’s important to offer various add-on services. In addition to offering various services yourself, some accountants develop a core network of experts in other areas that their clients often need. These experts try to refer work to each other, when possible. It is a networking method that is effective and builds excellent business friendships. Some examples of services you could provide or refer are:

  • Business planning
  • Investment advising
  • Cybersecurity
  • Guidance in rebuilding a client’s credit rating and/or drilling down debt
  • Personal financial planning – many entrepreneurs may need personal financial guidance, as well
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Business valuation
  • Part-time CFO responsibilities
  • Accounting technology guidance and management
  • Strategic planning

If you like working with small businesses and entrepreneurs, tapping into their excitement, vision, and energy, then start-ups and small businesses can be a very lucrative and satisfying niche.