Starting and growing your business is easier with good advisors to your team. Successful business owners surround themselves with people who have specialized experience. The right team will help you track the health of your business and work with you to apply for funding.
Your three main advisors will be:
- Bank Account Manager
Each advisor has an important role to play.
Bank Account Manager
Your business will have its own bank account and an account manager will be assigned to that account. Begin right away establishing a good relationship with your bank account manager. Ask about the financial products and services available to your new business and request that this person stay connected with you by email and telephone at least 2-3 times per year. Your account manager should make you aware of any banking products and services that can help your business such as overdraft protection, business credit cards and lines of credit. This person should inform you about any seminar and services being offered by your bank. Business account managers at one bank will also have established relationships with other lenders and organizations that assist business owners. Take advantage of this FREE advisor by staying connected and asking lots of questions.
Call your banker and arrange to meet in-person or virtually via a video call. Ask about all the fees associated with your bank account and to review any products or services the bank may offer to help you reduce your banking costs and increase your access to funding.
Bookkeepers and Accountants are not the same. Even though they both work with your finances they have distinct duties. Bookkeepers manage the day-to-day numbers. They organize all your accounting data by recording the day-to-day financial transactions in your journals and posting them to your general ledger.
For example, when you receive a payment from a customer, the cash or cheque goes to your bookkeeper, who records the transaction in your journal.
When you receive monthly bank statements, the bookkeeper reconciles your company’s accounting records against the bank accounts to make sure they match. It might not sound like a lot of work but think about all the individual transactions your business does on a regular basis. Doing it yourself can keep you from more important tasks in your business. Having a bookkeeper saves you time. It also helps you make sure your records are accurate.
Many bookkeepers use accounting software to help them with their tasks. Together, you and your bookkeeper can discuss software options and manual ways to track your daily financial activities.
When you first start your business, you might take on the bookkeeping yourself. It may be simple in the beginning, and it saves you money over hiring out the work. It helps you understand your finances, so you know what is happening.
But as your business grows, you may start feeling the additional work of marketing, sales and, operational needs that take up more of your time. That can mean the accounting functions sometimes get pushed to the side. In a growing business, if you let too much time pass between keeping the books, you lose track of your cash flow and can run into problems. Bookkeepers are affordable. A good bookkeeper can save you time and keep you on track.
Your bookkeeper can also handle things such as:
- Creating invoices for customers
- Collecting payments from customers
- Issuing payments to your suppliers
- Keeping track of your purchase orders
- Calculating asset depreciation
- Monitoring your cash flow
- Preparing financial statements
- Handling year-end tax preparation
- Establishing or recommending accounting procedures
- Managing accounts payables and receivables
While your bookkeeper deals with the day-to-day transactions, your accountant handles the analysis of your finances. You should use an accountant early in your business to get the financial systems in place. The accountant also come into the process in the later stages of the accounting cycle.
Your accountant helps you make sense of all accounting data you collect. That data helps your accountant produce financial reports that allows you to make better business decisions. For example, your accountant might help you forecast your business’s cash flow and identify business trends that can increase your revenue.
If you have high revenue but low profit, your accountant can look at the accounting data to figure out what is happening. They may see costs that lower your profits, which you can cut to improve your cash flow. Your accountant provides for small business tax-related advice. They can help you maximize your tax credits and deductions so you can keep more of your business income. Accountants stay up to date on the latest tax regulations and will ensure you take full advantage of any tax credits and deductions available to your business. At the end of the year, an accountant will prepare and file your tax returns.
Accountants are regulated and part of an organization called the Chartered Professional Accountants (CPA). You should confirm that your Accountant is a registered member. For more information visit the CPA Saskatchewan website.