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Why your startup needs an accountant, like, yesterday

Why your startup needs an accountant, like, yesterday

The day after sketching their big idea on a napkin for a potential investor, many founders realize they need a financial adviser. Actually, they needed one yesterday. That’s because a financial adviser can give important direction to a business leader before the company takes off. Unfortunately, many dreamers skip that step on the yellow brick road, only to stumble and fall later.

If you have a plan for the next big thing, hire an accountant for some professional financial advice before it’s too late.

Avoiding pitfalls

David S. Rose, author of The Startup Checklist: 25 Steps to a Scalable, High-Growth Business, says you should consult with an accountant as soon as you’re ready to “start acting like a real company.” He says you need accounting expertise “the second you take in your first investment dollar, hire your first employee, sign your first lease, or sell your first product.” The devil, as they say, is in the details.

“Without help, there is no question that you are going to end up in trouble some way, somehow,” Rose says. Just ask Martha Stewart, Wesley Snipes, or Willie Nelson. Did somebody say taxes? If these celebrities had followed best practices, they would not have fallen so far from grace. Good accountants can help startups to avoid such problems by keeping track of cash flow, allocating funds for payroll taxes, and auditing for efficiencies to avoid unmanageable debt.

What a business accountant can offer you

Accountants do more than prepare tax returns and financial statements. They may also advise you on software and on other financial professionals who can help your business. Here’s a short list of key financial people you should consider for your team:

Until they get funding, many startups don’t have the resources to pay for a full-blown financial team. Instead, they might rely on websites to help with forms, with some startups hiring for part-time services. “Drop-in CFOs,” for example, are professionals with C-suite experience who can handle multiple clients on a time-sharing basis. So long as they don’t have a conflict of interest, they can provide services such as:

  • making financial reports
  • managing financial projections
  • preparing documents for potential investors

Think about building your financial team this way: “ABC” for accountant, bookkeeper, and chief financial officer. There’s a reason why the “A” comes first.

Is your business on the move? Monster has solutions to take you to the next level

Whether you’re in the scribbling-on-a-napkin planning stage or you’ve already started operations, having an accountant could save you time and money down the road. But beyond the need to hire an accountant, you also need a staff you can rely on. Get helpful recruiting advice for your business and information on the current hiring market by signing up for Monster Hiring Solutions.