While your products or services are the backbone of your business, you’ll struggle to succeed without a solid financial understanding and processes. But that doesn’t mean you’re doomed if you didn’t go to school for accounting or pursue an MBA. You simply need to build out the right combination of business financial services. That means three things: (1) having the right advisor who can help you (2) create seamless processes and (3) plan for tax implications.
1. Partner with the right financial advisor
Finding the right financial advisor for your business is foundational to success. There are many different types of professionals who can help you in this area, and you’ll likely use the services of several as your needs change throughout the life of your business.
A CPA firm can be a good place to start your search as firms with more than one or two partners can provide support and expertise across a wide spectrum of industries and stages of business. The key point to note here is that you’re looking for a more in-depth relationship than someone to prepare your taxes. You want to find an advisor with whom you can build a long-term relationship, who has built or supported the type of business you’re building, and who is invested in your long-term success. Whether this individual takes the form of an outsourced CFO or a more high-level financial advisor who helps you set goals, monitor progress, and adjust as needed.
2. Establish seamless, automated, and secure back-office processes
One of the first items of business when working with a new financial advisor is to evaluate and improve your back-office processes. You want to build out an accounting tech stack that is secure, offers automation where appropriate, and is designed to scale with the business. The best accounting technology these days is on the cloud; your advisor should be someone who stays on top of tech advances and can recommend solutions that fit your business.
Your accounting tech stack also needs to be comprehensive, meaning that you shouldn’t be doing your books on the cloud while running manual payroll. While getting everything up, running, and connected can be a time consuming process, it’s worth it to gain up-to-date financial insights accessible on the go.
3. Plan for tax implications
Running a business offers a lot of opportunities to reduce your tax burden, but you have to know where to look and when to act. Working with a CPA as your financial advisor can help you to make financial decisions with full knowledge of the tax implications, and the back-office processes you established in step two keep everyone in the loop on your financial activities. Further, up-to-date books that have been reviewed throughout the year make for a far smoother and predictable tax time.
You can gain further benefit by using your business advisor’s services for your personal taxes and financial planning. Self-employed individuals are notorious for neglecting their own retirement savings, so IRAs and Solo 401(k) plans are often low-hanging fruit for tax planning purposes. That said, there are many other opportunities for advanced tax planning when your business and personal finances can be considered as one big picture.
When is the right time to seek financial services for my business?
In almost all cases, the answer is right now. The right mix of financial services can be extremely beneficial to businesses in the conception and start-up phase, during growth, mature businesses that want to stay successful, at a time of merger or acquisition, and even in succession planning. Our team works with individuals and business owners at every stage. We would be honored to have the opportunity to earn your trust and build a long-term relationship as your financial advisor. Our firm offers all of the services mentioned in this blog under one roof. Please contact us to schedule a consultation.