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    8 Replies Latest reply on Dec 10, 2007 8:59 PM by CorpCons08

    How should I best use an Accountant?

    Flowers Newbie

      We've been leveraging an Accountant for years to do just about everything, from our taxes to employee payroll. While our accountant is outstanding and I think he's fees are good, I'd like to be more involved in the financials of running my business. I think there may be some "easier" tasks that I could do myself, and I could leave the more intimidating tasks (like the taxes) to the pro's. Does anyone have any advice regarding what type of financial management tasks are typcially performed by Accountants versus those performed by an owner or bookkeeper? (We are a family business with about two employees.)
        • Re: How should I best use an Accountant?
          SCORE108 Wayfarer
          One of the first tasks you should do if you are not doing it already is to write the checks to pay the bills. This exercise will give a good idea of where you are spending your money. You more than anyone should be concerned where your money is going. You could also make up the daily bank deposits. Payroll reporting is detailed and there are deadlines for paying withheld taxes. You could try getting into this slowly. You should also get involved in analyzing the monthly financial statements. These will show you how your business is performing. Watch the gross profit percentage and the expenses and what percent of sales they are. If you have accounts receivable watch the aging of accounts and get involved in the collection of past due accounts. I think these suggestions should keep you busy for some time, after that ask the accountant what duties you can assume.
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          • Re: How should I best use an Accountant?
            score81 Adventurer

            One of the best possible of achieving this goal is using banking on line, provided by your local bank. I understand fear of on line stealing your account number password and money. believe me I have been using it for last 16 years and more.
            The three best things it offers you.
            1. It writes check for you to all your vendors/clients and all other. So you never worries about late payment, check never received and track of record for IRS. Also you never pay for envelope and stamp. another saving.
            2. It is always available any part of the country 24 hrs day and night, when you have time, you can do it. Just open your own laptop, pc, friend PC or hotel motel computer room PC and finish your job. All the records are available on your computer any time anywhere to compare and confirm. Any question asked any time of the day from any body copy the transaction number date, time and day and other party is fully satisfied about the payment. You can set the payment as and when you want. Automatically monthly weekly, bi-weekly or yearly.
            3. Most reliable, if checks are lost, bank pays for the fine and late payment. Never happened with me till know.
            If you combine Microsoft Small business Money2006/7 etc with it then your laptop has all the information you need any time of the day to print and check your money flow. Where it is going and where you need to take charge of it.

            If start using both yu can understand financial world much better and decide much better way.
            1 of 1 people found this helpful
            • Re: How should I best use an Accountant?
              WEBillions Adventurer
              Yes, accountants are great for daunting tasks like doing the taxes. You might also want to see if your accountant can help you make more money. Ask your accountant if there are places he or she can see improvement. Are you spending too much or too little in one area? He or she should have some experience with other companies, so may have a better idea than you.
              • Re: How should I best use an Accountant?
                majones Wayfarer
                The previous answers you received were all pretty much right.. you should be doing the basics yourself (like paying the bills, invoicing customers, etc.). The accountant is there to "clean up" your work, and to help produce financial statements that can be trusted, do your taxes, and that sort of thing. Depending on how you have things setup, it may eventually make sense to have your accountant handle paying your bills, running the payroll and handling payroll reports and taxes, etc.

                One consideration might be HOW you run your accounting. If your accounting software and data is at your business, but your accountant is not, then there is a disconnect in how you and your accountant can work together. You have to copy data files back and forth, or send shoeboxes full of documents to them to process. Often, the accountant feels compelled to re-do your books, for whatever reason (usually they contend that your books are a mess).

                If you were doing your books using an online sort of model, then you and your accountant could be in there at the same time. Having your accountant clean-up after you is much better than having them re-do everything. And, by running online, you and the accountant can get to the information when it is convenient. Frequently, this type of working arrangement gets you better and faster results from your accountant, and allows the accountant to work with you when they have the time available.

                Check out for ways to run QuickBooks Pro, Premier or Enterprise this way. There's also QuickBooks Online Edition directly from Intuit, for those with a very basic accounting software requirement.