Do you need accounting support that you’re not getting?

While many new business owners try to do the accounting work themselves, they may want to outsource some of the accounting duties so that they can work on their business rather than in their business. If you find yourself in this position, it’s important to know what level of accounting support is right for you, rather than simply seek out the lowest priced services. 

It’s also valuable to find the level of service you require, in the manner that works for you. It’s no secret that many accountants are reclusive. They don’t want to provide advisory services, only compliance and reporting. They will only contact you through email and will avoid other types of communication. Few accountants are forward facing, truly wanting to help and advise.  The right one, with an understanding of your industry, can take your business to the next level.

Every business is unique and needs some level of support, so what’s right for you?  

Slightly Involved

If you simply need help handling the day-to-day financial management, then the basics may be right for you. You’ll be set up with a cloud accounting software, such as QuickBooks Online, to automate various bookkeeping tasks to ensure that bills are paid, clients are invoiced, and bank accounts are reconciled. If you get started when your business is young, automation is much easier to integrate and implement. Once in place, automation is easily scalable. 

In addition to keeping the books up-to-date and claiming all tax deductions, this level of service ensures CRA compliance so that you will avoid costly and time-consuming audits. At UpSide Accounting, this basic level allows for unlimited emails, but with up to 48 hours response time.

What if you want to expand your business? What if you realize you need more information so you can make some big decisions confidently?

Moderately Involved

With a moderate level of support, you have someone that is ready to help your business further, rather than just managing the financial records, preparing financial statements and complying with all tax regulations. At this level of service, a niche accountant—who understands your industry specifically—can help you understand what your financial statements are telling you about your business. They will not only know the status of its financial health and how it could be affected, but they are able to organize the information and present it in layman’s terms. 

During a scheduled business health checkup call, an accountant can provide the latest numbers and discuss what they mean, so you can make strategic decisions for your company’s future. If you’re thinking about expanding your business, they can tell you if your numbers support that decision.  They can help you find a loan if you need one. They will give you advice, such as being ready to start a holding company if you’ve accumulated excess cash and are looking to invest.

Deeply Involved

This high level of service provides a trusted advisor with high-level strategic support that you’ll find incredibly useful. They use data from your financials to help you plan and project long-term financial goals. This is a personality-type service level, so your preferred communication style will be accommodated. At your regularly scheduled meeting you can connect however you like, whether that’s through an old fashioned telephone call, a Zoom meeting or a Slack Connect channel.

A deeply involved advisor accountant can answer every version of “Where are we, and where are we going?” They’ve refined the cash-flow projections, and are looking forward towards growth and opportunities that are coming your way. Do you need trademark protection for your logo and other intellectual property? Is the housing market worth the outrageous costs? Are there any government grants you qualify for? Would invoice financing help with cash flow? Is it better for you to hire independent contractors rather than employees?

Many accounting firms are not upfront about their levels of service, and may eventually end up ghosting you if they consider you too small. Nothing is more disheartening for a business owner than to be turned away from a professional that has been taking their money. Many accountants don’t ever discuss their preferred communication style or ask about yours. As a client or a potential client, it’s in your favour to learn their accounting style(s), whether they have experience in your industry, if they enjoy working with companies your size, and their levels of service. Although few accountants are forward facing and truly wanting to advise, the right one can take your business to the next level.

P.S. At UpSide, we provide all levels of accounting and bookkeeping support to professional creatives. We start with a Discovery phone or Zoom call, and then build three custom options for your business.