Are you a creative professional searching for an accounting professional that’s just the right fit, a niche market accounting pro?
Too large, too general, too impersonal? Many firms provide general accounting services to a wide range of businesses, but every business is different. Don’t settle down with the wrong accounting firm. If you realize you have and are ready to move on, read our article on breaking up with an accountant. A better alternative is out there. Each profession, industry and type of business comes with its own challenges and goals. Although some may think that accounting is a “one-size-fits-all” service, the reality is that every industry has its own accounting and tax needs. Find that right fit, an accounting professional for your particular market, who understands your situation.
Specialty Accounting Niches
Many accounting pros specialize in businesses within a specific industry. They might primarily work with restaurant owners, real estate agents or online retail shops. Every industry and market has their own ways of doing business, including specific terminology, and ways of thought and accountants who understand the issues they face.
There are firms that focus on accounting services for small business owners, with a focus on providing specific accounting services, such as cash flow management or business payroll, tax preparation, and auditing. The right accounting professional will have experience in your particular niche and can provide the type of services you want and need. With an industry-specific accounting pro, you will find someone immersed in the intricacies of running a business in that occupation. They can customize their recommendations to help your company excel.
Your accountant should provide you with systems that keep you aware of what’s going on. They provide the tools and advice to get you rolling and encourage you to be proactive. Whatever is not your strong suit, they can take care of. It’s about finding your best workflow and complimenting it until it’s complete and absolutely seamless.
A relationship with an accountant should be a long one, and it should feel as if they are a member of the team, looking at fortifying and growing your business. In reality, an accountant can lose money on a new client for the first year of the working relationship because it can take so much work trying to build up to a standard, slowly making problems go away.
When you choose a firm that specializes in your niche market accounting, you can trust that the team is more efficient since the internal systems in place are well established. When you are working with the same type of client over and over again, the systems are well known by the team. You know they have spent quite a bit of time and energy understanding their chosen type of client’s needs and wants.
At Upside, we focus on providing accounting services for service-based creative small businesses with their accounting, bookkeeping, and tax services. We help videographers, designers, signage creators, storytellers, and others build a strong financial future. We offer customized options to match both lifestyle and business needs. We aim for the right mix of in-house vs outsourced, time vs money. Our clients control much they want to invest based on what they find most valuable. Our clients tend to be past the first stage of entrepreneurial energy “do it all myself” and into the “I need help to grow” phase that includes a dedicated bookkeeper to take care of monthly financial tasks. We suggest our clients work on what they’re passionate about and have us categorize transactions, reconcile accounts, and organize those income statements and balance sheets.
The Future is Here
In addition to finding your niche market, look for an accounting and bookkeeping firm that is leveraging cloud technology. There is no excuse to not be taking advantage of the great tools that allow us to analyze and leverage business data. Technology is here to deliver, and if the tools are deployed properly, will cut the time it takes to do routine tasks. Automated tools make for a much more streamlined and stress-free service.
Ensure that your new niche market accounting pro uses cloud accounting software, which can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection. The most widely used online accounting platforms are QuickBooks Online and Xero, either of which can import your bank transactions to be matched to expenses pushed from a receipt app, which stores your paper receipts digitally. The software also categorizes the receipts according to vendors, which makes it easy to find your receipts. They immediately get published to your accounting software to the appropriate expense accounts as set by your accountant.
All you have to do is take a picture of your receipt and upload it to a receipt app on your smartphone. The rest is taken care of by the app and your accountant. Upload receipts on the go during your day to save the time of eventually sorting through receipts or dropping off of them at your accountant’s office. You don’t even need to keep physical receipts or a secondary backup for your receipts if you have uploaded them to your receipt app. The Canadian Revenue Agency accepts digital copies of receipts. If one day you happen to need a hard copy of one of your receipts, you can always download it from your receipt app and print it. These apps really do help save a lot of time and space you would otherwise be spending on sorting and storing paper receipts.
So many tasks, including invoicing and payments, can be automated and data between cards and bank accounts can be synced to save you time. Cloud-based accounting software can create financial reports and categorise your expenses. Cloud technology really has levelled the playing field for small businesses, giving you access to information and solutions that were previously only available for the big enterprise-level companies.
There are many benefits to partnering with an accounting team that focuses on your particular industry or the subset of services you need. You will have professionals who speak your language, understand your objectives and your challenges. Workflow for delivering your services can be optimized, with opportunities for automation and streamlined client/customer management. With a niche market accounting pro, cloud-based accounting software and a carefully selected Tech Stack, you will spend less time working on your books and more time focused on your business.