Building Your Small Business Accounting Team
Numbers are an important part of business. To get a grasp on your small business accounting and
financials, should you hire a bookkeeper, an accountant, a controller, or a Chief Financial Officer (CFO)?
Each professional may be used at some stage of your company's development. When is the best time to
hire each type of professional?
The financials of your small business at any stage, provide a performance management tool to aid you in
making the right decisions to maximize profitability, handling the cash flow, and providing a competitive
benchmark. The world of business finance can be complex and confusing. It's often easier to put aside
the important numbers early in the game and do the more "fun" aspects of business building.
Seasoned entrepreneurs know the impact a financial system has on a company's success rate. Over 28%
of businesses declaring bankruptcy cite problems with the financial structure of the company as the main
cause of failure, according to a Small Business Administration study, "Financial Difficulties of Small
Businesses and Reasons for Their Failure."
While there may not be any clear-cut rules on when to hire or expand your small business accounting
team, consider the following guidelines to help make your decision easier:
When to Hire a Bookkeeper:
• Company Start-up: A bookkeeper's services make sense for many average start-ups with no
plans on building an empire. A bookkeeper on your small business accounting team will help you
start off with a good record keeping system, handle financial transactions, and produce financial
• Lack of Numbers Understanding: If cash flow planning and balance sheets make your head
spin, you need help. Enlisting the services of a bookkeeper can help you gain a basic
understanding of the financial aspects of running a business.
• One-Person Company: A home-based lifestyle business will often have a need to keep
expenses low. The cost of an accountant on a monthly basis can