Article by Eddy Hood
If you're going to create a profitable business, then you’ll need the help of an accountant. You may consider hiring in-house or you may prefer to save money by choosing virtual accounting services. But before you make a decision, it is important to understand the five different types of accountants and how they can meet your small business accounting needs.
A bookkeeper is a data entry specialist whose job is to get data into the system accurately. They do not create reports or provide analysis, however, by offloading these daily tasks to another individual, you, as the entrepreneur can switch your attention to something much more valuable -- scaling your business.
A bookkeeping service should provide the following to your organization:
Bank reconciliations: Having a certified bookkeeper manage your bank accounts ensures that you have a much clearer picture of your company’s cash position, which allows for better decision making. Instead of hoping that a check will clear tomorrow, you'll know exactly where you stand with up-to-date bank account information. In this regard, a bookkeeper is responsible for the following:
In-house cost of hiring a Bookkeeper (2017): Salary can fluctuate from $18,000 to $45,000 a year.
Many people think that bookkeepers and accountants provide the same function. However, there are significant differences between the role and this is reflected in the price point.
To break it down, your bookkeeper is responsible for inputting data into the system all month long while it is the accountant’s job to oversee this process as well as carry out more of the “heavy lifting” at the end of the month as detailed below.
An accounting service should provide the following to your organization:
In-house cost of hiring an Accountant (2017): Salary range will run from $30,000 to $60,000.
This person is responsible for overseeing the entire accounting system in addition to creating financial reports. As you might imagine, the Controller must be highly qualified and should at the very least hold a Bachelor's Degree in Accounting while working towards their Master’s.
Overall, the Controller will help you to understand the financial foundations of your business by developing a reliable reporting system for accurate analysis as well as building awareness of your company’s cash position, profit and other lifelines. All of these functions are critical to ensuring that your business avoids crises as you plan for future growth.
In-house cost of hiring a Controller (2017): Expect to pay between $45,000 to $85,000.
Every role we’ve discussed up to this point has been very task-related, but the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) function is distinctly unique. This C-suite position requires much more business acumen than a regular accountant. In a nutshell, strategic thinking must be the cornerstone of this individual’s skills set. They must be able to see the big picture and create plans that are business-development related.
In essence, the CFO helps to turn your vision as an entrepreneur into a financially possibly venture.
A CFO service should provide the following to your organization:
In-house cost of hiring a CFO (2017): Expect to pay between $75,000 to $250,000 for this role.
Your Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is responsible for managing your tax strategy and, if needed, may serve as an auditor for your small business. It is important to note that while all CPAs are accountants, not all accountants are CPAs. In other words, not every person who can be hired to “do the books” is certified. Uncertified accounting professionals don’t have to hold themselves to the same professional standards as Certified Public Accountants. When you partner with a CPA you can be more confident in their credentials.
A CPA service should provide the following to your organization:
In-house cost of hiring a CPA (2017): Expect to pay between $125 per hour to $450 per hour.
More and more entrepreneurs are choosing virtual accounting services for their small business accounting needs instead of hiring in-house. Here are several benefits of choosing Ignite Spot for your small business accounting needs.
Cost. With an in-house accountant, you will be responsible for paying a salary and payroll taxes in addition to providing benefits such as health insurance. As mentioned above, this adds up to tens of thousands of dollars per year. On the other hand, virtual accounting firms usually charge a fraction of the cost. For example, Ignite Spot is typically 60% more affordable than hiring in-house staff.
Easy setup. We make the onboarding process as seamless as possible to ensure that you can get up and running as quickly as possible. For example, depending on the condition of your books, it could take as little as 2 weeks to set up your bookkeeping services online. During this setup phase, we will help you maintain your current accounting tasks as well.
Technology. Ignite Spot invests in state-of-the-art technology to meet your needs. In most cases, we will host your accounting software on our servers so that you can gain access to real-time information regardless of your location.
Flexibility. You don’t have to worry about getting locked into a contract with Ignite Spot. We offer a month-to-month service to meet your needs. This is especially useful as you look toward future business growth. You can scale up or down your outsourced accounting service as your business needs change.
Qualified Team. By outsourcing your accounting needs, you will have access to an entire team dedicated to making your success a priority. We offer a full-range of services to meet your needs including bookkeeping, financial reporting, tax advice and profit coaching.
Profit Coaching. At Ignite Spot, our mission is to help your business get out of debt and reach profitability quickly. In fact, our CFO services are built on actionable steps that you can put into place immediately. We’ve coached hundreds of businesses and have identified the specific areas that will matter most to your profits. Once you master these concepts with your Ignite Spot profitability coach, you’ll begin to see a noticeable difference in your income statement.
Overall, by making the switch to Ignite Spot, you can transform your business finances. Let us help you to improve collections, maximize cash, save time and become profitable. Contact us today to see how we can meet your small business accounting needs.