What Kind of Business Are You?

Smiling business woman in front of people with various professions

Different accounting officers depending on size and intent of business

When you’re a small business, it’s important to have the right kind of person looking after your accounts. It may sound impressive to have a Chief Financial Officer, but they could be costing you far more than it’s worth.

On the other hand, getting your cousin to “do the books” or doing it yourself may save you a lot of money, but if you’re not doing the job properly, you could be storing up a load of financial problems, missing opportunities to save money, and potentially putting yourself into a difficult legal position.

The right person depends on not only the size of your company, but on your ambition and what your company actually does. If you’re an entrepreneur looking to grow your business rapidly into a multi-million dollar company or angling for a sale, then your financial needs will be very different from a stable family business with a few employees.

  • Small company, with a few employees, single products and limited growth:
    You need a bookkeeper. They will set up and/or manage your QuickBooks or other accounting software. You can do this yourself if you’re not managing too many transactions each week – but if it’s taking you more than an hour or two, you’re probably best off spending your time on your business and outsourcing your bookkeeping. Use a CPA to handle the bigger jobs such as financial reporting and payroll taxes and ensure regulatory compliance.
  • Small company, with five or more employees, multiple products or services:
    You need an accounting manager. They will be able to do the bookkeeping themselves, or will oversee the bookkeeper if there’s enough work to justify having the extra employee as well as the accounting manager. They can advise you on tax planning and will be able to handle the basic payroll and financial reporting. A CPA will be able to provide additional advice.
  • Medium company, growing, multiple products and/or services:
    You need a financial controller. They’re not just running numbers and providing reports. They’re your financial advisors who can tell you how to budget for major capital expenses and corporate development, and how to take advantage of tax breaks or other financial opportunities.
  • Medium or large company, growing fast, investor-backed, multiple products or services:
    You need a CFO who will be a key part of your management team. Your CFO will be closely involved in your business at the board level, will work with your bankers and investors, will handle compliance issues, and will be doing detailed budget forecasting and planning.

Examine your business carefully and make sure you’ve got the right person looking after your finances.

Contact us today for a free consultation!

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