Accounting can be a daunting challenge when starting a small business, and that is precisely when you’ll need the help of a small business accountant. Large accounting firms like Mazars, Moore Stephens or PKF may have years of tradition and experience behind their names. Still, their services may not be suited to your small business needs and the unique financial challenges you could face in the future. However, Surebook’s accountant services are ideally suited to help you with your economic challenges today.
Countless essential accounting tasks must be completed monthly and yearly to comply with national and international regulations. In the following article, we will learn about five services necessary for your business’s legal running and how Surebooks can help you accomplish them.
A small business accountant knows that SARS (South African Revenue Service) requires very different information for small and medium enterprises compared to larger organisations. Therefore, you need services tailored to help you meet the needs of SARS tax law through a team of highly trained accountants. So, what, then, does SARS tax compliance require? The Surebook website provides a wealth of information regarding tax compliance and the steps their accountants will take to ensure that you follow all the rules. This includes a checklist of objectives that must be met to be 100% compliant.
A professional accountant would first examine whether your company owes any outstanding funds to SARS. What things are taxable, and are you sure you are paying for them? Without the expertise of someone well versed in the mountains of complicated tax law commonplace in any country, you may be missing something, leading to all sorts of issues later! Everyone knows all about income tax but are you aware of the other sorts of everyday things almost every business is taxed on:
- Provisional Taxes (The Fourth Schedule) – We will look at this in greater detail later in this article. However, provisional taxes are payments made to SARS to assist with significant Tax liabilities.
- PAYE – An employer must pay PAYE or “Pay As You Earn” taxes directly from their employee’s remuneration.
- CIT – Also known as corporate income tax. Once a business submits a company income tax return form, SARS will take 27% of whatever is submitted.
The next thing your accountant would look at is whether you have registered your business correctly for tax liability. If you are wondering what tax liability is, a small business accountant would inform you that it’s pretty simple. Tax liability is the total amount of tax debt an individual or business owes the government. With an accountant from Surebook, the amount of debt your business currently owes SARS is being correctly updated and tracked so that it doesn’t leave you wondering where you stand.
Another vital feature of a small business accountant’s checklist is ensuring that all your company’s features are reported to SARS and that any new features are added promptly. This could include many different things, from company property, furniture, company equipment and other fixed assets to liquid assets like onsite cash or investment portfolios. Other features that need to be kept updated may include the number of staff members, company vehicles or specialised tooling. Whatever it may be, you can trust your Surebook accountant to keep SARS with an up-to-date list.
Yet another business acronym? At this point, you’re probably wondering if some compressed letters denote everything in business. You probably wish you had an accountant on speed dial who could act as your constant business dictionary. Luckily if you’re working with Surebooks, you will have all the answers you need.
Let’s begin with what exactly CIPC stands for. The CIPC is the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission. The commission is established to register and maintain a business’s intellectual property and co-operatives (An organisation set up to help meet its members’ cultural, economic, and social needs, e.g., farmers markets). Here too, an accountant is beneficial. Because it is required by law that the following company structures register with the CIPC every year:
- Incorporated Companies – Inc
- Private Companies – (Pty) Ltd
- Public Companies – Ltd
- State-Owned Companies – SOC
- Non-Profit Companies – NPC
This covers most company structures (excluding Close Corporations – CC). If you’ve just begun your business, you may not even know how to register with CIPC regulations. A Surebooks accountant will already be trained on CIPC compliance regulations and will put you on the fast track to registering with the CIPC.
To comply, your business must be able to answer 24 standardised questions covering a wide range of business analytics. Here are just a few points on that checklist your Surebooks accountant will check and organise for your small business:
- Did your company undergo solvency and liquidity testing?
- Did your company update the Memorandum of Incorporation (MOI)?
- Are the company records readily available for audits?
- Are the company accounting records entirely up to date?
Imagine 20 other questions along these lines. That’s why you will thank Surebooks for ensuring that your company is always ready to answer the questions posed by the CIPC.
Cloud Based Accountancy
In this day and age, ensuring that even small businesses keep up with technological trends is critical to a company’s longevity and overall success. Regarding accounting technology, cloud-based services are the way of the future. The process may be arduous as a business owner, but Surebooks can help! Amongst our many services, we also help small businesses get their financial information set up on the cloud.
What is the cloud? Although it may not make money rain on your company, it is a valuable tool regarding information access. By storing company records on secure external servers, the cloud allows company employees or a third-party accountant to access this information from anywhere with an internet connection. So, let’s compare local storage to the cloud and why it may be the best answer for your small business.
|Customising your company’s security can be flawed if set up by someone inexperienced.
|Security is set up by professionals who are knowledgeable about industry standards.
|On company property, with restricted access. But subject to natural disasters (flooding/fires etc.), theft, or equipment damage (broken server/ short circuiting etc.)
|On a third-party server, with minimised risks for natural disasters and theft. Cloud-based storage companies maintain backups of data which circumnavigate as part of operating procedures protecting against faulty equipment.
|Available only on-site or on drives/ servers designated by the company. Generally, no need for an internet connection.
|Available anywhere in the world on any device (with pre-determined access). An internet connection is required to access information.
|The company must pay for the equipment, set up and installation costs, and any costs related to equipment upkeep.
|Cloud-based software can be accessed for free but generally with limited space. For example, a company can store all its necessary data online with one monthly subscription.
Your team has worked hard through the month, and everybody wants their salary! But today, paying out salaries is more complex than just giving your employees their gross wages. There are multiple facets for an employer to consider before their employee’s salaries can be put through. Because this is other people’s livelihoods, the process can be stressful. Surebooks is there for you during these times, offering you the payroll services of a trained small business accountant.
It is no small claim, but Surebooks accounting services cover every facet of the payroll process. If you visit the Surebooks website you are sure to find all the information you could need to ensure you get the accounting advice you deserve. But let’s highlight three of the services an accountant from Surebooks will help you with.
Payslips and administration: Payroll administration is essential in ensuring everyone gets the correct amount at the right time. A small business accountant will handle all the areas of this administrative process. Including gathering employee information and calculating days (or hours) worked. This includes figuring out your employees’ holiday and overtime schedules!
Employee Taxes: We have already explored the world of taxation related to your company. But there are specific taxes related to payroll. These include PAYE (Pay As You Earn), SDL (Skills Development Levy) and UIF (Unemployment Insurance Fund). The business deducts this group of taxes before paying out a salary.
EMP501 Submissions: Another term suited to having an experienced accountant cover. Simply put, an EMP501 reconciliation reports all employee earnings and deductions like those listed above! This report must legally be filed with SARS to remain compliant. Surebooks accountants will submit these reports biannually to ensure you don’t have to deal with SARS yourself.
How are you spending your business finances? Are you sure you are utilising your cash flow in the most efficient way possible? Budgeting correctly provides you, as the business owner, with beneficial information regarding how the company is doing financially and, more importantly, what opportunities are available for growth and expansion. Furthermore, with a detailed budget, you can rest assured that you will be ready for whatever eventuality your company faces because planning is 95% of preparation.
It is easy to get lost in budgeting, and calculating your company’s strengths and weaknesses can be a formidable challenge. With how scary a budget can be, why not have a small business accountant look at it and come up with a budget that works for you? Surebooks offers tailored budgeting that will support your growing business! Let’s look at some of the advantages!
Advantage 1: A sure book accountant will delve into your business’s operational history, analysing company spending trends and bad habits that can be rectified, saving the company money.
Advantage 2: Having an accountant with local knowledge about your environment here in South Africa will only help your company face unique area-specific challenges, tailoring your budget to your circumstances.
Advantage 3: Giving your budgeting responsibilities to a qualified small business accountant who understands your company will free up time for you to focus on the daily running and expansion of your entrepreneurial dreams. You could enjoy some advantages when taking on Surebooks as a budgeting partner.
Small Business Accountant: In Summary
This article looked at five ways a Surebook accountant can help you with the daunting challenge of business finances. But importantly, through this article, the significant contribution of a small business accountant has made itself evident. Running a business is a full-time job all by itself, and the most important thing you can do for success is to ensure that you have the right team behind you. With our experience and affordable prices, Surebooks is sure to be the right choice for your small business.