It should come as no surprise that many businesses are forced to pay SARS penalties for errors or tardiness in their payroll submissions. Calculating payroll is no easy task, which is why so many small businesses seek professional help with their payroll services. As a small business owner, you may be asking whether you should hire an accountant for your payroll needs. In just a few minutes of reading, find out whether you should hire help for your small business’s payroll services.
What are payroll services?
Before launching into the aspects you as a small business owner must consider, it is important that you understand what exactly payroll services entail. The person responsible for your payroll services will be tasked with juggling factors such as salaries and wages, tax deductions, employee benefits and much more. The fact that tax rules and regulations are ever-changing makes it even more difficult to keep up to date and submit accurate filings. Failing to do so can often result in hefty penalties.
Now that you have a basic understanding of payroll and what it entails, the following questions will be addressed:
- Do small businesses need an accountant for payroll services?
- What are the duties of a payroll accountant?
- How do you find and choose a small business accountant?
- Could you manage your own payroll services?
- Do small businesses need an accountant for payroll services?
At the most basic of levels, you should hire an accountant if you feel out of your depth when it comes to the collection, reporting and analysing of the financial information needed to execute payroll services. The time required of you to learn how to complete this process as well as execute it can feel like an eternity if you are inexperienced and have other duties to see to. As a small business owner, it is likely that your plate will be full in all other areas of your company – meaning that payroll service may come as an afterthought (which is less than ideal). Aside from payroll assistance, enlisting an accountant can also help you to make wiser decisions when it comes to your business’s money and spending.
Similarly, when the tax year is coming to an end, you may have heard other small business owners talking about their need for an accountant to assist them in tax filings. But this is not the only other aspect that accountants can help out with when it comes to small businesses. As an owner, you can benefit greatly from an accountant’s professional experience and expertise. An accountant is more than a “number cruncher,” and is able to analyse your business’s financial data and suggest recommendations that could likely make your company more profitable.
What are the duties of a payroll services accountant?
Your payroll services accountant should handle the processing and filing of employee wages, salaries, benefits as well as deductions – should they be necessary. Enlisting the help of a payroll accountant can streamline this process for and allow you to focus on building your business and long term goals. However, an accountant can also make a difference executing the following duties:
This refers to the storing, updating and managing of your financial data. Doing so allows for regular reports to you as a small business owner so you can keep tabs on the detailed financial status of your business. Further, hiring an accountant for data management also allows you to present neat and analysed data to any investors as well as the government when need be. You need not worry about losing any of this data, as your accountant will ensure that it is all backed up and secure, with proper security procedures in place and modern software to boot.
Financial analysis and consultation
Before making any major decision that relates to your business’s finances, having the advice of an experienced accountant is never a bad idea. As a small business owner, an accountant can oftentimes be the best resource for any decision-making. For example, your accountant can provide tips on how to spend in the next quarter, or address the pros and cons of a decision in terms of credit or tax reductions – or lastly, perhaps you need assistance with understanding the complex jargon of a document. All of these examples would result in informed decision-making with an accountant by your side.
Because your business is not likely to have huge amounts of cash to spend, every major decision has the potential to do damage to your company if it is the wrong one. This is why an accountant’s consultation can be considered essential for your small business.
Have you ever heard of “cash flow statements” or “profit and loss reports”? How about “income tax statements” or “tax deductions”? These reports serve to keep you updated and well-informed on your business’s financial situation and trends. Based on these reports, you and your investors (if you have any) are going to make decisions that affect the future of your business. Keeping these reports up to date is one of the most handy duties of an accountant and can go a long way in ensuring the success and smooth-running of your business.
There will, without a doubt, be numerous rules and regulations that affect your business. As a busy owner, you are likely to feel overwhelmed with the ever-changing, government-regulated regulations that will call for changes in your financial reporting and submissions. Accountants are tasked with keeping up to date with these laws and ensuring your business is compliant.
How do you find and choose a small business accountant to do payroll services?
Finding and choosing the right small business accountant can feel like a daunting task. Take your time to consider your options and do not rush. The accountant you choose will have access to all your business’s financial details and therefore it is important to ensure that they are trustworthy as well as capable. The following checklist should assist you in choosing the best small business accountant:
Accountant job description and duties
Deciding which duties that your accountant will take on, such as payroll services, is the most important step in this journey. While some businesses will hire an accountant to handle all of their financial filing and reporting, others are interested in turning to an accountant for specific activities with which they are not so comfortable, such as taxes or SARS submissions. You need to think long and hard about the job description of your potential accountant and what role they will have in your business. You should also draft a list of these responsibilities to give you and your team (should you have one) a solid and visual idea.
If you are at your wit’s end about where to start with this process, you can even hire a small business accountant to come in and assess your business’s needs and help you on your way in this regard.
Ask around for recommendations
As a small business owner, it is likely that you know one or two other owners in the same field. You should make an effort to ask them which accounting firms they use and whether or not they have made a good impression. Word of mouth is still one of the best ways to receive a recommendation, and makes for reliable decisions when it comes to enlisting the services of those recommended.
Check reviews and references
More often than not, an accounting company’s webpage will have a section devoted to reviews from satisfied clients. Checking these out is a great way to get a feel for the success of the services offered and gain an understanding of who the accountants are in their industry. If the company offers references, make the time to phone them and enquire in greater depth.
Meet potential accountants informally
You should meet a potential accountant at least once before officially enlisting their payroll service or other assistance for your small business. It is advised that you meet in an informal setting so that you can establish the trustworthiness of the individual. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a video call may have to suffice in order to remain as safe as possible. Make sure that you write up a list of questions that you wish to ask beforehand so that you leave nothing unsaid and that all expectations are laid on the table.
You should be able to call and request a meeting with an accountant through their company’s contact portal with ease. The willingness of the accountant to adhere to your requests will say a lot about the nature of their services.
Can you manage your own payroll services?
A small business does not have to enlist the help of an accountant for a payroll service, or any other financial reporting for that matter. Some companies do not have the funds to hire an accountant and therefore must handle their own finances and submissions. It is completely up to you as a business owner as to whether or not you should hire an accountant. However, you should know that as your business grows – so will your responsibilities.
At the same time, time to execute duties such as payroll and tax submissions will decrease during your working day. You may have to sacrifice other aspects of your business to ensure that everything is up to date and filed correctly – which could potentially hinder your business. With a strong background in economics and maths, as well as years of experience, an accountant can take the relevant financial duties off of your busy shoulders so that you can focus on the daily operations of your business.
Choosing SureBooks as your small business accountant
SureBooks’s services are individually tailored to suit the needs of small businesses, meaning that in enlisting our services, your specific needs will be addressed and catered to from start to finish. When it comes to payroll assistance, whether working with monthly or weekly payslips, for example, we will execute it all to the last detail. SureBooks will ensure that your business is compliant with SARS rules and regulations as well as make extra sure that all financial information is up to date and secure. We offer in-depth small business evaluations and consultations to help your company grow to its highest potential, while at the same time offering advice pertaining to the nitty gritty and day-to-day financial operations.
SureBooks is highly tech-savvy and uses the newest cloud-based technology to ensure the smooth-running of your business’s payroll and other financial analyses and reporting. If you wish to have your accounting services optimised in this way, you will enjoy faster and readily-available data than traditional accounting methods.