by Erin Steiner
When you start to explore the idea of starting your own business, the one piece of advice that you are going to get more than any other is “Hire an accountant!” You will be flooded with reasons that you need to have an accountant. You’ll hear it so often and in so many different ways that you will start to believe that working with an accountant is the only way to manage your business’s finances…but it isn’t.
Here are some of the reasons that you shouldn’t hire an accountant and should do the work yourself.
1. It’s Cheaper
Accountants are not cheap. They cost more money than even the best small business accounting software package will cost you and here’s why: An accountant will charge you for every minute she spends working on your finances, whereas you should only have to buy the software once. That one expenditure is going to be much cheaper than even a few months’ worth of an accountant’s services.
A penny saved is a penny earned, right?
When you use software, the only people who see your numbers are you and the tiny robots that live in your computer. Using an accountant means at least one other person will see your numbers (though likely it will be more than just one).
3. You Have More Control
As an entrepreneur and the owner of a startup, you are most likely a Type A personality. This makes it hard for you to relinquish even a little bit of control to someone else. Choosing software gives you control over your finances and recordkeeping as opposed to hiring an accountant, which requires you to not just give up that control but put a lot of faith and trust in someone who you will likely not ever know very well. This is torture for most Type A’s.
It only takes a minute or two to log your payments and expenses into your software (once you know what you’re doing). From here, doing things like paying taxes, payroll, bills, etc., becomes literally as easy as pushing a couple of buttons. When you use an accountant, you have to send the accountant your receipts and invoices and wait for her to process them.
This is also applicable when it comes to choosing your software vs. choosing your accountant. It can take weeks to meet with and interview potential accountants before you hire someone. You can research and choose software in a matter of hours.
When do you want it?
5. Instant Gratification
Using software means that you can see immediately what is going on with your finances. Working with an accountant often means making an appointment, which means waiting. Do you have the patience for that?
6. Free Trials
Most software will offer you a free trial so that you can get a feel for what it is like to work with that program before you commit to buying it. When was the last time an accountant offered to manage your finances for free for a month so that you could get a feel of what it would be like to work together?
It all depends on what works best for you and your business. If you trust your math and computer skills, you should be just fine with software. Click here to find out more about the benefits of using accounting software.
Erin Steiner is a writer from Portland, Oregon who manages her own finances and writes about a variety of small business topics.