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10 Small Business Accounting FAQs

Jun 1, 2017 2:38:21 PM / by Brian Paulson posted in small business accounting

We chat with a lot of small to medium-sized businesses in the Twin Cities regarding bookkeeping, accounting, payroll, and tax preparation services, and we’ve found that many owners have the same questions and pain points during the evaluation process.

Here’s a breakdown of the most frequently asked questions from small business owners during initial conversations with us.

10 Small Business Accounting FAQs

1. How much does monthly accounting cost?

Pricing for our monthly accounting services varies by your company’s needs. Our pricing is not based on the size of your company, rather our pricing model is based on your company’s accounting activity and the complexity of your financial statements.

We will work with you to arrive at an affordable, fixed monthly fee. Our fixed fees are all-inclusive.

close up of business meetingServices provided include:

  • profit and loss statements
  • balance sheets
  • bank reconciliation
  • business tax work
  • sales tax filings
  • audit representation
  • unlimited consultations

2. What makes you different than other monthly accounting firms?

Our customer service sets our firm apart. We make it our priority to reach out to clients on a consistent basis because we care about the success of your business. Our experienced team of accountants also provide proactive business advice and tax planning, allowing you to maximize your profits.

3. What do your clients need to provide you with in order to do your job?

To efficiently help you with your business goals, we require access to your source documents – either in electronic or hard copy form.

Common documents include, but are not limited to:

  • bank statements
  • credit card statements
  • sales systems (POS)
  • software (i.e. QuickBooks)
  • inventory
  • accounts payable
  • accounts receivable

Depending on your level of expertise, we will train clients on how to prepare these documents. What we require from you will be customized to your unique business.

4. What does the monthly accounting process look like?

Our monthly accounting process starts with receiving your source documents. Our staff compiles the information and reports back to you with a profit and loss statement, balance sheet, and general ledger. These monthly financial reports are presented in digital or hard copy format and become the foundation for our monthly conversations.

5. Why hire a monthly accountant instead of an annual one?

Truthfully, not all business owners see the need, but our clients sure do! We provide consulting and business advice throughout the year. Our proactive approach allows you to see trends earlier, and spot any issues before they become larger problems. Monthly financial statements are a tool to stay on top of your business, which allows you to focus on growing your profits.

6. When should I consider outsourcing my accounting?

If your business is too small to hire an in-house accountant or you simply don’t have the desire to do it yourself, you should consider outsourcing the task. While QuickBooks is used by many small business owners, the software can be more complicated than first realized. By outsourcing your accounting, you free yourself to focus on other aspects of your business.

7. What accounting system do you use?

We primarily use two systems: Creative Solutions Accounting and QuickBooks. That being said, we will work with other systems depending on your preferences and needs.

8. Can business owners do part of their accounting themselves?

We recommend handling the day-to-day bookkeeping aspects of your business that need immediate attention. These reports will become the basis for the source documents we will ask of you.

9. What are the best ways to separate my business and personal finances?

Mixing business and personal finances is a major problem for small business owners. Not only does it create headaches at tax time, it also makes it difficult to track the profitability of your company. Worst-case scenario: you get audited by the IRS and end up with major fines. Keeping these two parts of your money life separate is essential to preserve your sanity and to ensure that you have a sustainable business model.

10. How can I transition from in-house to outsourced accounting?

CSI Accounting & Payroll logo on office wallTransitions are tricky, but preparing your business to switch to an outsourced accountant doesn’t have to be hard. Make sure your new financial partner is a good fit, plan ahead and be sure to budget enough time, set goals, and be mindful of potential obstacles.

Is CSI Accounting & Payroll the right fit for your small business in the Twin Cities? Schedule a complimentary consultation to find out.



Brian Paulson

Written by Brian Paulson

Brian began working at CSI in 1996, and he purchased the business in 2002. As Owner, his primary role is in the management and growth of the firm. Since 2002, the firm has more than quadrupled in size. In 2009, Brian started CSI’s payroll service to complement CSI’s accounting and tax services. Brian received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of North Dakota, with a double major in Accounting and Financial Management. He’s a member of both the National Society for Tax Professionals and the National Society for Accountants, and he serves on the board of directors for the Professional Association of Small Business Accountants, where he was once president. Brian also serves on the business advisory council for Opportunity Partners, an organization that helps people with disabilities find employment. He’s also contributed to several business books, including Six Steps to Small Business Success and The Lean Mean Business Machine. Fun Fact: To help put himself through college, he used student loans, delivered pizzas, and worked summers in a salmon processing plant in Alaska.