Annual accounting firms tend to offer limited services. They only deal with your finances when the year is over and aren’t in touch with your operations in real-time. During this time of the year, it's not uncommon for small business owners to question if their annual accountant's tax preparation and filing is enough to grow their business.
In comparison, monthly accountants offer ongoing support, advice, and insight into your finances. However, this is still a lesser-known alternative - mostly because accounting is typically treated like a mandatory task rather than something that can strategically benefit a business. If you haven't already made the jump tomonthly accounting, do you ever wonder what benefits are actually provided?
At CSI Accounting & Payroll, we've met with monthly accounting clients and prospective clients alike for more than 50 years! That means we know how to address this common question:
What does a monthly accounting firm provide?
What Monthly Accounting Provides For Small Businesses
Monthly Reporting & Bank Reconciliation
Small businesses are susceptible to monthly fluctuations in business and cash flow. Having a monthly paper trail to compare previous balance sheets and income statements helps you analyze business performance over time. Reports such as profit and loss statements can show you data for the current period, the year to date, and comparisons to prior years. Want to learn more about these financial statements? Download our free Small Business Accounting Kit!
Reconciling your bank accounts means matching up your accounting software to your bank statements, and doing so on a monthly basis is also important to keep your business on track. Failure to reconcile bank accounts is one of the most common risks that small businesses face. If you don’t do this each month, it puts the business at risk for the following:
Misappropriation of cash
Increased risk of basic accounting errors
Inaccurate financial and tax reporting
Loss of deposited funds from bank errors
Various penalties and fees with NSF checks or overdrafts
Expert Financial Help
Your business financial questions are answered by a monthly accountant, just like how your personal financial questions are answered by a financial advisor. When you work with a monthly accountant, you’ll have an expert by your side who knows your business finances inside and out because they're in your books year-round instead of just annually.
They monitor your business's finances, but they also stay educated and up to date with external things that may also affect your business. If you want to know about tax law changes, trends in your finances, or cash flow projections, all you have to do is give your accountant a call - or if you work with a hands-on service, they may even reach out to you. Want to learn more about the different types of advice a monthly accountant can provide? Click the image below.
Plus, with a monthly accountant, you can rest easy knowing that periodic financial advice won't cost you every time you reach out - at least, not at CSI Accounting & Payroll. We believe that asking questions about decisions ahead of time can actually make our job easier, and that's why you're encouraged to reach out to your accountant with one-off questions as needed for no extra charge.
Year-Round Tax Planning and Preparation
Your monthly accountant won’t just prepare your tax return; they will also help you plan for and reduce your tax liability all year round, using your financial data in real-time. That way, you won’t be hit with surprises on your tax return. They will guarantee that you are in compliance with changing tax laws and even represent you in case of an audit.
On the other hand, an annual accountant might say they're helping you with tax planning, but they can only take a look at your previous year to give you a guess of what your future might look like. If you do your own accounting, there is no guarantee of compliance and no audit representation.
Some of the most successful small businesses have combined monthly accounting services with payroll service. After all, these services go hand-in-hand, so it just makes sense! When you combine accounting and payroll with one provider, you free up your time and limit the number of vendors you work with.
Use Monthly Accounting For Peace of Mind
When it comes to an accounting service, you really do get what you pay for. If you only need one-time bookkeeping and end-of-year tax preparation, then an annual firm is for you.
However, if you want expert advice, proactive business coaching, and tailored services unique to your business, then you should seek out a monthly accountant. All of the benefits listed above should be enough to convince you of its true power.
Stop treating your accounting as a business expense. Start treating it as an investment in your company.
Now, you need to decide for yourself: Am I ready for monthly accounting? Let CSI Accounting & Payroll help you decide! To find out if you're a good fit to work with us, click the button below for a free consultation:
Not ready to talk? That's okay! If you're looking to DIY some aspects of your accounting, downloading the free Small Business Accounting Kit is a good starting place. It can also help you monitor what your current accountant is doing for you by detailing:
A year-end payroll checklist
A tax return calendar
Tips on how to understand the basics of income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements
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.