Managing a variable income

Do You Need an Accountant If You've Got the Latest Software?

A decade or so ago online systems started to sprout up everywhere, dedicated to making your life easier as a small business owner. These systems became known as "software as a service" or SAAS and there are now a number of sophisticated options to help you with your accounting. So as far as those records are concerned, is this all you need or should you really consider getting an accountant, as well?

Why You Shouldn't Rely Totally on Software

This can be a tough decision for any small business owner. Many of those software solutions are very well made and intuitive. Also, there are a number of similar solutions that promise to calculate your taxes and even file for you. This is where some start-up owners try and save costs and "simplify" their affairs. They believe that their operation is quite straightforward, normal and doesn't require any additional thought.

Of course, software is indeed sophisticated but it's not always capable of looking in between the lines, assessing the intricacies of your operation and providing advice. This is where a good accountant will certainly come into his or her own and in truth, is an area that you shouldn't overlook.

Planning and Strategy

Are you aware of all the opportunities available to you? Are you ready to implement some of the key strategies that could put your business one step ahead of your competition? These are all areas that a good accountant can advise you of. It's quite possible that they will bring up a solution that you never considered before, but which could be costing you money in the long run.


Depreciation is a very complex subject. If you have a number of different assets in your business then are you handling these properly, or in the most beneficial way in your case?

Business Structure

Looking at things from an even bigger picture perspective, your accountant may recommend that you change the actual structure of your operation, so that it benefits the business and its shareholders, even if that's only you. It may be that such changes could only result in benefits a decade or so from now, but they need to be put in place presently.

Handling Taxes

As you grow and you make more money, you become eligible to pay more taxes. If depreciation was a complex subject, tax law is off the scale. An accountant will be able to help recommend you about tax shelters that may be appropriate in your case, or shine a light on how specific tax laws are likely to affect you.

The Big Picture

By all means, take advantage of software as a service to help you streamline your daily operations, but always get advice from a qualified accountant to help you understand that big picture properly.