Hire an accountant. That's not exactly out-of-the-box thinking, but it's advice you might not expect to get from the chief executive of the company that makes QuickBooks, a popular piece of accounting software.
During the QuickBooks Connect 2015 conference in San Jose Tuesday, Intuit CEO Brad Smith told Inc. that avoiding building a relationship with an accountant is a huge mistake he sees newly minted small business owners make all the time.
"It's the business of small business that they don't want to think about until they have to," Smith says.
The truth is, while accounting software can take the tedium and confusion out of book keeping, connecting with a human professional has unique benefits.
Passion drives entrepreneurs to launch products, and that's not a bad thing, but by the same token "it is passion that gets in the way of knowing that they're going to need that other person at some point."
Here are the reasons he says you should draft an accountant to guide you through the woods starting from day one:
Taxes are more complicated than you think.
Accountants know the nuances of the taxes your business will face. Taxes vary not only by state, but also by region and municipality. Software helps businesses stay compliant with taxes, but accountants can help business owners plan ahead to deal with taxes.
Should you pay your employees on Tuesdays or Thursdays? Sounds like it wouldn't matter, but if you ask an accountant, you'll find out that seemingly minute decisions such as when to process payroll can make a big difference.
Accountants bring you the experience of their other clients.
Accountants who work with small businesses have seen their clients struggle through challenges. They've seen what works, and they've probably watched at least a few clients fail. You can benefit from that experience without having to learn the hard way.