10 questions to ask when working with an accountant

By Michael Deane

If you’re just starting your business, you might be tempted to do it all by yourself, even the accounting. However, you need to handle your finances with the utmost care, especially at the initial stages when nothing can guarantee your success.

A great accountant can do more than just your taxes — they can help your small business start off on the right foot and succeed in record time.

So before you make any important decisions, you should consult your accountant on them. Here are the essential questions to ask them before you set off.

What business structure should I choose?

There are numerous ways to structure your business, and they all come with some perks and drawbacks. It’s up to you to decide which structure works for you, be it sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, or something else.

Before you register your business, sit down with your accountant and let them walk you through each structure and help you decide the best one for you. This decision will affect your taxes, legal liability, paperwork, and much more, so make sure you choose wisely.

How can I finance my business?

When you’re just starting, it’s vital to know all your financing options. Maybe you have some personal savings you want to invest, but you lack a large portion of the funds necessary to launch.

Some ways to finance your small business include loans, finding investors, etc. Maybe you can even reach out to your family and friends for help. Share your financial situation with your accountant, and they will assist you in making the right decision and help you obtain the funds you need. They may even come up with a great option you had not thought of before.

Which financial records do I need to keep?

Knowing exactly which records you should have and for how long you should keep them will make your life much easier. You will be grateful for keeping all the financial documents neat and organized come tax season or a surprise audit.

Between balance sheets, income statements, insurance documents, and payroll records, it’s easy to get lost in the administrative conundrum. Your accountant can help you stay on track with all the paperwork and tell you when you can dispose of some documents. It’s always a great idea to have a backup, so keep an electronic copy of everything.

What are my tax obligations?

It can be challenging to understand your tax obligations, which is why you should be aware of them from the get-go. They mostly depend on the size, nature, and location of your business, and there are several different kinds of them, such as income, payroll, and sales taxes.

You may also be eligible for some tax deductions. Claiming deductions can be tricky, and each type requires you to follow a different set of rules. Your accountant will help you work through the confusion and make it clear to you what taxes you’ll be expected to pay.

How can I best prepare for tax season?

The crucial thing when preparing for the dreaded tax season is starting on time. This means that you should involve your accountant in helping you get ready throughout the year instead of frantically trying to make it right before the tax deadline.

If you’re organized enough, you’ll be able to supply your accountant with all the necessary info they need to fill out all the forms and file your taxes on time. Meticulous record-keeping will make even this unpleasant activity a breeze, so there’s no need to worry.

How can I maintain a healthy cash flow?

You need to think ahead and get ready for any potential shortfall, especially when you’re just launching your business. That’s why it’s important to have a sustainable cash flow model that can get you through tough times.

Establishing detailed cash flow projections can be difficult, but your accountant is there to make it happen. They can pinpoint any problems in your initial plans and help you adjust your business operations accordingly.

Can you calculate my break-even point?

Most of the time, starting a business means you’ll probably have more expenses than earnings, which is fine if you have a long-term plan. That’s why you need to know exactly how much you’re spending and how much you need to earn to break even.

An accountant can figure out your break-even point, and you’ll know exactly how many hours of service or products you’ll have to sell to get past that point and start making profit.

Are there any industry-specific considerations to have in mind?

Businesses in various industries can vary widely, which is why you might be interested in finding an accountant well-versed in your field. Not every accounting professional is great at everything, and many of them choose to specialize in certain types of businesses and industries.

Each industry has its own industry-specific accounting challenges, and you need to make sure you’re aware of them so that you don’t miss any essential information.

How can you help me grow?

Everyone wants their small business to expand over time. Maybe you’re looking for any opportunities for growth, or you have an exact idea like opening another branch at a different location.

Your accountant acts as your most trusted financial advisor, and you should let them in on your plans and ideas. If you lay a successful groundwork together, you’ll have no problem expanding your business in the near future. They’ll be on the lookout for opportunities.

What should I consult you about regularly?

Finally, each business is unique, and there may be some important things you should discuss with your accountant that are not covered by these questions. Ask them what these things are, and what decisions they should help you make. For example, you could enlist their help whenever you’re creating new contracts, hiring independent contractors, etc.

The point is, if you have regular consultations with your accountant, you will have all your finances in check and you won’t have to worry about any unexpected turns of events.


Michael Deane has been working in marketing for almost a decade and has worked with a huge range of clients, which has made him knowledgeable on many different subjects. He has recently rediscovered a passion for writing and hopes to make it a daily habit. You can read more of Michael’s work at Qeedle.

Leave a Reply

The Self-Employment Survival Guide can help you succeed. Learn all about it here.

Self-Employment Survival Guide book cover