Looking for small business accounting Houston can be an arduous task if you don’t know what to look for. In this post, I will describe some of my experiences, mistakes, and knowledge I’ve acquired when it comes to small business accounting services. The goal for this post is to better equip you to find the right accounting firm for your small business. In some cases, small business accounting services can be a costly investment in your business. Therefore, when this service is not successfully delivered it can be a setback for business owners. However, if you are better equipped by knowing what to look for, you can decrease the probability in failure when it comes to finding small business accounting help for your business.
Small Business Accounting Houston Options
Firstly, it’s important to understand that in Houston, you’ll have the complete menu of small business accounting services available for your business. There are sole props and large regional firms in Houston that offer small business accounting. That said, you should expect fees to significantly increase as you move up the ladder. As far as needs are concerned when it comes to small business accounting a sole prop. should be sufficient to handle your needs. Maybe I should have discussed what “small” means in “small business” and I would say that the IRS’ revenue level of under $25mm I think is a good criteria. On the matter of handling your needs, let’s discuss further –
The Scope of Small Business Accounting
Establishing the scope of small business accounting services is where experience matters the most in my opinion. This means agreeing on the services that will be delivered and on the time frame that they will be delivered by. When I talk to clients about small business accounting, I like to discuss the categories of the accounting function in a business. The primary categories I describe are –
Money In: Accounts Receivable which comprises billing and collections.
Money Out: Accounts Payable which comprises bills, payroll, and expenses.
There are the main duties that make-up the accounting function.
Once we establish these categories, then we have a conversation about responsibilities.
“Who is doing what?”
At our firm, we’ve learned through trial and error that it is best when clients are handling billing and collections. Then we can help with oversight by monitoring receivables and reconciling payments.
When it comes to expenses, we can in some cases handle bills, and bill payment with the help of automation, categorizing expenses, and running payroll. The latter depends on the complexity of payroll; specifically, whether we are dealing with salaries employees, hourly, or complex pay structures. Generally, we want to avoid handling payroll, but it is something we can do. Ideally, when it comes to payroll, we find that it’s better if we are just handling the journal entries and reconciling payments sent out.
In my experience, the scope and responsibilities I’ve laid out here are ideal. The times that we’ve tried to expand this scope have resulted in failure. I can’t speak for other firms, but I would recommend being cautious in delegating 100% of accounting responsibilities to an outsourced firm.
I’m currently working with a client that outsourced their payroll to a consultant for which they found out was not making federal tax deposits and resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars in back taxes. This is just a cautionary tale in making a decision to delegate your checkbook in your business. I don’t recommend it.
A worthy mention, is that this post is covering the search for small business accounting services. What I’ve mentioned in this section is what I consider “small business accounting”. Forecasting, budgeting, and financing would fall under “CFO services” which are not covered in this post.
How Much Does Small Business Accounting Cost?
Fees can range from as low as $100 to upwards of $6,000. At our firm, charges vary between $300 to $4,000, with the higher end encompassing additional services like forecasting and bank relationship management. For a deeper dive into pricing structures, I recommend the “The CPA’s Pricing Model” article.
Questions to Ask Potential Accounting Firms
When vetting potential firms, consider the following:
- Their experience with businesses of your size and industry. For instance, understand the unique accounting challenges faced by construction companies.
- The range of services they offer. You can view our offerings here.
- Client reviews and testimonials.
- Their approach to client communication and delivery timelines.
The Benefits of Finding the Right Fit
Your business is a significant facet of your life. Timely and accurate financial data is paramount for sustained success. Be wary of firms that overpromise and underdeliver. Reflect on the insights shared in this article, and trust your judgment.
Navigating the world of small business accounting in Houston can be challenging, but with the right guidance and due diligence, you can find the perfect fit for your business needs. Remember, the right accounting partner can make all the difference in your business’s financial health and growth.
If you’re looking for a trusted partner to guide you through the complexities of small business accounting in Houston schedule a consultation:
You can also visit jagcpa.com and discover how we can help you achieve your financial goals.
About The Author
Joe is a Certified Public Accountant (C.P.A.) and a Certified Valuation Analyst (C.V.A.). Joe’s professional career in public accounting began in 2012 with one of the “Big 4” international accounting firms. Since 2012, the focus of his professional engagements has been primarily in the area of business tax planning, cash flow planning and management, business valuations, and small business financial consulting.