Posted on: 30 May 2017
Australians live in an age known as the digital revolution. People are ever more reliant on their connected devices, both in their personal lives and in their business endeavours. Many small company owners have invested in special systems to help them run their operations and in particular "software as a service" solutions, also known as SAAS. A number of these have emerged in recent years to help business owners with their accounting and record-keeping. Is it safe to rely simply on these services, or is it important to employ the services of an accountant as well?
Tempting to Save Costs
Small business owners are always looking for ways to save money and to be more efficient. Some of these software solutions are particularly good at these tasks and will accurately keep daily records, make monthly summaries and even determine how much tax you owe. It can be tempting to simplify and cut costs along the way and some start-up owners believe that they don't need anything other than these stock solutions.
Restrictions of Software
While these software packages are quite sophisticated, they're not capable of thinking outside of the box, of course and may miss some important factors when it comes to assessing the needs of your operation. They can only provide advice in line with the way they were programmed and in general terms across a relevant industry. Therefore, complete reliance is a risky proposition. A good accountant with certainly be able to look at your business from all angles and provide advice when you need it.
Big Picture Analysis
Also, these solutions will not really help you plan and strategise. You need to be always on the edge when it comes to staying ahead of the competition and an off-the-shelf software package can't really help you. Once again, a good accountant will be able to step in and could introduce solutions that you never thought about before, leading to cost savings and progress down the road.
Structuring the Business
As your business grows, it may not necessarily be in your best interest to maintain the current structure. An accountant could recommend that you take on partners, incorporate or add shareholders, for example. Changes like this might only benefit the organisation several years hence, but it may be important to initiate the changes now. Once again, these are "big picture" strategies that a good accountant may see.
Finally, tax planning is one of the more crucial parts of the business, as you can typically save quite a bit of cash with careful strategies. As tax law is so complex it's highly unlikely that a software service by itself could cover all eventualities.
Best Way Forward
Typically, it's best to employ the services of an accountant and try to streamline your daily record-keeping with a software solution, so that you cover all potential eventualities.Share