The line between professional and amateur is often blurred.
And with the advent of new technologies, it’s becoming even more blurry. More people than ever before are turning to paid services for tasks that they used to do themselves: building a website, taking pictures, editing videos. And yet there’s still a huge difference between an amateur and a professional who has honed his or her skills over time.
• Professionals communicate clearly and efficiently; amateurs may not know how to articulate what they want to be done (or worse—they don’t even know what they want).
• Professionals work quickly; amateurs can take forever because they’re not aware of their own limitations or how much time is left on the clock.
• Professionals deliver quality; amateurs may produce work that’s, well…amateurish.
The same is true in the world of business. If you were to compare your business with one run by an experienced entrepreneur or a seasoned small business owner, it would be easy to tell them apart. But if you don’t compare your business with one run by someone else—well, how do you know how good it is?
One way to truly determine the value of what you’re getting out of your business is to hire an accountant. The accountant will be able to objectively assess the state of your company’s financial standing. If something seems off, he or she will be able to figure out why. And if there are problems, they’ll know how to fix them.
However, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should hire an accountant if your business isn’t doing well. If you’re still trying to get your footing in the business world, it might be too soon for that. You might need to try a few different business practices to see what sticks. Or you may need to hire—and then fire—a bookkeeper or financial advisor (with the help of an accountant, of course). That doesn’t mean you’re not cut out for entrepreneurship; it means you just haven’t found your niche yet.
In the end, only you know what works for your business. So if you’re still unsure whether to hire an accountant, think about it this way:
• Do you feel confident in your business’s current financial footing, or are you unsure? If it’s the latter, hiring an accountant is definitely a good idea.
• Are you positive that any bookkeeping mistakes made weren’t on purpose? You don’t want to hire someone who is going to fudge the numbers so you get a bigger return at the end of the year.
The truth is, amateurs are okay if you have an amateur business. But professionals are what will take your small business to the next level. So do yourself (and your company) a favor by hiring one.