April 17, 2020
As the coronavirus pandemic continues, many small businesses are not only figuring out how to keep the lights on but starting to contemplate how to be in a position to fully re-open when the time allows.
An often overlooked, but great resource right now is an experienced, clear-eyed accountant who serves as a critical partner to small business owners, and it is important to consider how your accountant may be able to help you weather the storm.
In hard times, paying for elevated services may be the last thing on your mind. However, accountants bring an unmatched level of knowledge, business perspective, and education to driving your business’ success. In addition, they can often help you unlock many sources of government and private financial relief and recommend ways to save money while also protecting your team. Reach out to your accountant today, or if you are looking for a new accountant, find a local accountant here.
Here are a couple areas that they can help elevate your business:
Provide a smart approach to financial relief
Accountants can tell you what relief programs you are eligible for, and prioritize which ones are most important for your business. In the current business environment, there’s a lot to wrap your head around when it comes to relief, including:
- Federal SBA Disaster Loans,
- Federal Paycheck Protection Program,
- Federal Business Coronavirus Relief Options,
- State government loan guarantees and municipal grants,
Accountants can cut through all the noise
First, accountants can help define how much financial support your business will need by forecasting your cash flow and providing revenue modeling. This will allow them to tell you what programs you are eligible for, and more importantly which options might make the most sense. For example, some loans have higher interest rates than others, certain loans are forgiven if used to maintain payroll, and other aid is available only for specific businesses (like food manufacturing, healthcare, and logistics). With an accountant, you can make a strategic relief plan tailored to your business goals and the government resources available to your business to keep you moving forward.
Handling the paperwork, so you can focus
Your accountant, once you have a plan, can help you make it happen. Applying for relief typically means presenting financial information and filing the necessary paperwork. There will then be follow up requests, like the ones from the Small Business Association (SBA), about profit-and-loss statements and monthly sales figures. Your accountant can help you gather this information, and ensure it is accurate, and manage the administrative details. This will allow you to focus on business problems that only you can solve.
Managing your resources wisely
After you have received the emergency relief cash in your account, accountants are important business partners for exchanging thoughts and insights in helping your business stay afloat. Ways they do this:
- Optimize your cash flow by identifying profitable and unprofitable customers
- Help you lower costs and spot growth opportunities by keeping your books up to date
- Highlight ways to reduce your inventory costs
- Identify contracts (like loans & leases) you might want to renegotiate
Accountants can also help you think about your team of employees. While employees are major cost drivers for many small businesses, they’re also key drivers of value. Hardworking, diligent, resourceful employees keep customers coming back, regardless the state of the economy. Managing this cost-benefit trade-off is something your accountant can help with, suggesting options like trimming certain discretionary spending or reducing hours or furloughs to prevent layoffs.
Everyone needs help in a crisis. Experienced advisors like accountants can help you navigate the quickly-changing landscape of government aid, get the resources you need, and ensure you’re on the right foot when it’s time to rebuild or continue to drive growth.
As an employer, it is important that you have the resources to navigate this unprecedented time during this crisis. Being able to connect with top advisors such as accountants that will create plans to access funds that will ensure your ability to keep your employees paychecks coming over the next couple months will be vital for business success and ultimately reinforce your employees’ decision and confidence that made you their employer of choice. We are positioned to work with you and your accountant to continue to elevate and drive growth in your business both now and in the future by starting a conversation today.