A woman in a dress made of Post-It notes gazes at a long paper ribbon of business calculator outputMany owners of small companies find it difficult to afford to pay expensive fees to their accountants. There are a few ways in which they can minimise their expenditure and here we will describe some of them. The trick is to do as much as you can yourself or outsource to someone who charges less than your accountant.

Accountants Are Expensive…

The main thing to remember is that, as we say on our earlier page about accounting courses, accountancy is a high-level job. So don’t pay expensive professional fees to get easier and more routine work done. Book-keepers are cheaper than accountants, so why not hire a book-keeper to do the easy part of the job before handing it to your accountant? Many virtual assistants (VAs) offer book-keeping as part of their services. You could hire a VA to do the basic stuff before passing it on to the accountant.

Whatever you do, don’t throw all your vouchers and receipts into a box and hand it over to your accountant at the financial year end. That will cost you a small fortune! It’s much better to pay someone a smaller fee to keep things tidy throughout the year and then present your accountant with neat and well-kept records.

…So What’s the Alternative?

If you have a small business and would like to do-it-yourself as far as possible, then there are two main options. One is to buy software which will do most of it for you and the other is to take a course in accounting for small business so you understand what’s involved and how to do it.

Accounting Software

There are many accounting software packages available, especially if you look online. Some are better than others. It really depends on what you want. Some seem to try to cover every eventuality and may be too complex for the average small business. It can be a bit like taking a sledgehammer to crack a nut sometimes. Others are designed for accountants who are already familiar with all the basic accounting concepts. And there are those which are specifically designed for those who aren’t accountants.

If you’re buying accounting for small business software, then make sure you know exactly what you want before you buy. Otherwise you could end up with something completely unsuitable for you and your business. If you buy wisely and choose the right software you could save yourself a fortune by handing over neat financial records instead of a big mess to your accountant. They won’t mind, they don’t need the headaches, and anyway if they’re any good they’ll already have more work than they can handle.

Accountancy Courses

And there is yet another way to reduce these pesky accountant’s fees – learn accountancy yourself! There are lots of courses available including many online. These range in proficiency from learning basic accounting concepts, Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, right up to PhDs in the subject.

Most of these higher-level academic courses are completely unnecessary for most small business owners, but it’s well worth your while to get a basic grounding in the subject. You could be looking for courses that offer basic principles of accounting, or financial management for non-accountants, and that sort of thing. After all, it’s an awful lot of time, money and effort to spend doing an accountancy degree if you have no plans or desire to become an accountant.

However, if you do own or run a small business then you could really benefit from learning about the basics of accounting for small business. Best wishes with your endeavors.