Accountant or Quickbooks???

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Superiorlandscaping, Jan 1, 2003.

  1. Superiorlandscaping

    Superiorlandscaping LawnSite Member
    from Ma
    Messages: 62

    In my first year i am planning on grossing around 50 grand. I plan on doing about 50/50 resi/com. I do not think i really need to hire an accountant. How hard can it be. Does every single company in existance need one. If so maybe i should switch my major to become an accountant. I have quickbooks and I am using the cash method. Seems pretty simple. Will an accountant save me money or just be a burden?
  2. beck

    beck LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 455

    An accountant is always good to have for reference, someone you can turn to and ask questions about depreciation expenses, amortization schedules, write offs. Even if you want to file your taxes yourself it would not be a bad idea to find someone you can ask these questions. I will usually ask his advice a few times a year and he does my taxes at the end.
    As far as switching your major it is probably not necessary, but a background in business courses, including accounting would be helpful.
  3. Lanelle

    Lanelle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,361

    Yup. Both. You save money doing much of the work yourself. Accountant checks everthing over, does your taxes and keeps you out of trouble. Shop for one that works with small businesses.
  4. Barkleymut

    Barkleymut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,117

    I assume you are going to be solo and a sole-proprietor. If so you may be able to get away with doing the taxes yourself.

    I have a business admin. degree and took 5 accounting courses. That included 3 high level courses, and I still pay an accountant $500/year to do the year end stuff. Way too many places to make a small mistake which could really cost you later. Of course I have a couple of employees and an S-Corp.
  5. Fine Lines Lawn

    Fine Lines Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 447

    Quickbooks Pro to keep your records, invoicing, and estimates. A bookkeeper at tax time.
  6. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    Ditto...and to help with quarterlies if needed.
  7. bruces

    bruces LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 648

    Can you get by with Quickbooks? Yes, no problem, if you have a basic concept of business and bookkeeping.

    If you are dealing with payroll for employees, payroll taxes, sales taxes, etc. are you confident enough to handle that on your own?

    If so, great, if not, hire an accountant to help with those issues.

    I also assume that you will need help with your taxes, depreciation, and other issues that are more complex.

    If you set up and keep your books all year on your own, chances are that the accountant at the end of the year could spend more time straightening out your mistakes than actually doing your taxes if you haven't done things right all year.

    If you spend a little money on the accountant and have them help set up Quickbooks right and answer any tax questions, payroll questions, etc. as you go, you will know that your Quickbooks is giving you an accurate picture and you will have someone to fall back on if you have a problem.

    In my opinion, a combination of using an accountant for consultation and doing your books yourself using Quickbooks would be the be way to go.

    You are probably also going to need someone to consult with regarding estimated taxes during the year. You don't want a huge surprise when you prepare your taxes.
  8. leadarrows

    leadarrows LawnSite Senior Member
    from N/A
    Messages: 925

    I found an accountant that is a certified QuikBooks adviser. He helped me set up my QB pro and I E-Mail a copy of my QB records every quarter so he can keep up and advise me of any thing he needs to. He stops by the house twice a year and we go over things. It has worked out great for me and he is able to give me a reasonable prices for his services this way. I inter all the info at the end of each day religiously so it's not a big chore. QB was a little hard for me at first but now I love it. My accountant keeps up with all tax info for me and that is worth every penny. I'M in the service industry. Tax laws change to much for me.
    I would rather spend my time making uncle sam more money.::blob2: :cry: than sorting thu new tax laws.:dizzy:
  9. Fvstringpicker

    Fvstringpicker LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,670

    From another CPA's perspective

    I am in complete agreement with Bruces. As he points out, one of the biggest shocks to a business owner is to discover unforeseen tax consequences of business decisions. Additionally, there can be substantial penalties in additional tax. For example, treating statutory employees as independent contractors. Quicken, Peachtree, and other programs do a good job of compiling data but only if it's set up right. It's back to the old adage "garbage in, garbage out.
  10. Sean Adams

    Sean Adams LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,597

    Great advice here. It is good to know as much as you can, or better yet.... it is good to know as much as you need to know. But if your goal or plan is to grow your business, you do not have time to wear that "many hats". Leave the accounting to the accountants (but still know what's going on). And remember, just like an attorney, your accountant works for you. Ask questions. Make sure you understand what he/she is telling you and doing for you (or maybe to you....).

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