Being a Small Business Accountant

Being a small business accountant is a great career choice for those who enjoy helping small companies maintain their 59 million employees. Those small business employees make up 47% of the total workforce, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Since having accurate financial records is a mandatory requirement for small companies, it is an essential part of running a business. The services of a small business accountant assist a small business through the preparation of taxes and record keeping. Business owners must maintain their financial records, and the services of a small business accountant will always be in demand. Accountants provide a great deal of value to small businesses.

Although there are many software programs to maintain financial records, there are some skills needed to perform accounting-related services. A small business accountant has certain responsibilities that are performed to provide accurate accounting services. Most small businesses will require an accountant to have credible training from an accredited vocational school.

How to Receive Credible Training to Work as an Accountant

It’s important to learn the skill of accounting at an accredited vocational school. The vocational program can provide all of the accounting fundamentals needed for an individual to provide accurate financial services to a small business. They teach bookkeeping skills, computerized bookkeeping, basic office skills, Microsoft Office software, QuickBooks, Business Math and English courses.

Many business owners are grateful for the services that accountants provide. It helps them make key business decisions based on their historical financial performance. Without proper financial records, it’s often difficult to determine the financial position of a small business. That’s why obtaining the proper training as an accountant is important.

What is a Small Business?

A company may be considered small based on different factors. A company is considered small to some if it is a privately-owned company, has fewer than $7 million in annual sales and less than 500 employees. According to the US Small Business Administration, a small business is a company that generates $35.5 million in annual sales and has at least 1500 employees. These numbers vary by industry. Nonetheless, small businesses make up a large portion of the U.S. economy and the required accounting skills from a well-trained accountant are in high demand.

Anyone who possesses the skills to provide financial services to small business can utilize these transferable skills between a variety of different industries. The basic accounting practices are transferable between different small businesses. Each small business will just have its own specifics that build upon the accounting basics.

What Does a Small Business Accountant Do?

A small business accountant may oversee a company’s financial activities. For example, a company with 50 or fewer employees may require the accountant to be full-time and responsible for overseeing all of the accounting functions. An accountant working in a bigger company may focus on one aspect of accounting and work within a team of accountants. The day-to-day functions of a small business accountant consist of:

  • Processing payroll and payroll taxes
  • Accounts receivable
  • Accounts payable
  • Making bank deposits
  • Bank reconciliations
  • Credit card reconciliations
  • Posting journal entries to the General Ledger
  • Asset Management
  • Cash management
  • Inventory control
  • Preparing financial reports
  • Overseeing other bookkeepers
  • Preparing and filing local, state and federal taxes

A business can also hire accountants on a contractual basis, where they are issued a 1099 at the end of the year rather than a W2. In either case, accountants are responsible for discussing the financial activity with the business owner and alerting them to any potential risk factors that the small business faces. These could include internal or external risk.

Examples of Internal risks may include:

  • The threat of cash shortages
  • A drop in sales due to a poor performing item
  • A decrease in gross profit margins
  • Slow moving inventory

Examples of external risks may include:

  • The potential loss of sales to new competitors
  • An increase in supplier’s purchasing cost
  • An increase in cost from members of the supply chain
  • Changes in new laws that could have an impact on cash flows

Accountants are good at identifying financial trends and identifying areas that will help the business owner improve their bottom line. Accountants are also responsible for working with CPAs and auditors. The small business accountant prepares the accounting according to GAAP guidelines, Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and other legal guidelines to ensure that the business is in compliance.

How Properly Trained Accountants Can Create Job Security and Transferable Skills

A career as a small business accountant has many benefits, including transferable skills that are needed in a wide variety of industries. If a company goes out of business, the accountants’ services are ready for many different businesses. In addition, accounting services are needed throughout the life of a businesses. That means small business accountants can provide accounting services for a lifetime as they will always be in demand.

Interested in learning more about small business accounting and the financial statements an accountant works with on a day-to-day basis? The Accounting diploma program at Gwinnett College is designed to prepare college graduates to seek entry-level positions in the accounting and bookkeeping fields.  The college graduate may work as an accounts’ receivable or accounts payable clerk, bookkeeper, payroll clerk, accounting assistant or inventory control clerk.

The Gwinnett College accounting vocational diploma training programs trains college students to prepare financial statements and perform common accounting tasks with accounting computer applications. The computer applications include bookkeeping software, spreadsheets and databases. The accounting diploma training program covers fundamental accounting concepts, that include journalizing, posting, adjusting, closing, cost accounting, assets, liabilities, amortization, depreciation and tax liability. Also included in the courses are reconciliation of income statements, balance sheets, accounts receivable, accounts payable and general ledger.

Contact us to learn more about how you can become an accountant or bookkeeper today.