“I can’t really afford an accountant. I’m really doing it all myself. I just can’t. It’s a lot of money. I think we have a good idea of what we’re doing.”
That’s one of the first things I hear people say when the topic of accountants comes up. I often reply with, “Are you valuing your time?”
There’s a reason why our society is based on specialization – it works. A long time ago, farmers would raise cows, chickens and grow crops. It was tons of work, but it allowed them to support their lives. At some point, farmers got together and decided, “Alright, I’ll focus on chickens, you focus on wheat, and Rochelle can focus on cows.” Just like, everyone’s lives became easier because they only had focus on one thing, then trade with other specialists.
Hiring an accountant for your e-commerce business is the modern version of deciding that you don’t want to worry about growing wheat anymore. Working with the right accountant provides countless benefits that will boost your business.
But Accountants Are Too Expensive!
It’s true, bookkeepers and accountants have a high hourly rate. It can range from $25 per hour, to $100 per hour or even $200 per hour. That, and that alone, is what stops business owners from hiring an accountant and resolving to figure it out themselves.
However, you need to consider that what takes them two hours to do is not going to take you two hours. Accountants are trained experts in their field. They’re familiar with your needs and they’ve done this before.
Let’s say you’re going to pay someone $100 per hour, and it takes them $200 to complete the task at hand. That same task might take you four hours. That equates to $50 per hour of your time. If you can earn more than $50 per hour by sourcing, pricing, creating listing and enhancing existing listings, then it doesn’t’ really make sense to pay yourself as an accountant. You’re too expensive.
You’re Really Buying Extra Time
Imagine you find an accountant, they’re highly recommended and have experience working with e-commerce business. After your first consultation you discover that working with them will cost you $500 per month. Your next move isn’t to haggle or find someone cheaper – it’s to examine how you can use the time an accountant is saving you to generate more than you’re paying them.
This same logic applies to every expense; how does this increase my bottom line? Focus on finding the right tools, groups, training material and professionals that provide a positive return on investment.
Why I Love My Accountant
I work with an accountant and I could never go back to trying to handle it all myself. Here’s things I never have to worry about or put time into:
- Paying bills and making sure there’s enough money in the right account at the right time
- The timing of deposits
- When payments need to go out
All of these cash flow management concerns are entirely off my plate. I’ve found an amazing accountant and she handles it all for me. She does what she’s amazing at, and I do what I’m amazing at.
In the beginning, an accountant will also help ensure you minimize liability risks by forming the right business entity. That, and that alone, could save your business from being destroyed by an innocent mistake, such as sourcing an item that has peanuts in it and isn’t labeled properly. Something like this can result in a lawsuit very quickly, and an accountant can help set you up to minimize that risk.
Accountants Help You Grow and Scale Properly
Let’s say you’re doing amazing on Amazon and you’d like to venture into a new income stream, such as eBay or your own website. Accountants will help you set up these new streams, and they’ll also help you track and understand if they’re actually making money.
I can’t promise that every accountant will have the same perks I’ve enjoyed with mine. But – I can promise that you won’t fully appreciate the hidden perks until you have an accountant of your own. My accountant has introduced us to personal bankers, insurance agents and other professionals that have enhanced the growth of my business.
My amazing accountant, Angela, runs a company called Taxanista. I’m going to be interviewing her in future podcasts, where she’ll be diving into bookkeeping tips and accounting advice that all e-commerce business owners will benefit from. Keep an eye out for those upcoming episodes of The Unstoppable Entrepreneur to discover why I always preach about the power of accountants.