The majority of new small businesses in the South Tampa and Clearwater fail or change hands in the first 3 years. The harsh realities of starting a business are that the chances of success are small and the Tampa area is no exception. This is why smart business people make sure they always have the most accurate financial information available. A new or disorganized business should always hire a good bookkeeper or accountant at the start.

The key ingredient to small business success especially in difficult economic times is having accurate information about financial matters. Successful business owners understand that guessing is not a way to operate any enterprise. Yet many people mistakenly believe they can save money and don't need a good accountant right from the start.

It is good practice to hire an accountant from the start to help with the business plan and accounting reports. Owners and managers will then have higher quality information in order to make decisions. Money will then not be wasted down the road on wrong decisions made by not having all the proper information available. How and how much varies, but an accountant can help you determine the best financial structure for your business. There are many options including the sole proprietorship, S-corp, partnership LLC, or some other options. It is an important decision that will have a very big affect on your business now and down the road as you grow.

In many instances a good accountant can save you more in taxes then they charge to prepare them. Having a good accountant as a member of your business team saves you money on taxes because how much you pay is not an issue that should be addressed once a year. Effectively managing your tax burden requires planning and effective planning requires an intimate knowledge and understanding of the Federal and State tax code.

We've all heard the expression "time is money", well when it comes to growing your business your time is your most precious asset and time spent away from doing what you do best is not time well spent. Hours spent learning a retail tax program and researching tax law on the IRS website is time you are not spending with your customers making money.

Enough can't be said about peace of mind, especially after a hard day's work. Having a good accountant as part of your business can reduce the stress brought on by worry about whether you clicked the right box on turbo tax or filed your quarterly sales tax return properly.

A good accountant is not an expense. A good accountant is an asset.