Before you tackle taxes, get the right financial team in place
The strength of your company’s financial strategy begins at the top with executive management, but without a cohesive team of financial experts, cracks will begin to appear in the foundation of your company’s financial practices. As you consider how to best structure your financial team, focus on the contributions of your bookkeeper, your accountant, and your payroll manager, as well as financial analysts and tax accountants.
When all parties understand their responsibilities and are executing on them every month and every quarter, tax prep should be a breeze. The main consideration–rather than scrambling to find all the necessary information–is communication. Encouraging consistent communication between all parties is key, and those parties should include: bookkeepers, accountants, department heads, management, and outsourced tax consultants. Without teamwork and communication, it can be very challenging to collect necessary information, and this shortcoming will translate into frustration, delays, inaccuracies, and penalties.
For additional tips and tricks on managing a remote team, read our article in Entrepreneur.
Know the roles and responsibilities of your finance team during tax time
Specifically, in preparation for tax time, the diagram below shows everyone’s roles and responsibilities. While the roles sometimes overlap in smaller companies, it’s important to evaluate whether the members of your finance team are on top of what they’re responsible for.
A few things to keep in mind:
Not all businesses have both an accountant and a tax preparer. Depending on your accountant’s background, they can probably take care of the tax basics. However, as your business grows, it will be increasingly important to keep track of changing regulations and sales tax rules in the states do business in, which is why a subject matter expert like a tax preparer or tax accountant proves useful.
Educate yourself on the role each member of your financial team plays. Here are a few additional articles if you’re looking for clarity:
What does a bookkeeper do and does my business need one?
What does an accountant do and does my business need one?
What’s the difference between an accountant and tax preparer?
What does a controller do and does my business need one?
What does an analyst do and does my business need one?
What does a CFO do and does my business need one?
Is your tax process broken? Paro’s finance experts have helped businesses of all sizes overhaul their accounting and back-office processes to make for a smoother, less stressful tax season. January is an ideal time to re-think your processes for 2018 and beyond, so get started today!
The following Paro freelancers contributed to this article and our End-of-year Tax Guide whitepaper:
Philip Wong has nearly 30 years of experience in Payroll Management and Payroll Tax and Compliance. He has worked in the public, private, and non-profit sectors, and his experience extends to small companies and startups. Philip holds an MBA and undergraduate degrees in Accounting and Finance. He is a native of Boston, Massachusetts, where he currently practices.
Shaan Afridi has five years of accounting experience, with a focus on business and individual income tax return preparation. He is a CPA certified by the State of California and a chartered accountant certified by the province of British Columbia, Canada. Shaan earned his degree from San Jose State University.
Ross Sumner a CPA in the state of Virginia with more than five years of experience in tax and accounting. In addition to supporting Paro’s clients in the professional services and real estate industries, he currently works for a small firm in Midlothian, Virginia. Prior to that, he spent two years at RSM (formerly McGladrey), so he has helped individuals and entities of all sizes and needs in a short amount of time.