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As a small business in the construction trade, your time is precious. Small builders have to cast bids to win construction projects with no guarantee of winning the business. Plumbers must answer emergency calls throughout the day and night. Electricians must follow strict safety guidelines when performing even the smallest jobs while painters must consult with homeowners on the right interior or exterior colour choices.

With all the tasks that you have to do outside of the business, accounting may not be your strong point. Even with easy-to-use accounting software, all the tax codes, invoicing and expenditures can start to get out of control. What you need is someone who can take on the bookkeeping tasks to keep all the financial aspects of your business in working order. Checking the business budget, you may be wondering if it is time to hire an accountant.

Accountant services

For many small business owners, hiring an accountant is essential so they can have accurate bookkeeping records and financial reports. Yet an accountant can offer much more with their services. They can help your business file the right tax returns. They can help you raise capital, find investors, assist you in selling shares of your business and manage group benefit plans. An accountant can also be your business advisor so that the money you make with your construction business can be placed into the right opportunities to further business growth and expansion efforts.

Choosing the right accountant

Before you start calling up accountants, you need to decide on what services you require. Are you looking for simple bookkeeping services? Do you need tax preparation services? Or do you require more extensive services. Understanding the financial tasks that you will manage and the accountant will oversee will allow you to narrow down your choices.

Next, you need to decide the type of accountant you want. Your small business may benefit from a part-time, outside accountant when you are only looking for someone to create financial reports and analysis. When business transactions become larger and more complicated that you can’t complete the tasks on your own, then you may desire a full-time inside accountant.

Things to look for in an accountant

Not all accountants are created equal, and you want to select the right one immediately so you can get back to running your construction business. There are several characteristics to look for when searching for an accountant:

* Certifications

* Offered services

* Industry expertise

* Firm size

You may find the perfect accountant in a smaller firm that can give you specialized services versus a larger national accounting firm. When interviewing your possible accountant, there are several questions to keep in mind such as:

* Will you be working exclusively with one accountant, or will multiple accountants be assigned to your constructing business account?

* What are the hours of operation and can the accountant handle your desired types of communication, since you run a business in the construction industry that may require you to call, text or email the accountant at different hours of the day at various locations?

Ask questions relevant to your work, the accountant’s experience and what services you desire. You can successfully narrow down the choices until choosing the right accountant that will work efficiently with your business.

Marc O'Dwyer

After completing a Graduate program in Marketing, Marc’s impressive sales career began at Allied Irish Banks, Pitney Bowes and Panasonic where he received numerous Irish and European sales performance awards and consistently exceeded targets and expectations. In 1992, Marc’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to set up his own business, Irish International Sales (IIS). Initially, this company was a reseller for Take 5 Accounts and Payroll software. Within four years, IIS became the largest reseller of Take 5 in Ireland, acquiring four other Take 5 resellers. He also found time to set up two mobile phone shops under the Cellular World brand and a web design company offering website design services for small businesses. In 2001, he bought the majority share in a small Irish software business, Big Red Book. At that time, the company was losing money. The company became profitable within two months, and Marc then acquired a payroll company to compliment Big Red Books Accounting products. In 2003, IIS were appointed as Channel Partners with SAP for their new SME product, SAP Business One. Marc sold his Take 5 business and concentrated on developing this new market for SAP As a result, by 2007, IIS was recognised as the largest Channel Partner for SAP in EMEA (Europe Middle East and Africa). In 2008, the IIS Sales Manager bought the Company from Marc in an MBO. He launched Big red cloud in June 2012, the online version of big red book, to date the company successfully converts 59% of trials into sales and the number of customers is growing rapidly. Marc continues to run both Big Red Book and Big Red Cloud which now support 75,000 businesses. He is a very keen sportsman, having played rugby for 20 years, represented Leinster at under 16 and under 20 levels, and league squash with Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club for 10 years. Marc has competed in 11 Marathons, including the London and Boston Marathons, and has completed several Triathlons and Half Ironman races. He has also completed six Ironman Races in Austria(x2), Frankfurt (Germany), Nice (France) , Mallorca (Spain) and Copenhagen (Denmark)

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