When Tradespeople Should Hire an Accountant

by Team Tradify, February 19, 2023

It’s no longer a secret that there are big bucks to be made in the trades. But those who go out on their own as contractors or small business owners will find that the bigger pay packet also comes with a bigger responsibility to take care of their finances. It can be a drag if you don't have good systems and processes set up, but it is 100 % necessary. You don't want to make the tax man angry. You wouldn't like him when he's angry...

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We’re the first to admit that accountants aren’t for everyone, but neither is DIY accounting — you need to pick what's right for you. If you're comfortable around accounting software like Xero or QuickBooks, or have someone else to help out with admin, you could save a bit of money by doing it in-house. Even better, Tradify talks to your favourite accounting software, allowing you to sync information across both systems with ease.

a graphic of tradify and its accounting integrations QuickBooks, xero, sage, myob, and stripe

If you're so run off your feet with work that you don't have time to learn or operate an accounting system, then you might need to hand over your finances to a qualified accountant.

Here are a few other tell-tale signs that your business is in need of a pro…

1. You’re going solo

If you’re planning on launching a business of your own or becoming an independent contractor, an accountant can help you hit the ground running. You don't want to start out only realise that you need help from a professional.

You can use an accountant to help with things like:

If you're going out on your own, please don't wait to get an accountant until the end of the tax year! But, in case you did, check out these articles so you can fulfil your obligations without a hitch!

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2. You’re raking in the cash

If your profit margins have increased in the past month, there’s definitely cause to celebrate. But that said, an increase in business also means that you could move up a tax bracket or acquire extra financial responsibilities. For this reason, you should be extra cautious when tracking expenses, hanging onto receipts, filing invoices, balancing books and so on. An accountant will help you manage all your financial responsibilities, and ensure that your increased earnings don’t become a burden later down the line.

3. You’re growing fast

Growth is a fundamental part of trade business success, but it can be tough to manage from a financial perspective. Whether you’ve invested in a new work vehicle, purchased a second set of tools, taken on an extra employee or established an office HQ, a qualified trade business accountant can help you seamlessly navigate growth transitions.

4. Numbers give you a headache

No doubt about it, self-managing small business finances can be a major headache. You know your own strengths, so play to them. Consider your own hourly rate when looking at the time it would take you to do your own finances. If it's cheaper to pay an accountant to do it in half the time, then that's probably the right move.

Unsure whether you've nailed your hourly rate? Use our free charge-out rate calculator to find the sweet spot!

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5. You just got stung by tax debt

No trade business owners look forward to tax time, but for independent contractors that fail to stay on top of their contributions throughout the year, it can be a major blow. If you’ve ever filed a tax return and almost passed out when you saw how much you owed, then it’s definitely time to enlist the help of an accountant for the next financial year.

6. Hiring an accountant comes with perks

Qualified accountants can be worth their weight in gold. They’re experts at sweating the small stuff, as well as working to get you all the rebates and writer-offs you could possibly be eligible for. The best thing is that it’s all above board. It’s amazing what a good accountant can pull off!

Speaking of rebates and write-offs, here's a list of possible business expense claims you need to know about!

Accountants can do so much more than simply run your numbers. They can help you create and execute strategies, and even serve as a business coach. Find the right accountant, and you’ll score yourself a trusted advisor who can guide you through the ins and outs of your trade business’s financial landscape.

With the scope to integrate accounting platforms like Xero and Sage with job management solutions like Tradify, keeping the tax man and your accountant happy has never been easier. Try Tradify free for 14 days — no credit card required, no contracts.

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Trade Business Accountant FAQ

What can an accountant actually help me with?

A good trade business accountant can offer legitimate financial advice and help with tax, budgeting, business expense claims, and payroll.

What's the difference between an accountant and a business coach?

While a business coach can give you plenty of business advice and help steer your business in a successful direction, it's up to you to act on this advice and get the job done. They're not an employee and will not do it for you.

An accountant, on the other hand, can offer some business advice and carry out certain changes within your business. They can file tax returns, manage payroll, and complete many other finance-related tasks.

Where can I find a trade business accountant?

Searching for trade business accountants online is a great place to start. Be sure to check out the reviews and testimonials of each possible candidate to make sure that they're fit for the task.

Another starting point is to ask fellow trades business owners. There's no better referee than a trusted peer.