How CPAs Can Help Your Business Grow

Whether you’ve decided to start a new business or you’re ready to take your existing business to the next level, it’s a good idea to enlist the help of a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

Many new small business owners make the mistake of thinking they can handle all of the financial aspects of their businesses themselves. While the average business owner can handle a certain amount of these tasks, it’s always better to have an experienced professional you can call on. Here are some of the things a CPA can help you with as you grow your business, brought to you by E-City Beat.

Laying Down a Strong Foundation

There’s nothing more important than starting your business the right way to ensure that all of the systems you set in place contribute to your success.

In terms of creating a strong foundation, a CPA will assist you with the following:

  • Determining the best business structure for what you’re doing, such as an LLC or sole proprietorship.
  • Analyzing the financial aspects of your business plan.
  • Help you choose accounting software that meets your needs.
  • Advising and assisting with your business bank account.
  • Ensuring that your accounting procedures are in line with government regulations and requirements.
  • Ensuring you understand the importance of maintaining separate business and personal expense accounts.

Essentially, a CPA can lay the groundwork for your business finances so that you have a blueprint to follow and refer to as you move forward with your operations.

Dealing With Ongoing Financial Tasks

Once things get going for your business, you’ll need to maintain the accounting system implemented by your CPA. However, you won’t be going at it alone as your CPA can take over the ongoing financial tasks necessary.

Some of those tasks may include:

  • Ensuring that the independent contractors you hired are classified correctly by the IRS.
  • Keeping you updated on your financial statements so that you have a thorough understanding of the nooks and crannies of your business.
  • Overseeing the payroll and payment processes for all employees.
  • Advising on the estimated tax payments you should be making throughout the year
  • Determining which employees should receive W2 and 1099 forms, and when.
  • Reviewing and finalizing your books to ensure that all your paperwork checks out before submitting your business tax returns to the IRS.

While you can do many of these tasks on your own, it’s best to delegate as many as you can to a professional.

Supporting Your Business’s Growth

When it comes time to grow your business, having a CPA on your payroll can be a critical resource as they can help you manage the entire process.

A few things they can do to support the growth of your business include:

  • Helping you determine which areas are prime for growth by providing insight on your cash flow patterns, inventory management, financing, pricing, and so on.
  • Advising you on equipment and property leasing and purchasing
  • Preventing you from getting audited by the IRS and helping you with the process should you get audited
  • Creating financial forecasts and a budget to help you make better business decisions
  • Assist you with the sale of your business if necessary

These are just a few ways that a CPA professional can work with you to help your business grow. You can choose to have them take care of all your accounting and financial tasks or just some specific ones that you’re unable to manage. Either way, they’re an asset to small business owners.

Pros and Cons of Buying an Existing Business

If you’re ready to leave your unfulfilling career behind to become your own boss and you’re not quite sure of what you want to offer or sell, buying an existing business may be a great option. But just like for a startup, there are pros and cons to consider before taking the plunge. E-City Beat presents a list of positive and negative outcomes to help you decide if buying an existing business is the right move for you.

Positive Outcomes

The products or services you sell are already market-tested. You know there is a need for what the business is selling, and you can generate more sales by allocating money for online and offline advertising. The Digital Marketing Institute suggests investing in online marketing strategies like SEO, social media ads, and retargeting ads that will expand your reach and take your products and services further. You can also advertise the change in business ownership in your local newspaper or on your local radio station to bring renewed awareness to the brand.

Your clientele is already established. Introduce yourself as the new owner by offering special discounts and promotions to your existing customers. If you’re planning on introducing new products or services, give free samples to garner interest, and ask for feedback–positive and negative–that will help you decide if you should expand your offerings or stick with the products and services that already bring you revenue.

Your brand is already established. If the existing business you’re planning on buying benefits from great brand recognition and has a strong online presence, all it takes for you to keep it going is to regularly post fresh content online to retain the attention of your followers and to connect with other companies for cross-promotions and co-branding in order to increase your exposure.

Your supply chain is already in place. Unlike starting a business from scratch, which would not only involve deciding on a business structure, finding funding, and filing all the proper documentation with the state, but also finding suppliers for your materials and equipment, buying an existing business lets you skip all those steps, bypass the “trial-and-error” phase, and go straight to the fun of running a successful venture of your own.

Negative Outcomes

Deal Studio notes that it’s difficult to appraise an existing business. You’ll have to figure out what made the business a success, and how to keep that momentum going once it changes ownership. Some businesses have valuable assets but don’t generate much revenue, whereas others have fewer assets but generate a lot of money. For this reason, projecting future earnings may be a better way to valuate a small business.

Your equipment and software may be outdated. Buying new equipment will add to your startup costs, and you may have to invest in training, for yourself and for your employees, to learn how to use it. If you’re dealing with older proprietary software, you may have to hire a computer programmer to redesign programs that will work on the newer operating systems found on the market.

You may have to roll out new processes and technologies. If you’re buying an older business, chances are its website is not yet equipped with integrated customer relationship management and enterprise resource planning systems. You’ll also have to update and optimize the website for faster page loading, and to allow customers to buy directly from your site using API banking.

You may have a hard time making it “your” business. Personalize it and make changes that are more reflective of who you are and where you want the business to go. For example, you can redesign the company logo to make it your own. If you’re on a tight budget, use an online business logo creator to design one yourself instead of hiring a graphic designer.

Buying an existing business can be a profitable endeavor. Thorough knowledge of the products and services you’re offering, along with an understanding of social media advertising, will help you grow your company and increase brand awareness as you put your own stamp on it.

Great Falls Area Company Transfers VHS To DVD – And Much More

Stray Moose Productions is a local one-stop audio-visual production, duplicating and transfer specialist.

“Why send your memories out of town when we can do it all right here in the Great Falls area?” – Stray Moose Productions

Stray Moose Productions can transfer your VHS and SVHS video tapes of movies, home movies and other content to DVD for you quickly and affordably. They are located in Black Eagle.

They also transfer 8mm and 16mm home movies to DVD, Beta to DVD, and cassette, reel-to-reel and vinyl to CD.

Stray Moose Productions also does professional video work for your special events such as weddings and memorial services.

Call 406-727-6670 or email

They are located at 3 Anaconda Hills Dr., Black Eagle, MT – next to Anaconda Hills Golf Course and across from the Black Eagle Community Center.

Are You Making One Of These 6 Common Mistakes That Many New Business Owners Make?

Planning on entering the world of entrepreneurship in the near future? If so, you’ll be in excellent company. Recent data shows that over 500,000 new businesses are created each month. In the U.S., tens of millions of individuals can currently call themselves business owners. Whether they run a brick-and-mortar or an online boutique, new individuals become entrepreneurs each and every day.

If you’re ready to become a small business owner yourself, there is a steep learning curve ahead. However, certain lessons are more important to learn than others. Here are six common (and preventable) mistakes that many new entrepreneurs make.

Not selecting the correct business entity

Choosing the right business entity/structure is more important than you may believe. Oftentimes, new entrepreneurs will simply stick with a sole proprietorship filing. Although this selection can occasionally be an appropriate choice, it can cost you big time in the long run.

Instead consider registering your business as an LLC, which has a number of exceptional advantages. Among these benefits are tax breaks and reduced paperwork. One of the biggest benefits is the protection an LLC provides your personal finances. In the event of a lawsuit or uncollected business debt, entrepreneurs with LLCs cannot have their personal assets taken from them. Prior to forming an LLC, be sure to review all state-specific rules and regulations.

Doing business “under the table”

A shocking number of business owners conduct business illegally. Home-based business owners — and those with physical locations — will sometimes fail to file the proper paperwork for inspections, a sales tax permit, and a business license.

Even if you plan to run a business as a hobby, do not conduct your transactions “under the table.” While some justify this practice by citing that others do this, make sure that you are doing everything 100% legally. Selling products without proper licensing or inspections can lead to massive fines and jail time.

Not spending enough time on branding

Creating brand awareness among potential customers is critical to separating yourself from the competition. Your website, social media pages, business name, and logo are all essential to attracting and retaining customers.

While some tasks such as web design are best handled by qualified professionals, you can discover unique business names by using a business name generator. You can also use a logo creator online to design an attractive logo. Once you’ve downloaded and customized your logo, you can add it to merchandise, marketing materials, business cards, and much more.

Forgetting to plan for emergency expenses

Just as with your personal life, emergency expenses can (and often do) arise when running a new business. Unexpected fees and broken equipment are only some of the many expenses that can arise without warning.

Avoid having to take out loans or business credit cards by setting aside a separate emergency fund. Plan to save between $1,000-$1,500, as this amount can cover some of the most common expenses. From repairs to anything else that may come up, you can avoid significant financial setbacks.

Working too many hours

Many new entrepreneurs treat their bodies and minds like machines. With so many tasks and expectations, it is common for business owners to work 60, 70, or even more than 80 hours per week. Although this may be necessary at select times, overworking yourself should never become a habit. Just because you own a business does not mean that you’ve developed superhuman abilities. Rest and leisure are as important as they were before launching your new venture.

Prevent burnout by scheduling regular time off and self-care each week. You can create a monthly planner to stay on track with your tasks and schedule downtime as well. There are customizable monthly planner templates that allow you to add your own graphics, sticky notes, and videos.

Spreading yourself too thin

Last but not least, new business owners have a reputation for spreading themselves too thin. On top of working too many hours, they often release a vast product/service list that isn’t defined. If this sounds like you, narrow down your offerings so that you’re selling what you do best. Expand only when you’ve mastered the basics of business ownership.

Avoiding these six common mistakes is key to running a successful business. Beyond this list, treat every other mistake as a learning experience. Rather than getting upset at yourself, learn from every bump along the way.

E-City Beat explores various issues and their effects on Great Falls and Montana residents.

Starting A Business: Effective Tips For Parents With Disabilities

Managing parenting while living with a condition while launching your new business – it’s a lot for the best of us! But there are so many strategies out there to get your small business up and running while tending to your kids and taking care of yourself. Work-life balance is real – and the extra income you earn from business can go a long way in supporting both you and your family.

The U.S. Department of Labor writes that ‘entrepreneurship is a flexible route to economic independence for people with disabilities.’ How can you get started? Here are some tips, courtesy of E-City Beat.

Set Up a Business Account

Many entrepreneurs leave things like business structure and accounts to the last minute. However, it is prudent to set yourself up with a separate business bank account. This way, you’ll have your personal finances held separately from your business ones, which can reduce confusion when it comes to accounting or tax time. In addition, if you commingle funds, it could lead to losing liability protection when you’ve formed an LLC as a business entity for your startup. This will also cause you to be held personally liable for debts and lawsuits in the company name, so it is best to avoid mixing up finances.

Funding Opportunities

There are lots of grants and loans out there to help make entrepreneurship more accessible for disabled parents. Here are some of your main options:

If you’re looking for more options, check out this handy resource by the Disability Digest outlining how you can go about finding the perfect grant for your needs.

Set Up a Home Office

Over half of all small businesses are run from someone’s home. By working from home, you’ll be able to save on rent and work from the comfort of your own space. You’ll also be able to set up a space that is accessible to your needs – for example, with adequate turning space for a wheelchair or reduced decor stimulus if you’re neuro sensitive. And the best part? You’ll be close by to keep an eye on the kids and keep parenting going while you get your work done.

Hiring Candidates With Disabilities

According to this report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 20% of workers in the U.S. are disabled. You’d be able to contribute effectively to your community while raising the confidence, skills, and self-esteem of other disabled employees. Not to mention, hiring skilled workers to get the job done well will be critical to your success.

The best way to find qualified candidates is to look up job boards and reach out. Be sure to prepare onboarding documents and arrange check-ins with your employee to ensure they’re settling into your workplace culture.


Getting the word out about your small business will be crucial in its success. Don’t be shy to tell friends and family and anyone else who will listen about your new venture. Networking is a great way to market and gain opportunities like potential funding, interested talent, and more through the process.

Consider digital marketing strategies for your business too. Harnessing social media platforms and running advertising through PPC and SEO marketing can give you a significant leg up. Don’t forget to market your story, too – a disabled parent entrepreneur is a unique and compelling brand narrative you can take advantage of!

Running your small business is a great way to build a better future for you and your family. And it is a fulfilling and satisfying journey that is full of rewards – both material and emotional. Use these tips to get started on your dream business today!