Does the thought of managing your own money as an independent worker stress you out? Do you wish you could hire a few finance professionals, but know that you aren’t financially or mentally prepared to hire employees? Taking on staff isn’t the only way to get the help you need. Plus, you’re working independently for a reason. Outsourcing your financial needs as they arise is often the smartest way to get the best advice and put it into practice.
But if this is all new to you, you may be wondering where to begin. Who should you hire? An accountant, a bookkeeper — or both? Which other finance professionals can help you get your business in order? And, when you figure out who you need, in what order should you hire them? You’re in luck: We have all the answers right here.
Get Some Advice From an Accountant
Before you start outsourcing any other finance professionals, talk to an accountant. Not only will they be able to advise you on the types of tax deductions for which you qualify, but they can also file your business taxes and submit the completed forms to the IRS for you. Taxes are one thing you don’t want to mess up, and an accountant is the best person to help you with them. If you haven’t decided on a legal structure for your business yet, an accountant can advise you on which entity would work best for you. They’ll also help you evaluate — over time — if that same structure is still the best fit as your business evolves.
Keep Your Finances Straight With a Bookkeeper
In order for your accountant to be able to file your taxes correctly, you need to input your income and expenses — without any errors. Keeping your books nice and tidy lets your accountant step in and seamlessly prep your tax documents. If you’re concerned you’ll forget something or input the numbers incorrectly, or if you’re just plain ol’ too busy to take care of it, hire a bookkeeper to do the work for you. Depending on how complex your sales and spending needs are, an outsourced bookkeeper may work with you on a weekly, bi-weekly, monthly or even quarterly basis.
Push Your Boundaries With a Money Mindset Coach
Now that you have the important basics out of the way, it’s time to analyze the way you feel about and deal with money. Everyone needs a little help sorting through the multitude of money feelings they experience as their business starts, grows, expands and occasionally shrinks. But it can be hard to do this in an unbiased way. Having a professional encourage you to question your limiting beliefs and push through any boundaries to get more comfortable with your money can change the entire way you do business. An outsourced money mindset coach may offer a short-term service or a longer contract, depending on your needs.
Set Your Goals With a Financial Adviser
Plan on retiring one day? Looking to send your children to college? You’ll need a financial adviser to tell you how to use your money now in a way that’ll help you reach all your long-term goals. You’re not expected to know how to invest your money. Leave that to the professionals, like certified financial planners and financial advisers. Focus on whatever it is that makes you a pro, and leave the financial planning to them.
Grow Your Business With a Chief Financial Officer Consultant
If there’s anything you’ve learned as an indy, it’s that you need to think ahead when it comes to your finances. You’re tired of the feast or famine struggle, yet you don’t have the expertise of managing money for a growing business. If only you were a big business, then you could hire a CFO to run the show for you. Right? Well, as a freelancer, you can just hire a consultant on a once-a-month basis to review your spending and earnings. They can also advise you on how to proceed with financial business decisions, like expanding your inventory.
Remember, some independent workers may only need to outsource to one or two finance professionals, while others may see the value in working with everyone listed here. Start with an accountant and work your way through the rest of the list, depending on your needs. When you put together a team of outsourced professionals and advisers, tackling your taxes and finances will be a breeze, and you can shift your attention to the work that made you become a freelancer in the first place.