One aspect of running a small business that few people give a lot of thought to is the way they deal with professional vendors such as bankers, lawyers, accountants and so on. Most entrepreneurs just dive right into their businesses without giving a second thought to how these professionals should be treated, what they can do for you and what they in turn look for in clients. With a little thought and effort, you can ensure that you get the most from these relationships.
The main thing to remember is that you need a personal relationship with each of these people. They have the ability, sometimes directly, sometimes indirectly, to drastically influence the success of your business. Your goal should be to develop a long-term, personal relationship with each of them. If you do that, when you hit a bump in the road, they'll be there to help you get over it.

Turning your special skills and abilities into a profitable business is a growing trend. Many are considering self-employment as a viable and rewarding life choice. Concerns unique to your particular situation need to be addressed, but issues you should definitely include in your decision making process are:
Assessing yourself and your skills
Determining market opportunities
Analyzing competitors
Regulations and laws affecting the business
Selecting professional advisors
Preparing your business plan
Setting fees or determining pricing
Keeping records
How to legally minimize paying tax
Preventing losses and wasting resources
Running a smooth operation

Should you hire another accountant?
Several years ago, the president of a software company announced "The only important staff in this company are the revenue generators -- the salesmen and the developers." Like many managers he felt accountants were overhead, unnecessary. He wanted to run a complex, multi-million dollar operation with one accountant. But, when he looked hard he saw these warning signs.
The accountant restated prior months financial statements because of "revelations" about "deals" previously booked as revenue. The books weren't closed promptly. Receivable, payable and cash balances weren't maintained on a current basis. No one could forecast future cash balances.
Accounts receivable seemed too high. Don't immediately conclude that your accountant should work harder, or that you need a new accounting system, or that you need a new computer, or even that you need to increase the accounting staff. Look at the messages you're sending and ask the accountant about the problems. Finally, be prepared to listen. One company accelerated its closing 6 days and reduced receivables $200,000 when it recruited a junior accountant to "work" the receivables. Before her arrival the chief accountant did all invoicing and made collection calls, but not until first closing the books. With the new accountant, receivable calls are made every day. In this case one new accountant = a permanent $200,000 increase in cash -- many times the cost of the accountant.

Can I hire an accountant who doesn't live in my area?
Absolutely! A CPA doesn't have to be licensed to practice in any particular state and Sailfund CPA, can provide tax rate tables, forms and instructions for all 50 states. With the availability of fax machines, e-mail and express delivery services, necessary paperwork can easily be sent from any location. Also, for many individuals and small business owners, the vast majority of their accountant's work is advisory, which can be done easily by phone instead of in person.
The personal service we offer at Sailfund CPA is not limited to clients sitting at the opposite side of the desk! If you are considering forming a Texas corporation, it is of great benefit to you to hire a Texas accountant who is fully versed in the regulations and policies of the state. Please feel free to call for a no-charge appointment if you are heading our way.