Accountants are expensive people and anything expensive is certainly not a feasible option for small businesses. Even then it is highly advisable for a small business to have a professional accountant. Initially you might be wondering how to find a small business accountant within your budget.

First thing to determine is when a small business does need an accountant. Initially you may be able to handle your accounts on your own, managing them using a number of different accounting software available. But when your business is on a growing stage, your software cannot do all that an accountant can.

A right accountant can help you not only with your financial problems but also help you in enhancing your business plan. Accountants have large networks and they can be good for referrals or finding mutual benefits for different small businesses. Often, tax services for small businesses are complicated, specifically for those businesses operating from their home.

When to Look for an Accountant

An important decision a small business may have to take is whether to hire an outside accounting firm or an inside accountant for your company. Hiring an accounting firm can be a good option when your accounting needs are limited. Outside firms charge you an hourly rate for their services. For small firms who cannot afford to have an accountant on regular payroll, this can be ideal.

When the company is at a growing stage, the charges of accounting firms will increase with services. When you have an estimate that these costs are higher than the cost of a permanent employ would be, it is time to hire your own accountant. However, compensation is a secondary issue.

More important is to determine what you want your accountant to accomplish and select the best candidate, then you can settle the compensation accordingly. A performance-based compensation plan can also be set up.

When you have finally decided to hire an internal accountant, now is the time you should look for tips of how to hire. Since an accountant plays a vital role in an organization, handling the complete financial base of the company, it is a very important decision to make. Here are a few things you should consider when you are looking to acquire CPA services for your small business:

What to Check

  •  Qualifications – When you are looking to hire an accountant, the right qualifications does matter. If you are looking for advanced accounting services for small businesses, you need a qualified CPA or CMA. However, if you are only looking for bookkeeping services, small business can hire a general accountant as well.
  • Experience – Qualifications apart, the right experience is also essential. Small business accounting services are way trickier than that of large companies. Even a little financial decision can make or break a small business. Try to find an accountant who has experience of handling accounting services for the same industry and more importantly, experience of handling a small business.

Where to Look

  • Directory of CPA’s – The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants provides a list of all CPA’s, accounting companies and accounting societies. If you are a women entrepreneur looking for a female accountant you can look at American Society for Women Accountants.
  • Internet – Everything can be found on internet nowadays and finding an accountant would be convenient enough, but not advisable. Internet being a complete public source of information has lost some of its credibility. Since an accountant is a vital part of any organization, it is preferable to have a face to face contact.
  • Referrals – The best way to look for an accountant is word-of-mouth. Ask your friends and acquaintances who run a similar business or works in the same industry to refer a good accountant for your firm.

How to Select

  • Interview – When you have a list of names that you find well-suited to your requirements, you can start interviewing the candidates.
  • Check References – Ask the candidate for references from his previous work involvements. After you have checked on these references, you will have a fair idea of the candidate’s abilities.

Once you have selected your ideal candidate, you can negotiate compensation. You may find creative ways to settle a compensation benefit that suits both of you.


Having an accountant for a small business which is growing is an essential requirement. It is necessary to report accounting expenses in your business budget accordingly since it is not a function everyone can perform.

There were times when accountants were all the hype; the smart, important cult! Technology today is fast diminishing their role in our money management needs especially since the money that needs to be managed is getting scarce. For small business owners, this is good news; they are now tracking small business expenses and specifically home business expenses without paying huge sums of money to accountants.

Online Money Management

There are a number of user-friendly free online financial services, software and apps available for small business owners for managing different business needs. There is billing software, time tracking software and payroll management software. Out of these, there are some online services that are designed for managing personal finances but can be a useful tool for a small business as well.

Such online services, more commonly known as cloud accounting services, offer a great number of advantages for its users. The best part is, you can access these online cloud services from anywhere with an internet connection and a browser and you can reach all your data since it is stored with these online services.

An advantage of using such services is aggregation of your finances at one place. You can aggregate all your business accounts by adding their details with these services. I am going to provide a review of how three very popular personal finance services can be used as small business expense tracker. These three services include, Yodlee MoneyCenter and Pageonce.


Mint is an online free financial service that can be used to track and budget your expenses. Although it is a service designed for personal use, you can as easily create a separate business account for keeping track of business expenses. The main advantage of Mint is aggregation of your accounts at one single place, enabling you to see the whole picture of your business.

Mint will require you to enter the details of all your business accounts, loans and investments. Be sure that you only enter the information of your business accounts only. Once you have entered the details, you can select the accounts you want to hide from Mint.

You can add your business assets for depreciation calculations and you can calculate the net worth of your business. You can further divide your transactions into different categories. Your expenses can be divided into advertising, utilities and rent and so on.

Once you are done, you can track your performance, set your budgets and even set financial goals you want to achieve. You can also receive regular alerts about approaching deadlines or going over-budget.

Yodlee MoneyCenter

Yodlee is also an online personal finance tracker and aggregator which can be accessed easily from anywhere. You can visit the Yodlee website and create a business page instead of a personal one. You can add information about all your accounts related to your business activities, just like with Mint.

Yodlee provides you with categorized reports of your expenses and allows you to see your balance and transactions by linking to your bank accounts.

Yodlee provides you additional services for transfer of funds and payments. With a Yodlee account you can easily transfer funds anywhere you want. If you are unable to keep your billing deadlines, you can enable free bill payment offered by Yodlee MoneyCenter.


A little less used than the other two, it is fast emerging as a popular service provider for online financial services. Pageonce guarantees bank-level security and don’t have one single security breach on their record.

Just like the other two services, Pageonce aggregates your account and track your spending and income. Pageonce also provide alerts for bill deadline and help you in bill payments. It is now accessible through iPhone and iPad easily.


For an entrepreneur, knowing how to keep track of expenses for small business without spending too much money on it is important. There are a number of free online accounting services now available for people to manage their personal finances. For a small business these online services can be the best way to track business expenses initially. However, as your business grows, you can switch to more business-oriented software.

A Review of Patriot PAY Online Payroll Software

Compensation packages can often get a bit complex, with a number of additions and deductions that need to be carried out every month. Are you a small business owner, with just a few employees, finding it difficult to manage their payroll all on your own? Then the easiest solution for you is to make use of any one of the many available online payroll programs for small business owners.

For those looking to get low-cost online payroll services for small business use, Patriot PAY online payroll software can prove to be a useful tool for managing their employee payrolls. It provides small business owners with one of the fastest and most convenient online payroll processing systems in the US at highly reasonable prices, reducing your operating costs to a great extent.

For entrepreneurs who want to learn more about this software, provided below is an in-depth review of Patriot Pay online payroll software. You can go through it and then decide for yourself if it is the right solution to your payroll management problem.

Patriot Software

Online Payroll Software starts at just $10/mo

Patriot Software is providing online software based on latest technology for small business owners in US since 2002. The company, a subsidiary of Charis Holdings LLC, specializes in Human Resource Management software, designed especially for the small businesses of US entrepreneurs. The company states that its mission is “to provide simple, accurate, and affordable online software that makes it easy for American small businesses to process their critical data.”

Patriot Software offers a large variety of software that can be helpful for entrepreneurs in managing their employee data with relative convenience and accuracy. Patriot Software has the following software available for small businesses:

  • Patriot PAY Payroll Software
  • TaxBeGone Payroll Tax Filing Service
  • Patriot TIME Online Time-Card Software
  • MY Patriot Online Employee Self-Serve Software
  • Patriot HR Online Employee Data Management Software
  • Patriot HIRE Applicant Tracking software

The company is currently providing the software in a number of different states, a list of which is available on their website. The company offers complete security of confidential data by bounding their employees through legal means in case of any negligence or fraudulent activities.

Patriot PAY Features

Patriot Pay online payroll software. TRY IT FREE

Patriot PAY is a small business payroll system that offers a number of lucrative features that can be extremely helpful for small business owners. Here is a list of some key features you can get in Patriot PAY payroll software:

· Easy Accessibility

Patriot PAY payroll software can be easily accessed from anywhere with an internet connection without installing anything. The system is also accessible through iPhone and Android, which helps you accomplish your payroll tasks from anywhere, at anytime you find convenient.

You can access the service as many times as you like in a day without having to pay any additional charges per visit. The service is available 24/7 for your use.

· Accurate Calculations

Patriot Software guarantees complete accuracy in their payroll calculations and also keeps track of any tax changes in your payroll system. In case of any miscalculations, Patriot Software guarantees to pay any resulting penalties or interest for you.

· Customization Options

You can customize your payroll structure according to your company policies and your convenience anytime. Patriot PAY offers the following customization options:

  • You can select more than one payment method that you want to use to pay your employees. The payment options available are cash, written or printed checks, payroll debit card and direct deposit.
  • You can customize your pay frequency; you can pay daily, weekly, bi-monthly, monthly etc.
  • You can create unlimited pay codes, both hours-based and dollars-based, for example, regular hours, overtime hours, vacation hours, bonus payments etc.
  • You can customize the overtime multiplier, your paycheck printout structure and any deductions or contributions by employee that is user-defined.

· Guaranteed Security

Patriot Software guarantees 100% security of your confidential data by taking active measures to ensure that their security is top-notch. They hire their employees after a number of background and reference checks and offer claims of up to $100,000 in case of any negligent or fraudulent act.

Their data centers are protected by camera coverage and manned security 24/7 and their servers are protected by firewalls. The connection lines work throughout the day with no failures and a speedy response to any technical failure is guaranteed.

· Patriot PAY Reports

Patriot PAY Payroll Software offers to create different types of reports regarding your payroll system like:

  • Payroll Register – Shows payroll details for all employees
  • Paycheck History – Shows payroll details for every individual
  • Check/Deposit Payment Detail – List all payment details chronologically
  • To-Date Entries – Show all Patriot PAY entries made to-date
  • Assigned Deductions – Show assigned employee payroll deductions for future
  • Deduction History – Show employee deductions within a specific pay date range
  • Assigned Contributions – Show all scheduled employer contributions
  • Contribution History – Show all employer contributions given within a pay date range

With all these features available with single software, it surely offers some great value for small business owners for managing their payroll.

Who Can Use It?

Patriot PAY software is specifically designed for small and medium-sized business owners operating in the USA. This service can be used by a company having 50 or less employees. The service can be customized easily for any industry or type of business.

Since the software is designed to help US businesses grow and flourish, it is only available in US territories. The service is available in 35 US states currently and will soon be available in several other states. A complete list of available states is provided by Patriot PAY on their website.

How You Can Get Started

Getting started for Patriot PAY online payroll services is easy; you simply have to create an account by signing up on their website. After you have created a client account, you can enter all the information about your employees and your past payroll history. Once the information is entered correctly, the service will start your payroll management immediately.

You may start using the services any time of the year, not just the start of the year. Patriot Software also provides a free guided demo of Patriot PAY which you can get at any time that is convenient for you.

Payment Structure

The payment structure for Patriot PAY is quite reasonable and very clear. There are no extra or hidden charges that you may have to pay. The company structures your monthly payment according to the number of employees, starting from as low as $10 a month for 1 employee and up to $32.63 a month for 50 employees. An easy-to-use price calculator is available where you can enter the number of employees you have and view the charges you are required to pay.

In-built Customer Support Program

Patriot Software provides complete guidance to their users. They have in-built payroll training articles, videos and help-screens to help their new users. For routine questions you can contact their Customer Service through phone or email without any additional charges. For more complex queries, they charge you a reasonable amount of fee.

Testimonials from Users

Patriot PAY has a lot of positive recommendations available for it. Chris Mayes of Christopher Homes states,

“With Patriot PAY, we’re saving so much over our old payroll provider, and I can run payroll right from home. I’m glad I made the switch!”

Connie Belcher, another user of Patriot PAY recommends the software in the following words,

“I searched for the perfect payroll software for hours and finally ran across Patriot Software.  What a joy it has been to actually find a company whose employees put the ‘customer’ back into ‘customer service.’  As the owner of As-Needed Bookkeeping, I needed software that was easily navigable and that fits the needs of each client I serve; I found everything I needed in Patriot.  Thank you for creating software that not only saves me time and money, but also enables my company to give the best possible service.”

Give It a Try!

If you are an entrepreneur looking for online payroll for small business, Patriot PAY payroll software is a much reasonable option than hiring a small business payroll company or an accountant for your business.

The software offer productive features at affordable prices. An added benefit is that the software can easily integrate with any other Patriot software giving you a complete package for your payroll management system.

The software is available for a seven-day free trial and there is no long term-commitment required; you can switch Patriot Software services anytime without any charges or security issues.

With all that value in one single place, it is always a good option to give it a go! I can advise you to visit their website, sign up for the free trial and get started!

Payroll Software Starts at $10! Try it FREE

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