Should Your Roofing Business Hire an Accountant?

Build Your Business

Author: Linda Light | December 11, 2023

Is it time for your roofing business to hire an accountant? How you choose to add this important function to your business will depend on your needs. Here are three options to consider for keeping the books.

An accountant works on a laptop.
Knowing where an accountant can fit into your company can mean the difference between success and stress in the roofing industry.

Do-It-Yourself Accounting

The first option, which most people consider and many try, is to do it yourself. This may work for a limited time when you start your roofing business, but it's unlikely you can continue tracking all the finances as your company grows.

While it's easy to download and set up free or subscription-based accounting software, you should understand the information being generated. If you don't have an accounting skill set or background, you may not know what the data is telling you.

It could feel like you're saving money by not paying for an additional employee, but the time you're spending managing finances is time spent away from the jobsite. Accounting also comes with its own compliance hurdles. Are you taking care of all the right steps, like payroll taxes, income taxes and property taxes, or are you missing something?

Hiring an Accountant for Your Roofing Business

Another option is to hire an accountant to join your team on either a full-time or part-time basis. Just like any job interviewee, ask about a potential hire's experience: Is the person self-taught, or do they have an accounting degree or CPA certification? Do they have a proven track record at other businesses? Are they mainly a bookkeeper, or do they have expertise in budgeting and financial planning?

If you hire a full-time accountant, they will get to know your roofing business and won't be distracted by other businesses' accounting needs. You set the tasks they perform, which helps build a relationship that guarantees your sensitive financial information will remain confidential.

Depending on where you're located, your business may be cyclical. Will you be tempted to pull your accountant into handling other business needs such as human resources? This may save money and keep your employee busy, but piling on unrelated work can also cause stress and time management challenges.

Outsourcing Your Accounting Needs

Cost is always a factor. When you outsource, you can opt to pay for only part-time or temporary help, and are not obligated to offer benefits. Hiring internally means you pay salary plus overhead expenses, which are frequently quoted as an additional 25% to 40% of the cost of an employee's salary.

When searching for an outsourcing agent, you want a trustworthy, competent and reliable worker who understands your contracting business and offers more than just entering numbers in a ledger. Outsourcing means you will have experts in the field who undergo training as needed to keep up with technology and industry changes. But be aware that benefits and continuing education for an in-house CPA or other expert will be on your dime, not the outsourcing agent's.

Typically, outsourcing accounting means you'll be serviced by a team, so there's no need to worry about getting financial data in a crunch if one specialized staff member is out sick or on vacation. It also provides an extra layer of checks and balances. Having one person solely handling cash, payments and budgets increases the potential for mistakes or fraud.

Is It Time to Hire an Accountant?

Accounting and financial record-keeping can be time-consuming and confusing, especially if you don't have accounting experience. Your roofing company's finances are a top priority. You have to understand the financial picture and have confidence in who is providing that information, so it's up to you to pick the option that works best for your business.