Every business needs to keep detailed financial records that are easy to understand. Whether you are just starting out and need more advice throughout the process, or you have an established company that requires daily monitoring, there is an accountant out there that can provide you with the services you need.
So, how do you find an accountant? There are several areas that you should consider and questions to ask to be sure the person or company you choose is the right fit for you.
Your Accounting Needs
What do you require of your accountant? Are they going to be responsible solely for your business, or would you like someone that can also take care of your personal accounting needs? Think about the size and scale of your business operation.
Skills and Experience
You need to be confident in the abilities of the accountant that you hire. Look into their qualifications and ask questions. They should be fully trained and certified so they have the skills and knowledge they need to handle any number of common tasks.
Ask around for recommendations from friends and business acquaintances. Check out their website to learn what past customers thought of their own experiences. It could be beneficial to choose an accountant that knows the basics of how a business works. This way they can offer real solutions and actionable advice to make improvements in how you conduct business.
Tax laws change and new information affects how accounting practices are done effectively. It is worth discovering if your chosen firm invests in continued education to stay up-to-date so they can implement and follow the latest guidelines to get you the most value.
Business accounting involves more than just recording outgoing bills and incoming deposits. You need to hire an accountant that offers all of the services that you need to keep your business running smoothly. Inquire about what they offer and if they are willing to adapt and adjust their responsibilities if your needs change over time.
Some common services that accountants offer include more than just simple bookkeeping. You may want to look for someone that will process your payroll for the company’s employees, or assist in creating budgets for various departments.
When it comes to taxes, you need to have the most current forms and rules so that you can record all tax breaks and deductions that your business qualifies for. Consider the style of accounting that your potential hire is known for. Are they willing to dive deeply into all possibilities to save you money, or do they prefer to take a more conservation approach. You must be on the same page so have identical expectations upfront.
If you want to run a successful business, then you need to have consistent communication with your accountant, whether they work in-house or contracted from another entity. Discuss the availability that they will have. Will you be able to get in touch easily if you have a question or immediate need?
Learn about the various methods of communication so you know if a phone call or email is best, and how quickly you can expect to hear back. Determine if you will have a regularly scheduled meeting to discuss how the business is going and any new information that either of you needs to share. Even though the accountant will be handling the day-to-day financial operations to a point, you still need to be fully informed and involved to make the best business decisions.
Personality and Relationship
You are trusting your accountant with sensitive information and should feel that they are honest and accountable. Close interaction is expected, so you need to be comfortable talking to them about any concerns that you have and be able to ask for and trust their opinions.
It’s best to go with someone that you get along with. They should have a positive mindset and be approachable and friendly, even when the subject of your discussions can be heated or serious.
A qualified and knowledgeable accountant is an invaluable asset to your business. When you find someone you can trust to handle the details and give you sound advice, you can focus more on expanding your business and alleviate your financial worries.