As a small business owner, there will likely come a time when you’ll need to hire a reliable hand to help handle your business finances, and that’s where an accountant comes in. The value of an excellent accountant to your business cannot be overstated. And hiring the right accountant is one of the most crucial decisions you can make for your business.
A qualified and reliable accountant can help you handle the ever-changing business environment and also help you navigate various circumstances that could enable you to move your business in the most optimal, efficient, and economical ways.
They’ll also function as a sounding board for company decisions, such as expanding your team, getting more equipment, or taking up a new lease. Choosing the right accountant can help you take your business to the next level; they’re a great asset to your business.
That being said, if you finally decide that your business needs the services of an accountant, you should be mindful in deciding who you hire. You’ll need to consider several factors, some of which are the years of experience, location, fees, and, to crown it all, how much of a net positive your accountant is.
The right person for the job should have previous experience working with small firms that are active in various industries, as this will save you both time and money. Here are our top 6 tips to consider when choosing an accountant for your business.
- Understand Your Needs
Before hiring an accountant, you should consider the services you’ll need them to handle and then make a list of those services. For example, you may need someone to handle day-to-day bookkeeping or just someone to step in to prepare quarterly and annual activity statements and tax returns.
Typically, a bookkeeper or non-certified accountant can help with the day-to-day accounting of your business; however, if you need someone to provide strategic tax advice, help with an audit, or file your taxes, it’ll be best to choose a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Your accountant must understand your business well enough to help you make intelligent and strategic business decisions. Understanding the responsibilities and work you need help with and how often is an essential step toward finding the right accountant.
When considering the location of your accountant, you’ll first need to consider how your business operates. Does your business require an accountant to be physically present, and have an understanding of the local market, or can your finances be managed online? Many companies make use of cloud-based shared working environments, which makes it easier for them to hire a remote accountant whom they can grant access to critical information.
Along with the advent of video calling, location is less of an issue today. Your accountant could be located anywhere in the world, allowing you to concentrate more on looking for someone based on other factors, such as experience.
If your business prefers physical contact with your accountant, or if you are seeking an accountant who understands the local business landscape in detail, location is a key consideration.
- Evaluate Their Qualifications and Experience
A good accountant should have the qualifications and experience to support their knowledge and expertise. It is advisable to look for an accountant who has experience working with other small businesses in the same industry as you.
This can be advantageous because they are likely already familiar with the needs, challenges, and tax laws specific to your business type or industry.
- Seek Referrals and Recommendations
One of the best ways you can discover a reliable accountant for your business is to ask for recommendations from other business owners in the same industry as you.
You might conduct a Google search to find accountants within your area. You can also look out for online reviews and use them to compare and evaluate prospective candidates. Platforms such as LinkedIn, Yelp, Reddit, and Facebook may also be beneficial resources for referrals and reviews that could inform your decision.
Consider multiple candidates before deciding on the accountant to go for. Interviews are the best way to go about this. It will give you an insight into the accountant’s qualities and background. With this at heart, you should compare it with their expected fees and workload.
After interviewing several candidates, you can compare their professional experience and qualifications and weigh them with what your business needs. Your choice of accountant should lie with the person who will provide the most significant net positive to the company.
- Consider How They’ll Assist Your Business in Growing
It’s essential to weigh your options and carefully consider if the accountant you want to pick will be the professional whose financial advice will assist you in making successful long-range business decisions.
While some accountants will focus on completing their tasks, such as filling out tax returns and managing your accounts, others will be more proactive in handling your finances. When selecting a business accountant, you should always ask what recommendations they have for saving your business finances.
A good accountant will be able and willing to share thoughts about processes that could be put into place to help your business grow.
- Consider Their Price Range
The rates that accountants charge for their services should be openly and honestly discussed between both parties. Also, you should not be required to pay anything for the first consultation.
There is an expectation that continual effort will always be put in. Usually, accountants have been paid based on their work hours; however, recently, there has been a shift towards monthly “all-inclusive packages.” In every business, the importance of an accountant cannot be overstated. An accountant should be seen as an integral member of your team. After all, they can play a crucial role in your business’s success. Therefore, to ensure you make the right choice when choosing who is the best accountant fit for your business, you should be selective and take your time with the decision. You ultimately want to choose an affordable accountant who is experienced and qualified, has a good reputation, is dedicated to supporting your goals, and is committed to helping you scale your business while saving money at the same time. Here at TW Accounting, we provide our clients not just with an accountant, but the support of an entire accounting firm, dedicated to growing your business. Offering everything from bookkeeping to business structuring advice, let us tailor a service to meet your unique accounting needs.