Hiring the right accountant to handle your small business’s finance is a crucial decision for your firm’s health. The right person for the job can contribute toward the growth of your company, whereas, the wrong person can greatly impede it. The above is especially true when your small business is newly founded, hence needs a solid foundation in order to grow successfully.
How to find the best small business tax accountant that suits your needs
But how can you tell who is the best choice among myriads of candidates? In this article, we will provide you with information on the traits and cognitive skills the right accountant for your small business has to possess. The more of them you recognize in a prospect accountant the better.
#1 – Expertise
Before hiring someone, you should identify your needs so you can search for someone who can address them promptly. Let’s say that you need someone to keep your books updated and file tax reports. Then, you don’t need to pay for the expertise of a business accountant with a legal background or former enterprise experience. Instead, you need someone who is experienced in your industry and can provide you with solid advice when the time comes.
#2 – Qualifications
Apart from having the standard education in accounting, your accountant has to be part of an accounting body as well. Every accounting professional must be enlisted. Then, you can run a check with your country’s “public directory” of accountants. You may also ask the candidate to provide you with any recent training certificates. This way, you ensure that they are staying on top of current tax legislation.
#3 – Good reputation
Good qualifications do not necessarily guarantee the good quality of their services. Do not hesitate to ask questions about them and even get in touch with other business owners about their previous experience with the accountant you’re interested in. Were they overall satisfied with their performance?
#4 – Find a referral
It is often wise to listen to your family, friends, and colleagues if they keep talking about an amazing business accountant that worked miracles with their tax returns and balance sheets. You get nothing to lose if you set up a meeting to find out for yourself!
#5 – Personality
Just like when you’re hiring an employee, recruiting an accountant involves frequent interaction. You want your accountant to be pleasant and match your personality as well. If you have distinctly different mentalities you won’t be able to cooperate efficiently.
#6 – Affordability
You should know whether the accounting firm charges per hour or a monthly retainer. Also, usually, firms charge additional fees for business travel, special requests, and expert consultation. It is best that you are informed about all the “hidden” charges before deciding to collaborate.
#7 – Audit experience
Your accountant-to-be should have previous firsthand experience dealing with an IRS audit so they can make sure your company is prepared for it. Hiring a “rookie” can be more damaging than the number of penalties you could have easily avoided if you had hired a “battle-tested” professional.
#8 – Size of accounting firm
While choosing a big firm might seem a secure choice, you should consider the possibility that your small business may be overlooked there. Also, big accounting firms tend to delegate small accounts to less experienced associates. As mentioned before, experience is key.
#9 – Consultation services
If your business is growing you may need more than just an accountant for bookkeeping and financial statements. So, in order for your company to grow, it is important to surround yourself with valuable partners. Recruiting an accountant with a business administration background could prove to be very useful in drafting a business strategy and cash flow management report.
#10 – Computer literacy
Last, but not least, your accountant should be tech-savvy. They must be fluent in the latest accounting software packages so they can help you and your employees choose the best solution and become more productive. Also, you don’t want an accountant that keeps your books in excel spreadsheets. You have to make sure that they are up-to-date with the technology developments in their field.