What to look for when choosing an accountant
When you are running a small business, cash flow, paperwork, taxes and government regulations are always on a small business owner’s mind. After all, what’s more important than managing your company’s financial affairs? Learning good small business accounting practices is a must. But, the time and energy that it takes to educate yourself comes at a price.
Most owners learn quickly that any task connected to dealing with their company’s bookkeeping and accounting is daunting — especially if you are the HR manager, the operations manager, sales manager and the CEO! Simplified software applications may help ease some of the burden as you grow, but there is no substitute for receiving sound, reliable business advice from your dedicated accountant.
Most successful business owners also know the importance of delegation in many areas. One of the most important is the financial operation of your company and the people chosen to oversee it. Turning your company’s financial affairs over to an experienced accountant or accounting services firm will enable you to refocus your time and energy on running and growing your business, and that’s just the first of many benefits.
Choosing the right accountant begins with:
Assessing your needs and then researching the local or regional firms that can meet your requirements now and help you as you expand your company’s reach and increase your goals in the future. You may consider connecting with small businesses and networking organizations, and your chamber of commerce for a referral. Then, once you have decided on a firm to explore think about the following service areas to inform your decision.
- Experience and reputation
- Business model – How will the accountant communicate with you? How will your account be managed?
- Payroll services
- Employee hiring assistance
- Tax management and tax law advice
- Tax filing expertise
- Compliance expertise
- Response to inquiries and problem solving
- Government interaction assistance and consulting
- Bank and financial institution expertise and guidance
- Business planning service
Most accounting firms offer a variety of services that include day to day management of financial records, filing taxes, applying for loans, and preparing you for audits. They will be invaluable in keeping you updated on your industry’s trends and best practices and saving you time and money each year.
As you consider the reasons you are ready to hire an accountant, think about some of the more fundamental qualities that ensure a good fit for the age and type of business you run. Some of these may be as simple as the location of their firm and how many accountants are on staff, how the workload is distributed, and how much experience they may have in your industry. You may also think about their technology expertise, their ability to collaborate with their customers, and how innovative they are.
Your accountant will remember for you
Regardless of the size of your small business, having the help of a professional accountant will transform the health of your business. Instead of worrying about preparing your year-end accounts and sorting out personal and business tax returns, and managing business payroll issues, your accountant will know when and how to prepare the documents and keep your bookkeeping timely, accurate and compliant. They run your reports and track your expenses while you focus on customer needs and filling orders.
Here are some of the top reasons to hire an accountant:
- Company assets
- Technical accounting knowledge
- Improve the efficiency and profitability of your business
- Plan for your company’s future
It is evident that the role of professional accountants in business cannot be overstated. They are vital to ensuring the quality and timeliness of a firm’s financial reporting and over time they contribute to the general stability and forward-movement of the client’s they serve. They will become the advisor that will help you shape your company’s future and set it on solid footing for years to come. Contact us on the West Coast at 925-498-6200 or the East Coast 585.678.9015.