Your corporate law, graph maker or toy developer business relies on a variety of accounting services, from payroll to tax preparation. While you could hire an in-house accountant, strengthen your business, improve management, and save time and money when you hire a full-service accountant. Use these tips to hire the best accountant for your needs.
A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) possesses a college degree, has accounting experience, passed an exam to practice accounting in your state, and completes continuing education classes. Meanwhile, a non-certified accountant is trained to analyze your books, prepare financial statements and complete payroll. Check these qualifications as you verify that the accountant you hire can legally take care of your specific needs.
Certify Industry Expertise
While business accounting seems fairly straightforward, each industry is unique. For example, you would consult a veterinarian for advice about your sick dog but not for tips on writing a sell videos blog. Likewise, find an accountant who specializes in your industry. They speak your language and understand your needs, which simplifies communication and gives you confidence that they will handle your books and taxes properly.
Decide if you wish to hire a single accountant or a firm for your back office needs. The size of your company can help you make this decision since you may have more accounting needs than a single accountant can handle properly. Even if you decide to hire a firm, realize that you may work with a designated accountant, giving you a go-to person who knows your business inside and out.
Find a Referral
You need to trust your accountant because he or she will have access to your dinner theater, residential landscaping or flyer maker company’s books, including proprietary and confidential information. Ask colleagues, your corporate attorney and industry trade associations for referrals. Then thoroughly check all references to ensure the trustworthiness and competency of the accountant you hire.
Tax laws and regulations change regularly, and they’re quite complicated. Your CPA must stay updated on the laws and confidently deal with regulation changes. Ensure your accountant knows what he or she is doing because mistakes can cost you big bucks in fees and fines.
Some accountants charge by the hour while others charge a set rate for the financial jobs they perform, such as tax filing, profit and loss statement prep, or net worth statement compilations. Discuss fees as you choose an accountant your business can afford. To save money, you may utilize a junior accountant to handle daily payroll duties and hire a more expensive CPA for quarterly or annual tax preparation. Remember, though, that the cheapest accountant is not necessarily the best one for your company. Factor in qualifications, experience and expertise, too.
You’ll work closely with your accountant, which means you need to get along, share the same values and understand each other. Spend time chatting with potential accountants to discern if you can establish rapport. Also, be sure the accountant values you, explain things in a way you understand and is approachable.
Whether you plan to talk to your accountant every day or only occasionally, check the accountant’s availability to talk to you. Also, ask if the accountant is available for phone calls during the day, if the accountant communicates via apps or if he or she prefers that you make an appointment for an in-person meeting. Discuss your expectations at the interview and ensure you’re both on the same page.
Depending on your business, you may want advice on day-to-day operations, such as when to purchase equipment or how to maximize profits, or you might prefer to consult your accountant only around tax time. Think about your preferences for advice, and confirm that your accountant can offer the type and frequency of advice you want.
Discuss Audit Support
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) may never conduct an audit on your business, but you want to be prepared. Your CPA should have experience handling corporate tax audits and have your best interests in mind, giving your confidence if you do ever face an audit.
When you choose the right accountant for your company’s needs, you help your business succeed. These tips help you choose the best full-service accountant for your company.