Choosing the Right Accountant

You work hard to make your business profitable, and it is important to hire the best person or firm to handle your finances. An accountant will serve as a trusted advisor and partner as you continue to operate and grow your business. Here are a few items to consider when selecting the right accountant for you:

~~Clearly Understand Your Needs Before you begin the selection process, it is important to have a solid understanding of your current situation and business needs. Do you need someone to handle everyday bookkeeping and weekly payroll? Are you hiring a firm to provide general accounting expertise and recommendations regarding the financial health of your business? Some firms offer both bookkeeping and accounting services, while others only specialize in one area. Starting with a strong knowledge of the services you need will help to shape your search and make the process go smoothly.

~~Ask for Referrals There are many accountants and accounting firms out there. As such, starting your search can be intimidating. To narrow your options, ask your friends, fellow business owners, and trusted advisors (like an attorney) for recommendations. You can also find options through the Society of Certified Public Accountants in your state, as well as through various online resources.

~~Do Your Research Once you have a few potential accountants and firms picked out, it is time to start researching to ensure they meet your needs. Begin by reviewing their website and social media pages to make sure they offer the right services. Additionally, confirm they have the appropriate credentials and hire Certified Public Accountants.

~~Schedule a Meeting An in-person meeting with a potential accountant is important before making a final decision. While your accountant does not have to be your best friend, it is important that they are someone you feel comfortable working with. This is also the appropriate time to discuss fees and costs, along with frequency of services and correspondence. You may also want to request a list of references focusing on businesses similar in size to your own.

These tips should help you during your search for the right accountant. Once you select and hire an accountant, remember to maintain the relationship. This includes checking in periodically to reevaluate your services. As your business grows, your financial needs may change or increase.