Hiring an Accountant? The Most Important Things to Consider
If you’re doing all your own accounting, the Finances section of Town Square has tips and advice to help you get through it. But if things are complicated (or if you’re just strapped for time), it may make sense to bring on a professional. But how do you find someone legit? We reached out to our friends at Xero, one of our Square App Marketplace partners, to get their top tips for hiring an accountant.
Similar to having a good doctor, working with the right accountant is invaluable. That’s because the right accountant can monitor your business’s financial health and provide sage advice that helps the company grow and succeed.
Less than a decade ago, you absolutely needed to work with a local accountant. These days, your options are wide open thanks to the cloud. You can hire an accountant in a different state or even another country and use cloud accounting software to work together on the same financial data. All while staying in touch through phone, email, and video conferencing. If staying in touch online is fine, then you can hire an accountant from anywhere, provided he or she is knowledgeable about the tax laws and business regulations that apply to you
Look for relevant experience.
Every industry has its own quirks when it comes to financial record-keeping, which is why more and more accounting professionals see the value in specializing. Limiting your search to candidates that serve your industry can help you find someone who is already familiar with the ins and outs of your business
Tap into your networks.
Someone you know is likely working with a great accountant, so be sure to ask around. Ask your friends and family, your social media followers, and of course the business next door. You can also get advice from your chamber of commerce and local business organizations.
Looking For A CPA? 16 Tips For Finding The Right One
Get A Clear Picture Of Your Current Finances
The first step toward finding a good CPA is knowing what your personal needs are. Before selecting a CPA, you should gather your accounts, look over your financing and figure out what kind of financial assistance you need. Consider your business, the number of employees and your budget. You need to select a CPA who can handle your accounts and not overcharge. – Greg Herlean, Horizon Trust
Understand Your Specific Tax And Accounting Needs
It depends on what type of tax or accounting advice is needed. An enrolled agent who is a tax preparer or a bookkeeper might be a more qualified solution than a CPA if they have the experience and the specialty focus needed. The CPA is arguably the highest-regarded professional license out there, and people often assume a CPA is a jack-of-all-trades because of the reputation around the license. – David Miller, PeachCap Inc
Ask About Industry Experience
Ask if the CPA has experience doing returns for your type of business and industry. No one wants to be the first tax return for your type of business filed by a CPA. When it comes to a CPA’s experience, it’s worth the time to look for the right fit. When choosing a CPA, ask, “How many returns have you filed for my type of business and in my industry?” – David Gass, Anderson Business Advisors, LLC
How to Find the Best Business Accountant for Your Small Business
Do you need a business accountant?
You might answer, “No way.” You can use an app or just do it yourself with business accounting software, so why spend the money? We get it—whether you’re a seasoned vet or just starting up, every small business owner wants to cut down on costs. So you only spend on what’s absolutely necessary for your business
Well, we’re here to tell you that hiring a business accountant is absolutely necessary for your small business—and well worth the cost. When it comes down to it, a business accountant can save your business thousands and make your life as a small business owner that much easier.
You’re just starting up and don’t know anything about accounting.
When you’re just starting your business or you’re getting into the weeds of running it, you’ll need to know a little bit about accounting. If financial statements are confusing, creating reports is impossible, or accounting terms are downright jibberish, you should hire a business accountant from the get-go.
You’re deciding on your company’s legal structure.
There are a few different ways to structure your business. And whether you go for a sole proprietorship, LLC, partnership, or corporation, your choice will matter for your finances.
You don’t know anything about taxes.
Just because you’re a small business owner doesn’t mean you know the best practices for filing your taxes. Or, more likely, you don’t have the time to do it right. This is a great (and probably the best!) reason to hire a business accountant. An accountant can make sure you’re paying the right taxes for your business type and industry, so you’re not hit with penalties and fines.
Finding the Right Accountant for Your Small Business
Managing your company’s finances can be difficult if you aren’t familiar with debits, credits and recording transactions, but who says you have to go it alone? An accountant can provide the financial expertise and guidance you need to run your business effectively
Although hiring an accountant is optional, it can be a big help to have one when it comes to reviewing financial records and filing taxes. The advice that an experienced business accountant has to offer your company might just be the difference between success and failure, and their expertise can help guide your decisions as your business grows.
What does a business accountant do?
A business accountant examines your company’s finances and prepares financial reports. Their job is to make sure your data is correct and your taxes are paid correctly and on time. Some may also provide bookkeeping services. According to the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE),
What do you need your accountant to do?
The first step in choosing an accountant is to determine what you want yours to do for you. Some accountants are willing to do bookkeeping, while others focus on broader business tasks. If you are looking for a bookkeeper to handle the mundane daily or weekly bookkeeping duties as well as an accountant, you’ll want to look for an accounting firm that provides both services.
Should you hire an accountant for your business?
If you need help setting up your accounting system, maintaining financial documents, auditing your business’s books or financial statements, or creating financial goals for your company, you should hire an accountant.
How to find a good accountant
Choosing the right accountant for your small business can mean the difference between success and failure. Here’s how to find and choose the best accountant, how much to pay and what a good accountant can do for your business
A good accountant can prove invaluable at all stages of a business’s development. When setting up your business a good accountant can help develop your business plan, create bookkeeping systems and provide efficient tax handling by filing annual tax returns and company accounts. All of which lets you concentrate on the important matter of running your small business.
Accounting and bookkeeping – For most companies, operating a legally and financially robust accounting and bookkeeping system is a core requirement. A good accountant will help you set up a bookkeeping system and payroll scheme so you can keep on top of your company’s finances. They can spot issues early such as problems with cashflow and increased supplier and rental costs before they impact your balance sheet. Depending on your company’s needs they’ll prepare and file accurate self-assessment tax returns, VAT returns and annual company reports.
Tax advice – A good accountant can advise on tax compliance and tax planning and make sure your business claims for all the tax deductions it’s entitled to make. This can help reduce your company’s overall tax burden which in turn may help it stay afloat and grow and could more than cover the fees charged by the accountant.
Business insight – A good accountant can bring experience and financial insights into your business – useful if this is an area you are not strong in. They can help you create a realistic business plan and financial forecasting or advise on financial decisions, identifying potential areas growth by analysing pricing, cash flow patterns, inventory and production costs.