Handling your business’s bookkeeping and accounting is more complicated than balancing your personal chequebook. The accounting errors you can make without realizing it run into the dozens. You might combine your personal and business finances a big mistake. You could make math errors, fall behind in reconciling your accounts, or fail to understand the warnings hidden inside the reports from your accounting software.
Many small business owners choose to hire accountants to help them with their books. How do you choose the right accountant for your business?
- Determine what your actual needs are. Do you just need someone to handle the day-to-day bookkeeping? If so, you may not need a CPA. However, if you’re looking for someone who can prepare your tax returns and give you tax advice, you’ll want to upgrade.
- Start on a trial basis. Most small businesses don’t need to hire accountants on staff. Instead, look for an outside accountant who can prepare your financial reports and provide advice on a quarterly basis, perhaps even managing your books online.
- Find an accountant who understands your industry. Handling the books and taxes for a nonprofit requires different knowledge than taking care of accounting for a retail shop. A different set of knowledge is needed for, say, an auto mechanic business. If you look for an accountant who’s already deeply familiar with your industry, you can feel secure in the advice you get.
- Ask colleagues for referrals. One of the best ways to find a great outside accountant is to ask people in your business who they use and recommend. You’ll get a sense as to how trusted and knowledgeable each accountant is when you hear that even your competitors are raving about them. Intuit QuickBooks can also help you find an accountant in your neighbourhood.
Get back to building your business and minimize accounting errors when you hire a professional accountant to help you handle your finances.