Part of being a savvy small business owner is knowing that you don’t need to do all of the work yourself. Accounting is a huge part of running your business, and it’s something that the average business owner may not feel comfortable handling. One mistake in your bookkeeping can have major implications for your business. When you hire an accountant for your small business, you can focus on your business while a pro handles the numbers.
Choosing the right accountant for the job requires research and an understanding of what you need. Accountants offer various services including tax preparation, auditing, bookkeeping, consulting, financial systems implementation, and investments. You may only need bookkeeping services, or you may need a full range of services. Accountants may specialize in just a few areas, so make sure the person you choose can handle everything you need. It’s much easier to use one service for everything.
Ask for referrals from entrepreneurs with similar businesses. Your attorney, bank loan officer, or other providers may have recommendations. Investigate those recommendations to ensure the accountants you’re considering offer the services you need, and check on their qualifications and certifications. Asking for referrals from real clients gives you an idea of the quality of an accountant’s work.
Prep questions you want to ask the accountant before meeting to ensure the partnership is a good fit. Ask if the person you meet is the person who actually handles the accounting work, as some firms have other people do the work. Ask about licensing, experience, and qualifications. Look for an accounting firm with experience in your industry. Ask about specializations, the size of businesses the accountant typically handles, and availability.
Cost is another major factor for small business owners. Investing in a quality accountant can help you grow your startup, but you also need to keep your budget in balance. You can expect to pay an hourly rate for the services.
Don’t underestimate the importance of a good personality fit. You don’t have to find someone who is just like you, but you want an accountant who respects you and makes you feel comfortable. You don’t want tension between you and the person handling your finances.
Investigating potential accountants thoroughly before hiring ensures you get the financial services that fit your needs. The right hire frees up your time to focus on your business.