Managing the books of your small business can be a challenge, particularly if you don’t have a background in accounting. For one, keeping your books in order is vital to ensure that your expenses line up with your revenues and that your company doesn’t lose money. Moreover, the difference between good accounting and bad accounting can save your business thousands at tax time.
Small business accountants specialize in helping companies like yours keep the financial side of their business in working order. Here’s how to find an accountant that is the best fit for your small business needs.
Network With Other Small Businesses
Word-of-mouth referrals are one of the most reliable ways to find professionals to perform services for your business. Reviewing accountants’ marketing literature and scanning their websites is helpful to learn about their business and what their specialties are, but know that they’ll paint themselves in the best light. Getting referrals from other business owners allows you to hear from an unbiased third party what kind of experiences they’ve had working with a particular accountant.
Also remember that small business accounting needs differ from those of larger corporations. As a small business owner, you want an accountant who understands the dynamics of small businesses. For example, a person or firm that is accustomed to working with large corporations might not be as adept with the nuances of a sole proprietorship or partnership.
Another good thing about small business accountants is that many of them are small businesses themselves. Consequently, if you find one whose business is in need of a service you offer, then you might be able to work out a barter deal.
For example, suppose your company specializes in search engine marketing, and through another small business owner, you hear of a local accountant with a great reputation but who has had trouble getting his name out there. In this situation, offering the accountant your expertise in exchange for theirs can result in a mutually beneficial relationship that requires little to no cash on either side.
Consider an Online Accountant
With the current technology available, hiring an online accountant presents a viable alternative to hiring someone from a brick-and-mortar accounting firm, and can offer several advantages. One, you don’t have to clear time in your schedule to meet with your accountant. Assuming you trust your accountant, you can offer access to your books and tax paperwork through cloud computing technology so that they can access it anytime.
Additionally, the candidate pool expands greatly when you take your search online. Why limit yourself to professionals within a 30-mile radius? It could be that the best accountant for your small business isn’t located nearby. Unless you simply prefer to do business face-to-face, don’t discount working remotely with an online accountant.