How To Choose a Business Accountant Near Me: A Guide

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There’s a lot that goes into running a successful business. You have marketing and advertising plans, website designs, social media presence, and more. Then there’s the financial side of things.

A business accountant can help you feel confident that your business taxes are being done right. Your financial statements will be accurate. Your taxes will be filed on time.

How do you choose the right accountant for your business? Where do you even begin your search?

Keep reading for everything you need to know to answer the question, “How should I hire a business accountant near me?”

What Do You Need Your Accountant to Do?

There are many things to consider when choosing an accountant, including what services you need. Do you need someone to handle your taxes, or do you need someone to provide financial advice?

You need to understand the areas in which you require assistance. Even though they may specialize in other aspects of running a business, it is common practice for accountants also to perform the duties of bookkeepers.

You should look for an accounting firm that provides these services if you need an accountant and a bookkeeper to handle your company’s time-consuming weekly or daily bookkeeping tasks. If you keep your books, you should still hire an accountant to help create financial statements and regularly assess your company’s state.

A competent accountant can significantly contribute to your bottom line by assisting you in organizing and prioritizing your business plans and operations to realize the greatest possible profit. You should be able to count on your accountant throughout the year, not just when filing your taxes.

What are the Essential Skills and Qualifications of the Best Accountant?

Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting or CPA Certifications

Check to see if the accountant has at least a CPA certificate or a bachelor’s degree in accounting (CPA). You can rest easy knowing they have the best education and training to provide the needed services.

In many countries, accountants are regulated by professional bodies that keep track of their qualifications and work to keep professional standards high. “Chartered Accountants” and “Certified Public Accountants” are standard titles for accountants with the proper training. Still, different countries use different words.

Keeping books and managing money might not require a certified or chartered accountant. A business can save money by hiring accountants who aren’t certified, chartered, or registered, but that’s not always the best choice.

Relevant Expertise in a Related Field

You will need the help of someone who has done tax returns and financial paperwork for businesses that are about the same size and make the same amount of money as yours.

Even better is if they have worked with companies in markets that are similar to yours. This will help them understand the specific needs that your business has.

You might want to find out if they work with large companies or not. If they do, it’s a good sign that they should be able to meet your needs as they change over time.

Excellent Communication Skills

When searching for a business accountant in your area, it is essential to consider the individual’s capacity for effective communication. You should be able to count on a sound business accountant to provide a clear explanation of various financial concepts that are simple to grasp.

In addition, they should be able to respond to any questions you may have and offer sound advice. To cultivate a productive and fruitful working relationship with your accountant, it is necessary to possess strong communication skills.

Experienced With an Accounting Software

Regarding accounting software, choosing an accountant who is familiar with the programs you are using or plan to use in your business soon is essential. Bookkeepers and accountants frequently have distinct preferences for accounting software. They have likely been in operation for quite some time and may have grown accustomed to a particular software brand.

This may pose a difficulty. Data sharing may become problematic if your company uses a different type of software. Exporting and importing data in the correct format may be possible. Still, it could be time-consuming and prone to error.

Therefore, find a firm of the best accountants that uses the same accounting software you do, and hire them. Or at least someone willing to carry out the task.

Tax Law Expertise

When selecting an accountant for your company, you should ensure that they have tax law experience. This is significant because they will be the ones representing you in communications with the Internal Revenue Service.

They must comprehensively understand the tax code to guarantee you receive the most beneficial results for your company. They should also be able to offer you guidance on tax planning strategies that will help you cut costs and save money.

Other Qualities to Look Out For

There are a few other qualities to look out for when choosing a business accountant, such as finding someone with experience and accuracy when creating business reports, detail-oriented, organization, and trustworthiness.

Here is a more detailed guide to determining the qualities of an accountant that are right for your business.

Where to Find Business Accountants?

Search in the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)

The most obvious way is to search in the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). This organization represents the interests of CPAs and provides resources and services to its members.

You can search for CPAs in your area by state, zip code, or city. The AICPA has a Find-a-CPA service that can help you find a CPA in your area.

Finally, you can check out online directories such as Angie’s List or Yelp. These directories provide a list of your area’s CPAs and customer reviews.

Ask for Referrals

Inquire about referrals from proprietors of other local businesses. If you know someone who runs a business and has an accountant working for them, you should ask them for a recommendation. You can also ask your banker or financial advisor for a referral to a reputable company.

You could also inquire about referrals from people in your circle of acquaintances, such as friends and family. Inquire about their previous experiences working with the accountant and whether or not they would recommend them to you if you are given a referral.

How to Choose the Best Business Accountant?

Background Check

Before you hire an accountant, you should make it a priority to speak with several of the individual’s previous customers. Some services can assist you with this, but any legitimate accountant should have no problem providing references.

You could ask for a list of their clients with information about how many people work for each company and how much money they make each year. Find out how their past customers have changed and grown over the years to get a better idea of whether or not they will be able to meet the changing needs of your business.

This confirmation will strengthen a component of the data that the accountant compiled. You can also ask the accountant about their rapport with their other clients.

When looking for references, you shouldn’t just start calling people who have worked for you in the past. Avoid sending an excessive number of written inquiries in their direction.

It is more effective to have a ten-minute phone conversation with a potential accountant rather than having them fill out a three-page form with stock answers. The conversation can take place over the phone.

Conduct an Interview

It can end up saving you a lot of time and energy in the long run if you take the time to ask your prospective accountant the right questions before you hire them. The best course of action would be to conduct this search using the criteria you would use to hire a new staff member.

Make a phone call or arrange a meeting with the potential accountant. Begin by introducing yourself and your company before starting your questioning. This will allow for a more in-depth interview and give the individual a better understanding of your company.

Give some background on the nature of your business, the market you serve, the clientele you attract, the workforce you maintain, and the financial resources at your disposal. Do not allow the remaining time of the meeting to go to waste; instead, put your questions and concerns forward during this time and use the opportunity.

Location

If you prefer face-to-face communication and find that attending professional events with colleagues is more enjoyable and productive, looking for accountants in the immediate area or those willing to make occasional trips your way is best.

It used to be crucial to have a company’s accountant nearby. However, there has been a rise in companies conducting their operations via online collaboration and cloud-based software. The importance of location is diminishing.

If you can hire an accountant who can work remotely from anywhere in the world, you won’t have to worry about making special arrangements to accommodate their location.

Consider Costs

When you have a list of potential accountants, you should narrow your choices by considering the cost. How much do they charge? Do they offer discounts for multiple services? Do you need to pay for a consultation?

Once you have considered all of these factors, you can always negotiate the cost of the service. Some people will charge you on an hourly basis. In contrast, others may ask for a monthly retainer or a percentage of the revenue generated by your business.

Negotiating is a necessary skill for anyone who has their own business. You ought to get started learning how to do it if you aren’t already familiar with how to do it.

You should get quotes from all potential accountants you talk to and then carefully compare all the options. Specific fee structures might make the most sense when a business is just off the ground.

There are many different pricing structures that you could request, one of which is a percentage-based or mixed one. Unless you specifically ask the accountant about their opinion on your proposed fee structure, you will never know whether or not they will accept it.

Trust Your Intuition

Consider the first impression you receive of an accountant. When hiring a new employee, it is essential to consider factors beyond the candidate’s qualifications, such as whether you can trust them with confidential company information.

If you believe you may be able to work with them in the future, this is fantastic news. However, if you sense that you should retreat, you should heed that intuition.

Your subconscious mind may have picked up on unfavorable cues from those around you, such as negative body language and verbal tenses. When deciding as important as hiring an accountant for your business, you shouldn’t disregard your intuition, even though it isn’t always correct.

How to Find the Best Business Accountant Near Me?

You asked, “How do I find the best business accountant near me?” There are a few things to keep in mind. First, consider what type of accounting services you need.

Then, find an accountant that has experience with businesses similar to yours. Finally, ask for references and compare rates before making your decision. By following these simple tips, you can be sure to find the best business accountant for your needs.

Are you looking for any other business, finance, or real estate advice? Check out the rest of our site while you’re here!