How to hire an accountant

Whether you have a small business or an established one, it is essential to be on top of every aspect related to your business’s finance.

Thanks to advanced technologies, you can handle some aspects of your accounts0 by yourself, but still, the benefits of having a good accountant in your team are far beyond just crunching numbers.

As accountants not only handle numbers but can be your business’s strategic finance partner for life.

Though, how do you choose the one which can fit perfectly into your business?

After all, selecting one from a list full of accountants is a tricky decision, especially when you are new to the business world.

Not only you, but even larger and well-established business can often have trouble choosing the right person or accounting firm to meet their needs.

That’s why, in order to reach a final judgment, you will have to go through the entire hiring process that includes research, conversation, and deliberation.

To help make this hiring process easier for you, we have gathered up the most critical steps to take when finding the right accountant for your business.

This blog post is divided into the following sections

What is an accountant?

An accountant is a financial guide of your business that helps you handle a huge and most important portion of your business that includes most time consuming and tricky tasks.

These tasks can include business planning, bookkeeping, as well as filing and preparing your tax returns.

You can also find an accountant helping you find flaws in your money management that include overpayments, financial inconsistency and cash flow shortages.

When looking for an accountant, you probably come across a CPA – Certified Public Accountant.

A CPA is not similar to a typical accountant because a CPA can audit the financial statements, such as income statement and balance sheet.

Although both the accountants and CPAs hold a degree in accounting, CPAs are state-certified, which means they must pass an examination to get the license.

CPAs can represent you before the IRS on matters related to taxation matters, audits, and appeals as they have unlimited representation rights.

Also, visit our blog post top accounting skills you need to master if you want to be an accountant.

What does an accountant do?

The typical job of an accountant is to examine and prepare your company’s financial records.

The key responsibilities of an accountant are best summarized as ensuring all the financial documents and information are accurate and taxes are done correctly – error-free and on time.

Accountants provide services to both the sole traders and businesses.

With a professional accountant in your corner, you can reap all the perks of essentially having an advisor on board.

The tasks of an accountant include.

  • Identify all eligible tax allowance you are entitled to take in order to slash your tax bill
  • Calculate your taxes and prepare annual/quarterly returns
  • Identify red flags – for example, disappearing inventory, raised costs, etc. before they impact your company
  • Look at numbers analytically and identify trends
  • Recognize potential growth areas In the industry by examining inventory management, cash flow patterns, and alternative business financing methods
  • Give suggestions that can help increase revenue, reduce costs, and bolster profits

Do I need an accountant?

Before looking for an accountant and searching “accountant near me” in search engines, you must first assess if you need one or not.

If you are a startup or small business owner, then you can consider doing your accounts yourself as long as there’s not much to consider.

But if you are not aware of the basic concepts such as single entry and double-entry bookkeeping or the U.S. tax codes, then you would be in a safe zone from having an expert as there’s much to consider.

Moreover, deciding what kind of help you need for your particular business is another challenge, especially when it comes to footing the bill for another human resource.

As it is not wise to take your business’s financial lightly, chalking up the extra dough for a professional accountant is well worth it.

So, do you really need an accountant!!!

To get the answer to this question, first of all, assess your own business circumstances and ask your self questions mentioned below,

  • Where is my time best spent, growing my business or managing income and expense transactions?
  • Am I aware of all the tax codes and tax allowances related to my business?
  • What can be the long-term consequences of not having an accountant?

How to hire an accountant?

If you get answers to the above questions in a negative sense, then it’s time to looking for an accounting professional.

But how can you decide who is the best fit among myriads of candidates?

Now, let’s discuss how to hire an accountant,

#1 – Identify your needs

First of all, identify your particular business needs in order to search for a person who can promptly address them.

Let me say you need a professional to keep accurate books and file taxes.

Then, you don’t need to pay for the expertise of a business accountant with a legal background or former enterprise experience.

Then you do not need to look at business accountant expertise, legal background or prior enterprise experience and also pay for those extra things.

Instead, you’ll need to find someone who is experienced in your particular industry and can be able to give you solid guidance when you need them.

#2 – Have a look at their qualifications

With the standard accounting education, your accountant must have to be part of an accounting body as well.

Every accounting professional must be enlisted. Then, you can run a check with your country’s “public directory” of accountants.

Accounting professionals must be enlisted – you can run a check with your country’s public directory of accountants.

Or you can ask the candidate to provide you with their training certificates; this way, you can make sure that they are staying on top of all the recent tax legislation.

#3 – Quality of their service

Having only good qualification does not actually guarantee a good quality of their services.

So, do not hesitate to ask any questions related to their experience and get in touch with your colleagues or other business owners and ask for their prior experience with the candidate you are interested in and ask them that were they overall satisfied with their performance?

#4 – Look around for referrals

It is good to ask your friends, family members or business partners if they are in contact with any amazing accounting professional that worked miracles with their balance sheets and tax returns.

However, this does have many drawbacks, like referred accountant may have limited experience in your industry, budget and may not be tech-savvy.

Also, you set up a meeting to find out a professional accountant for yourself!

#5 – Find a perfect match

Just as you are hiring an employee for your business, hiring an accounting professional contain frequent interactions.

You will need an accountant who matches your working style as well as personality.

If you and your selected professional have distinctly different mentalities, you would not be able to cooperate efficiently for long terms.

#6 – If you are under budget or not – check!

Ask your selected accounting professional weather they are charging per hour, or a fixed monthly retainer. If it is a monthly retainer, what is included and what isn’t?

Usually, some accountants charge an additional amount relating to business travels, expert consultation and special service, so it is best         to be informed about all the hidden charges before deciding to hire.

#7 – Do they have audit experience

Your selected account should have prior first hand experience dealing with IRS audit do that they ensure your business is prepared for it.

On the other side, hiring a ‘rookie’ can result in more damage than the penalties you could have easily avoided if you have selected a ‘battle tested’ expert.

#8 – Consultation services

If you are running a small business then and expecting it to grow in future, then you may need to consider hiring a professional who can grow an extra mile to make your business thrive.

So, in order for your business to grow, it is important to surround yourself with professional who can add value even after your business grow.

Hiring an accountant with a business administration background can prove to be very helpful in creating a business strategy and cash flow management.

#9 – Must be tech-savvy

Last but not least, your accountantmust be familiar with the technology.

Your accountant must be fluent in the latest accounting software packages such as Xero, QuickBooks etc., so they can help you and your employees choose the best solution and become more productive.

Also, you don’t want an accountant that keeps your books in excel spreadsheets. You have to make sure that they are up-to-date with the technology developments in the accounting field.

Final thought

Whether you are in the scribbling-on-a-napkin planning stage or you have already started business operations, having an accountant inn team could save you time and money down the road. By taking your time, using your network, and carefully vetting the pool of potential candidates, you can narrow down the search and get the perfect accountant. And if you want to skip all these hassles then Experlu can find you a perfectly matched accountant for absolutely free. Give it a try!