Three tips for hiring a great accountant for your business
Sure, do-it-yourself accounting software is easy to use. But it's not the sole answer for you as a business owner. Just as having Microsoft Word doesn't make you a writer, having accounting software doesn't make you an accountant!
And that's why it's necessary to have an accountant...
The first step to finding a good accountant is getting referrals. Ask people in the same industry who they use. Once you've rounded up some candidates, you're ready to interview.
Here are some tips to consider before interviewing a prospective accountant...
Three things to find out when interviewing a prospective accountant
#1: Find out about his/her services
Most accounting firms offer tax and auditing services. But what about bookkeeping? Management consulting? Pension fund accounting? Estate planning? Make sure he/she offers what you need. Also, make sure he/she is experienced with businesses in your industry. Someone already familiar with financial issues in your field won't have to waste time getting up to speed.
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#2: Consider his/her personality
Is the accountant's style compatible with yours? Evaluate his/her competence and compatibility. Ask him/her how they'd handle situations relevant to you. Be sure the person you're interviewing is the one you'll be working with. At some accounting firms, some partners handle sales, then pass the actual work onto others.
#3: Ask about fees
Ask about fees upfront. Some accountants work on a per hour basis. Others work on a monthly retainer. Determine what services you're likely to need and which option is most cost-effective for you. Get a quote from a range of accountants. But don't base your decision solely on cost!
At the end of the interview, ask for references. Preferably from clients in the same industry as you. A good accountant will be happy to provide you with references. Call them and ask how satisfied they are with the accountant's fees, services and availability. Good luck!
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