How to find a good accountant or CPA for your business.
One of the best ways to find a good accountant is to get the referrals from somebody you trust or somebody with a good professional know-how of running a business such as your attorney, your banker or a business colleague.
You can also refer to the Society of Certified Public Accountants in your state.
When choosing an accounting for your business, do not underestimate the qualification of a fully qualified CPA, which stands for certified public accountant. All certified public accountants have to go through a rigorous today nationally standardized test which ensures that they have some level of knowledge and expertise in the related field of accounting. Most of the CPAs are also required to have a college degree or its equivalent and many states also require post graduate internship work. While accountants usually work for larger businesses and companies, CPAs handle accounting work for small and big businesses.
Hiring a fully qualified CPA ensures that your accountant has at least some level of knowledge and expertise as well as experience when it comes to answering accounting jobs for the business.
Finding a good accountant can take some time and work. Shortlisting your potential accountants on the basis of their qualification is a good way to narrow down your list and ensure that you find success faster. After you have shortlisted a few accountants you will need to interview them.
However, before you start your search for certified public accountant or a business, you should prepare your own criteria. You should fully understand what your business needs are and how much of the work needs to be done by the accountant. You should have the duties you are going to set for your business account and very clear in your mind. This will help you in shortlisting the list of accountants as well as interviewing them when you pass them pertinent questions as to how qualified and willing they are to serve your business needs.
Accounting services by an accountant can be divided into 3 broad categories which are recording transactions, assembling the transactions and generating returns and financial statements. It is usually the last part of generating returns and financial statements that is the most difficult and requires the highest level of expertise. Ideally, you should choose an accountant who has some level of experience in handling business accounts. Generating income and financial statements for a business is very different from that of doing it for people for personal tax returns. Make sure that the accountant you choose is well versed with this aspect. It is a good idea to see if the accountant does this kind of work for other business clients. If he does, you can get a better idea of the reputation of the accountant and even ask referral from some of his existing clients.
When choosing an accountant for your business you need to look at three aspects, which are Services, Fee and Personality. All 3 of these are important to develop a long term relationship.
As already mentioned before you can choose an accountant for a business, you need to prepare your own business requirement. You should know beforehand what services you will need an accountant to perform. Based on this criteria you should interview the accountant and see if he can handle the jobs that you intend him to do. On the most basic level accountant will be able to offer you tax and auditing services but we also developed a bookkeeping and finance management system which will enable you to track the financial performance of your business? What about estate planning? Other services that you may consider and need your CPA to perform include preparing, auditing, reviewing and compiling financial statements, managing investments and representing you before tax authorities. If you are dealing with a small accounting from, it is a possibility that they may not be able to offer you a huge myriad of services . However, it is equally possible that they may have tieups with another firm who can do so. When looking at the services that an accounting firm has to offer, you should also consider the fact whether they already have experience in your particular field. If they already render those kind of services to other clients it means that they are already familiar with your business requirement and will not waste time in getting up to speed and delivering results. Being familiar and having experience in your business will also mean that the accountant can give you more reliable and up-to-date advice.
You should definitely inquire about the free and charges of your accountant up front. Different accountants charge at different rates which can very from $75-$300 per hour. This can seem like a big overhead expense. But accounting and bookkeeping is something that is very essential for a business. Determining the legal structure and the tax liabilities as well as accurate calculation of taxation is also extremely important. Which is why it makes extremely good sense to discuss the kind of fee structure that you accountable with. Most of the accountants and even accounting firms might be comfortable working on a monthly retainer as well. The cost of an accountant is not the only parameter on the basis of which you should decide. For example, a more experienced accountant may charge a higher fee but also do you work in a faster and more competent manner. A less experienced accountant may charge less but at the end of the day she’s going to take longer to finish the job, not only do you end up spending the same amount of money but inexperience may also lead to poorer results. A good accountant should be able to give you references and allow you to call or ask a few of his clients as to his services, P and availability.
You should realize that an accountant is one of the pivotal professionals who you are going to use for the success of your business. As your business grows, your dependents and need for a good accountant will grow as well. It is a good idea to develop a long-term relationship with an accountant. For this reason it is important to be able to find a good accountant right at the beginning of the business so that he can guide you and help you right from the beginning. Having an accountant involved with the business right from the start up stage will make him intimately familiar with lots of things such as your future financial goals, your personal financial situation and allow him to deal with all issues keeping the several business aspects of mine. If you are approaching an accounting from and meeting with someone make sure that you are meeting the person who will be handling the accounting job. Many large accounting firms handle sales and new businesses through their main partners but then pass on the actual account to other people.
You should also discuss how they the accountant will deal with any plans that you intend on incorporating in your business such as changing the business model in the future or having to deal with tax issues if they arise. Listen to the response and see if that is the approach you are comfortable with.
Having an accountant who differs in a post to your natural instinct for doing business is not always a bad thing. For example if you are overly conservative amah having an accountant who exposes you to aggressive side of doing business is not bad. Likewise, if you are aggressive, having an accountant who is conservative in his approach and safeguards your financial interests at all times.