15 Tips To Find The Best Accounting Services For Small Business Owners

A very important decision you need to make as a small business owner is hiring accounting services. The right service provider will support business growth and the wrong one can prove to be very harmful. You should not entrust the task to just about anyone, and instead, spend enough time in finding the best. But how do you find the best? If this is what you are now wondering then the below given 15 tips will surely prove helpful.

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1. Think About your Business Requirements

Before you hire an accountant you first need to think what kind of services do you exactly need from your accountant? Do you need someone who will simply prepare your taxes or you need someone to manage all the accounting and bookkeeping of your business? Knowing what exactly your needs are and how often you will need the services will prove helpful while trying to find the best services.

2. Inside or Outside

If you have just started your business an outside accounting service that can prepare financial statements, taxes, and offer advice will be ideal for you. However, once your business starts growing it will be better to hire an inside accountant who will prepare financial statements, manage daily transactions, handle the general ledger, and also take care of the payroll. It is the size of your business that should determine whether you need an inside or outside accounting services.

3. Qualifications and Experience

A good CPA must take continuing education credits each year to remain updated with the regularly changing tax laws. This is necessary for them to maintain their preparer tax ID number. Check this number and if the accountant does not have it while signing your return, then this is a red flag. Together with qualifications, experience must also be given enough importance. Any accounting firm with enough experience is not enough, as you need someone who has good experience in your industry. Different industries have different quirks as far as taxes and record keeping is concerned.

4. Their Image

If you think you have found the best accounting services with enough experience in your industry the next thing you need to do is start enquiring about them to learn about their image. Have they been hired by other business owners or local IRS agent in the past? If yes, what type of experience did they have?

5. Referrals Always Help

A great way to find a good accounting firm is also to take referrals from friends and family. If anyone you know of has hired an accounting firm and are happy with the services they will prove to be the perfect guide for you.

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6. The Location

You perhaps must be thinking how location can prove to be of concern here, but what if you need the particular accountant you have hired suddenly at 3 am. You may need to have something signed immediately or may need to discuss something urgently. In such situations, if the accountant assigned to you lives nearby, you can drive and reach there quickly and get your job done on time.

7. Observe Their Response Time

How fast do they get back to you? If you have sent them an email and you have to wait for days before they get back to you then it certainly is not the best accounting services, and you should rather look elsewhere. You obviously would not want a penalty because the firm did not get back to you on time.

8. Do They Work As A Team?

The accountant you hire will be an important part of your team. Thus it will be best to avoid someone who prefers keeping to themselves and is not a good team player.

9. Check If They Match Your Personality

Once your accounting service provider selects an accountant for you, and you hire him/her you two will be working very closely, even if part-time. He/she might be the best, most-talented accountant but if you have different work ethics or if you just do not like him/her you will not likely be able to do anything productive.

10. Billing and Fees

Usually, accounting firms charge an hourly fees and the rates vary from place to place. There also are some firms that charge on a monthly basis. So, it is important for you to learn about their fee format, how much do they charge, and also if there are any additional costs, like travel expenses.

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11. Learn About Their Present Clients

A very good way to check the experience of the accounting firm is to ask them about their other clients. It will be best to also speak to their other clients to know if they were happy with the services, what is it that they like about the firm, and if there is anything they are not happy about.

12. Can They Handle Your Growing Needs?

You may be a small company now with limited accounting needs. However, if you see your business growing in just a few years you need an accountant who must be familiar with strategic and business planning, cash flow managements, estate planning, and budgeting.

13. Is The Firm Right Size For You?

Since you have a small business a small firm would be best for you. It obviously does not make sense if an accountant who has experience of working for big enterprises comes to serve your company that has only four employees.

14. Are They Tech-Savvy?

So many developments are being made in each and every department, including accounting, obviously to make things easier for you. So, before you hire an accounting firm, make sure to find out if they use the latest technologies to make their work more efficient and easier or is it that they still use Excel spreadsheets, thus not embracing the helpful developments.

15. They Should Take Initiatives

What would you be more interested in, an accountant who always waits to hear from you first or someone who would make efforts to check things himself/herself and see how your business is growing? Obviously, the one who takes more initiatives is the better option.

An accountant is a very important part of your business and thus while finding the best accounting firm you should do enough research and never rush. Just follow these tips carefully, and you surely will be able to find the best accountant to suit your needs.


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