How to Find the Right Business Accountant for Your Small Business
A business accountant ensures your taxes are filed accurately and on time. But it's easy to find bad apples in the bunch. Here's how to choose the right accountant for your small business.
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There are over 27 million registered small businesses in the United States. Those 27 million businesses employ millions more which ultimately accounts for about one-third of the total national workforce.
That massive number gives credence to the idea that for many Americans, building their own business is still an integral part of the American dream. Unfortunately though, running a small business is not without its share of headaches.
At the top of most business owner's list of grievances are accounting and taxes. Managing your finances when you're a small business is not as simple as it would be if you were working for someone else.
There's tracking income, expenses, paying FICA, quarterly estimates and more to contend with.
The key to overcoming small business finances is finding a small business accountant.
Below, our team has listed key considerations you should keep in mind in order to find the right one for you.
Limit Your Search to Your Vicinity Unless You're Comfortable Working Mobile
Recent advances in technology have allowed people to expand the parties they do business with well beyond the bounds of their hometown. You can work with people online via intuitive platforms like QuickBooks. You can hire freelancers to manage your business' tasks via sites like UpWork or Fiverr.
Just because you can though doesn't mean you should. This is particularly true when you're dealing with matters surrounding your business' financial information.
For people not comfortable working in the cloud and interacting with people important to your operations solely via phone, email or video chatting software, you'll want to do business locally.
If that sounds like you, your options for finding a business accountant have slimmed significantly. This can simplify your search.
Know though that you're trading finding the perfect accountant (who may be available to work with you remotely) for finding the most convenient one who may not be a perfect fit.
Working remotely versus working in person all comes down to personal preference. Figure out which you'd prefer quickly and keep moving with your search.
Take Social Proof Into Account
Social proof is a fancy word for making sure that the claims your accountant is making as to how qualified they are is backed by people who have worked with them. The way most people find social proof on businesses these days is via reviews online.
You can find reviews surrounding your short list of accountants in a few ways. For starters, you can look at review sites like Yelp and Google to see if the accountant has a business page where people have left testimonials.
If you find them on those sites, great! Read through the reviews and determine if you're convinced to further your relationship.
If the accountant you're considering is not on Yelp, Google or other review platforms, don't give up. You can ask an accountant directly if they can put you in touch with previous clients. You can also ask if they have any testimonials they can provide you with to help you better form your decision.
Always Make Sure Your Accountant is Certified
Being certified or chartered is a non-negotiable quality you need to screen for when looking for a small business accountant.
What being certified or chartered says is that the person you're hiring to manage your finances has experience that has been verified by a professional organization.
Doing business with an accountant who is not certified or chartered is possible. It is unwise though no matter the deal you're being offered.
Remember, you're hiring an accountant so you can ensure your finances are managed in a timely, correct fashion that reduces the amount of pressure put on you.
Hiring somebody who has no verifiable qualifications will likely inhibit more than help you to that end.
Try to Find Someone Who Knows Your Industry
Every industry has unique ways of handling their money. Because of that, you'd probably want to avoid an accountant who works solely with construction companies if you're running a video production business.
That's not to say that accountants can't be multi-disciplinary. They certainly can be.
If you feel your accountant is competent in every way besides having experience with clients in your industry, you should still consider working with them.
To help you find the perfect small business accountant though, always ask who you're considering bringing on about their expertise in your niche. You may be surprised to find that a particular accountant knows a lot about your industry and that their relevant insight alone is worth you hiring them.
Hiring an accountant needs to make financial sense for your business. They should always provide more value to you then what they cost.
When bringing on an accountant, be aware of the fact that there's no standardized pricing between companies. Because of that, you'll get different quotes from different places.
To help you narrow your accounting search, know what you can afford and ask about pricing after determining what your service needs are. This will allow you to not waste too much time interviewing accountants you won't be able to afford.
While interviewing, ask that any quotes provided to you over the phone or in person also be given to you in writing to avoid any misunderstandings.
Finally, if you find a great accountant who is just outside of your price range, consider negotiating. Try and take some responsibilities off the accountant's plate. You can also explore other methods of structuring fees to make your relationship work.
Wrapping Up How to Find a Good Small Business Accountant
Owning a small business is a liberating experience. It can also cause a lot of stress with taxes and bookkeeping. To make sure you're keeping up with everything that's required of you, it's important to find a good small business accountant.
To start your search, practice the tips listed above. You'll find that if you do, you'll narrow your options significantly and help ensure you end up doing business with the right person!
Are you a small business owner looking for an excellent accountant to help you manage your finances? If so, look no further than BRW Tax & Accounting.
At BRW, we offer a variety of specialized services from bookkeeping to payroll to tax advisement and beyond. Our services are all aimed at saving you time, helping you grow, and making you more money.
Contact BRW Tax & Accounting today to find out what we can do for you!