Choosing an Accountant

Whether you do your own bookkeeping, or enlist the help of an administrative assistant or bookkeeper, as your business grows, you may decide to hire an accountant.

Accountants can help with more complex financial issues such as long-term tax planning, business planning or deciding whether or not to incorporate. Many business owners prefer the security of having a designated accountant file their year-end tax returns.

Choosing an accountant is an important decision. Here are some pointers to help you choose who to work with.

The big picture

First off, decide what you need. Do you want to go with a big firm, or do you prefer the feel of a small one? Do you need monthly or quarterly bookkeeping, or just year-end services? Do you need financial planning support?

Ask around

Ask other business owners who they recommend. Bookkeepers often can make solid recommendations as we tend to work with various accountants.

Interview prospects

Don’t just take other people’s word for it. Meet potential accountants in person to discuss what they offer and what you need. Don’t be shy to interview a few different candidates. It is a personal relationship and you need to be sure you can communicate clearly with your accountant.

Be prepared

When you meet an accountant, have a list of questions prepared.

Ask about his/her education.

How much do they charge?

What is his/her experience with your type of business?

What type of software are they using?

How often do they usually meet with their clients?

Being clear about your expectations will help you both decide if you will work well together.

Best of luck!

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