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Choosing the Right Accountant for your Business

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Choosing the Right Accountant for your Business

The right accountant can be an indispensable part of your successful business. Considering the number and wide variety of accountants to choose from it is important to learn a bit about the different types of accounts and how to choose the right one for your business and situation.

One of the first considerations you might want to give some thought to is the size of the accountant firm. Give some thought to whether you would rather have one on one dealings or whether you would feel better with a larger firm. If you opt for the latter, be aware that larger firms tend to subcontract work or make assignments to junior staff members. As long as you are aware of this and comfortable with this up front, it should not be a problem. If you are concerned about it; however, and are considering a larger firm, be sure to ask before you sign on.

It is also important to consider which areas in which the firm may specialize. If you need a particular area of expertise, a small firm may not be able to provide this. Many accountants now are focusing on a narrow specialty. In fact, there are so many areas in which an accountant can specialize, it would be somewhat difficult to focus on all areas and do a competent job. Be sure to give some thought to which areas of expertise your firm may need to look for firms that specialize in those areas.

Some thought should also be given to the level of complexity your firm needs in regards to financial matters. If you only need someone to handle tax returns and end of the year statements this can impact your choice of accountants. On the other hand, if your firm requires assistance with a business plan, retirement planning and employee benefits, this may be a different matter altogether. Be sure to give some thought to these areas.

When considering which accountant firm might best suit your needs you should also consider not only your current needs but also possible future needs as well. Make sure the accountant you choose is able to handle your needs as your firm grows.

Of course, it is also a good idea to find out some information about the firm’s reputation before turning your financial information over to them. Ask around. Get references. Find out how the firm conducts their business. Do they provide excellent customer service and handle matters in a way that you can rely on?
When interviewing possible firms, it is also important to gain an idea for how well the relationship will fit. The importance of a good fit cannot be underscored enough. If you and the accountant you choose do not share the same business philosophy there could be serious problems later on.

Finally, make sure you obtain information about the firm’s qualifications to handle your business. Find out whether they carry liability insurance and if they have a certified public accountant designation. Ask about the educational background of the members of the firm and their professional memberships and associations as well. Firms which belong to professional associations are required to maintain continuing professional education and keep abreast of changes in tax law.

Taking the time to give some thought to your needs and how prospective accountants and accounting firms can meet those needs can help you ensure the continued success of your business.

The purpose of this article is to provide general information on tax matters to business owners. It suggests general tax tips that may be appropriate in certain situations. The information and opinions are generalizations and may not apply to all taxpayers. It is important that you seek appropriate professional advice before implementing any of the tax ideas suggested.