There are a number of reasons why you may be looking for an accountant.
Perhaps your business has reached a point in its growth where it makes sense for you to take on an accountant to manage your books.
Maybe you were using an accountant within your company but were unhappy and need someone new. Lack of satisfaction with another accountancy firm could be why you are looking.
Whatever the case it pays to have some questions ready to make sure you get the right firm for you.
Ask For Referrals From Your Small Business Network
If you are a member of your local chamber of commerce or a small business network it is worth consulting with them and finding out if they have any accountants that they have used, or who are members as well.
Getting a good solid referral from someone who can tell you how they liked working with a company, and how successful the arrangement is great. Looking at online reviews is good to an extent, but meeting face to face with someone who has used the accountancy firm you are looking at is invaluable.
Being a member of certain networks lets you know that a firm is serious about helping small business. You will often be able to see whether they are engaged in the local community, and how they interact with other network members, even if they don’t do business with them.
You can also call a company like Brown Smith Wallace directly and they will be happy to answer your questions.
Find A CPA Through The American Institute Of Certified Public Accountants Directory
Making sure that the accountant that you are talking to has all the T’s crossed and I’s dotted as far as their qualifications go is not a difficult thing to do. Going through an official body for the accounting industry makes a lot of sense. You are able to see if there are any kind of issues occurring with them currently, and what kind of issues they have had in the past.
Obviously, anything you find there if you are still interested in working with a company is something that you should ask them about. You can see that every effort is made to make accurate information available, but that doesn’t mean there are no mistakes made.
The AICPA has 418,000 members in 143 countries and has been in business for 132 years, and they set ethical standards for the whole profession.
Determine How Many experiences They Have In Your Industry
Any accountant should be able to handle your financial requirements, but if there are things that are specific to your industry, to a degree where you feel a lack of experience in your industry is going to be a hindrance, you want to find out early on.
When you are interviewing a company for the job of looking after your finances they should be able to show you examples of what kind of companies that they have worked with, and the kind of services that they have provided for them.
If they do not fit the brief that you have in mind for the accountant that you want to work with, then they are either going to have to convince you that they can adapt, or you should look elsewhere.
Ask For A List Of All Of The Accountant’s Services
There may be questions that you fail to ask when doing discovery and trying to determine which accountant to choose, and likewise, there may be things that they offer but fail to tell you about in the first meeting.
In any case, having a list of the services that the accountant provides means that you can go away and look them over and make a more informed decision. There may be services that are available that you need that you didn’t think about, that may open up new possibilities in your business model.
In the case that they are unwilling or unable to produce such a list, which would be somewhat unusual, you would also have a good reason to continue your search.
Determine How You And The Accountant Will Communicate, And How Often
When it comes to dealing with your accountant you may need a lot of communication in order to make sure that everything you need to be handled is handled expediently, or you may conversely want less communication.
Finding out what kind of expectation the accountant has on how much they will be talking to you, and what kind of communication they need from you and vice versa, to make the whole thing run smoothly is vital.
Determining whether, during certain periods of high activity, they are able to be more available for you, and who you are going to be dealing with within the company on a daily basis, and on a long term basis, is going to be very important to your decision.
Ask How The Accountant Bills For His Or Her Services
Is the accountant that you are wanting to work with going to charge you a monthly retainer, or do they prefer to charge by the hour? Which of these options works better for you?
The best relationship is going to be one where both of your needs are met, and if you start off with disagreements or misunderstandings regarding how you both operate in regards to each other, and especially concerning money, you are not going to have a long and fruitful relationship.
There may be different rates for different kinds of work, and if you sign up for more service the prices may scale to reflect that. Again, handle these things at the start of the relationship, and you are going to fare better.
Your finances are a vital aspect of your company, and you want to make sure that when you choose an accountant they are able to meet your needs. If they do not provide the services that you need, and they lack any experience in your industry they are likely not the choice for you.
You should thoroughly interview your accountant, and when they answer all those questions and settle your mind about any worries that you have, you will know that you have found the right company.,
You want to have a long relationship with your accountant, and by making sure that these things are in place, you can have a very successful one.