What should you look for when you’re hiring an accounting firm for your company?
Hiring an accounting firm for your bookkeeping and tax needs is an important decision that requires some time and effort. It’s important to find a firm that meets all of your needs and is pleasant to work with. Opening up the Yellow Pages and picking a name is the worst possible way to find your future accountant. Whether you are just starting a business or need a person to take over your existing company’s bookkeeping, keep reading for the most important considerations when hiring an accounting firm.
What are their qualifications?
Training, certifications, and experience are extremely important in your search for an accounting firm. While anybody with a pencil and calculator can handle your basic bookkeeping, it takes specialized knowledge to fulfill all of the duties of a professional accountant.
For example, if you currently use QuickBooks for your bookkeeping tasks, you need to find an accountant who is QuickBooks certified. That’s the only surefire way to be certain your new accountant can pick up where you’ve left off – or maybe even clean up your records and streamline your bookkeeping process for you.
Are they easy to work with?
Pay close attention to your first interactions with each potential accounting firm. When you ask questions, are they happy to provide answers or do they dodge the issues? Are they willing to work with your schedule to fulfill your needs? After they listened to your situation and your requests, did they provide suggestions for improving your bookkeeping and accounting processes?
An accounting firm that acts like it doesn’t have time for your questions, is not flexible in the services they will provide or doesn’t seem to be knowledgeable about your needs—that’s a company you definitely don’t want to work with.
Do they offer all of the services you require?
Some firms just offer bookkeeping services. While these companies are helpful in recording transactions and generating basic reports, most small businesses need an accountant who will go a little further than that. Filing taxes, processing payroll, and perhaps even cleaning up existing records are equally important tasks that many entrepreneurs cannot or prefer not to do themselves.
If that sounds like you, be sure to ask your prospects if they can perform all of the services you actually need. Tax time is not the ideal time to discover you’re on your own for filing your small business’s taxes.
Can they help you start a company?
Maybe you don’t have an existing business. Perhaps you have an idea for a company that you’re trying to get up and running. Alternatively, you could have the beginnings of a second, third, or fourth business that you want to start. Or maybe you have visions of creating a chain of locations. There is a lot of paperwork involved with creating a new business entity – can your accounting firm help you with those important documents?
When you hire an accounting firm to create and file that paperwork for you, it frees up your time to focus on building your business. Take the time to find just the right firm that will add tremendous value to your team and allow you to get your work done.
For nearly 20 years, Accounting Partners has offered reliable bookkeeping, consulting, payroll, and tax preparation services to small businesses. We know what it takes to start a company. Our experienced staff can also clean up your existing records and advise you on ways to improve your bookkeeping processes. And when tax time rolls around, we have you covered for that too.
Click here to learn more about how hiring an accounting firm can help your business, and download a free report on maximizing your use of QuickBooks.