What to Look for in an Accountant

Business Education, Personal Finance, Retirement
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Handling finances can be daunting, whether it be for yourself or for your business. Rather than struggle through the numbers yourself, sometimes it can be easier to hire an accountant. This can be incredibly beneficial for you; however, it is important to take some time to find an accountant that will best suit your needs.

Certifications

A certified accountant will be able to reliably work with your finances, and you will have the peace of mind that they know what they are doing. A certified accountant will have a CPA (Certified Professional Accountant) designation. This designation includes years of rigorous study, as well as relevant industry experience. Alternatively, you could choose a CMA (Certified Management Accountant). This type of accountant would typically work in industry, rather than public accounting.

Relevant Experience

Every industry is different, including how the finances are handled for each one. To benefit you the most, narrow your search done to find accountants who have experience working in your industry. They will likely have insider knowledge about potential cost-saving measures or tax deductions that you are not aware of. In addition to this, try to focus on accountants who have experience working with companies that are at least a little larger than your own. This will ensure that the accountant has the capability to help your business as it continues to grow. They may also have helpful ideas about how best to increase your growth while not overextending yourself.

Priorities

Your accountant needs to have the same business priorities as you do with regard to your business (within reason). If you are trying to double your business within the next five years, your accountant should try to help you accomplish this goal. If they notice any potential issues with your goal, they need to alert you. The same can be said if they notice good progress being made. At that point, they should step in and let you know that you are on the right path financially. They should also be able to guide you towards decisions such as hiring more employees, making large purchases, or moving to expand your business. They understand your financial situation, so they are the best ones to consult about big decisions.

Compatibility

You will be working very closely with your accountant, so it is imperative that you are able to work with you. Finding a good accountant means that you are comfortable discussing your finances with them, and confident that they are leading you in the right direction. Every accountant has a different approach, so have a chat with them to see if you would get along. Some accountants prefer to work remotely and will simply ask you to email your documents to them to prepare. Other accountants are more hands-on and will encourage regular in-person visits in order to talk about how things are going. They will sometimes have tips that you can implement in everyday business in order to save money or improve functionality.

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