Selecting an accounting firm or a CPA to handle your business’ finances is not as easy as you may think. There are many firms to choose from, and you need to find one that you can trust with the finances of your business. The accounting firm is asking you to put your trust in them upon the first introduction. How do you decide if the firm is a good fit for your business? There are some things to consider before you begin looking for an accountant and some things to keep in mind when you are narrowing down your choices.
Know what you are looking for
Before you begin to look for an accounting firm, you need t think about how much help financially that your company needs. Are you looking for an accountant to do your annual taxes or are you looking for a complete financial audit or looking for a financial advisor? Many firms will complete your tax return, but they may not be involved with you for the rest of the year. If you are looking for ongoing help, there are many firms that will offer additional services. You can get help with large purchases, and you can have an audit done on other financial aspects of your company. You are trusting the firm to help you keep the most amount of money possible while still operating legally and following all of the tax rules.
The amount of support that you want
Once you know what you are looking for from an accounting firm, you will want to narrow down your list and begin to interview the firms you are interested in working with. You need to be upfront and tell them the services that you expect from them. If they do not provide these services, they will need to tell you this. This will help you further narrow down your choices. There are some additional questions you should ask the final firms to help you make your decision. They should take the time to answer any questions or concerns you may have about the financial services for your business.
Do they have time for your business?
You want a firm that is going to answer your questions and respond to your emails. Your business activity depends on the accountant getting back to you in a timely manner. If you have a question about a purchase or about hiring a new employee, you will need an accountant that will get back to you quickly. Be sure to find a firm that values communication and will make sure they answer your questions right away. You need to make a quick decision, and the accountant should understand this and get back to you promptly.
The firm should have time to handle your business. Some firms take on more clients than they have time for and employees often overlook things to serve them all. If the firm seems too busy, you may want to move on to another company. This may be a sign that they do not have the time to dedicate to your business or your needs. You should then look for another firm.
Do they know the industry?
Ryan Long from www.cplehal.com/ says that “A sign of a good firm in their involvement in the entire CPA industry.” They should be CPA certified and belong to other accounting associations. Do they work with other professionals in the industry to expand the services that they offer? Many firms require their accountants to continue their education which allows them to provide quality services to their clients.
Do they know your industry?
Another sign of a good firm is experienced in different industries. There are many areas that a CPA can specialize in and you want to find someone with experience in your industry. This way they have experience with the tax laws in your industry and know the rules that your business must follow.
How do they handle invidiously accounts?
It is wise to see how the firm handles individual accounts. This is going to vary by the size of the firm. The smaller firms often have one CPA working with each client, while larger firms may have several of their junior staff members handle these accounts. You should ask about the contact person for your account and if the account is going to be handled by one person or several staff members. This will allow you to get an idea of how much attention your account will get and how the firm communicates with their clients.
Check out the reputation
Once you have your finalists be sure to ask about their reputation. If they are in your area, it should be easy to find someone that has worked with this firm. You should ask for some references from the company and ask about their service. You should also check out online reviews of the firm.
Do you like the firm?
It is essential that you like the accountant or the firm that you will be working with. The person will be in charge of handling the finances for your company. You will be interacting with them often and putting your trust in their services. You must have a productive and professional relationship with this person. You need to like them to work with them. You need to trust this person to handle your finances and your financial well-being. If you have narrowed down your choices between two firms, you should select the accountant that you are the most likely to get along with.
When you are looking for a CPA or an accounting firm that will fit the needs of your company, the choice may not be easy. You need to do your research on different firms. You also need to sit down with an accountant and talk about the services that they offer and their experience. You will get a better idea of how they can help your business and how they will handle your finances.