According to a survey conducted by Accounting Today, an estimated 47% of businesses across the U.S. still don’t use an accountant to aid their financial matters.
At Bianchi & Associates, we believe a huge factor in this statistic is that many business owners simply don’t know what they’re looking for. But hiring an accountant doesn’t need to be a challenging experience.
We’ve written down these 9 tips to teach you exactly how to hire an accountant. That way, you’ll find the best small business accountant for you in no time.
1. Hiring an Accountant: Size Matters
Accountants gather varying experience based on the accounts they personally manage. It’s no good searching for an accountant who handles accounts for massive billion-dollar companies if you’re not turning over that kind of money.
That accountant will be better experienced with larger accounts. With accountants, you need to find someone who’s specifically good with small business accountancy if you’re a small business.
That way, they’ll know the ins and outs of your business type and will be better positioned to help you keep your accounts in order. Filtering out the different types of accountants first is important, so you know you’re getting the professional you need.
2. Make Sure You Can Trust Them
This is a challenging point, but a vital one; you need to trust your accountant. Never just sign up to a random accountant without meeting with them first.
If you’re unsure about what to look out for, check out our previous blog post on searching for a trustworthy accountant.
3. It’s All in the Research
If you want to hire a business accountant, you need to do your research!
Make sure you’re looking online, as most trustworthy accountants will have their own personal website. Here, you’ll be able to look through their experience or find information about their services.
A good accountant website should also have a list of staff. This can help you research individual accountants, to ensure you’re making the right choice for your company.
If you don’t do the research, you stand little chance of finding a quality small business accountant.
4. Do You Need Local Support?
You also need to ask yourself if you want local support. These days, it’s entirely possible to communicate with your accountant through entirely online means.
But we understand that some people want a more personal touch. Make sure you search for an “accountant near me” if this is the case. That way, you should only be getting accountant recommendations for firms that are close to your current location.
You could also search for your specific state, such as looking for accountants in the Rochester NY area. This can put you at ease, as you know your accountants are close by should you ever have urgent questions.
5. Ask About Accountancy Software
Now we’re getting into the kind of questions you should ask when searching for an accountant. These days, a qualified accountant will typically use accounting software to monitor your accounts.
It’s usually advisable to ask which form of accounting software an accountant uses. For starters, this ensures you know that they are actually using software in the first place.
Accounting software provides several advantages; hiring an accountant who uses software ensures you’re working with a professional.
6. Ask About Fees
Obviously, a big question that should come up when you’re searching for an accountant is money. You need to know how much an accountant charges, and how often.
Some accountants will charge a monthly fee for their support, whilst others might charge separate amounts for different types of accountancy.
You need to know the answer to this question upfront before you sign up with anyone. This way, you’ll know exactly what you’re getting for your money.
7. Check If They Use the Cloud
Alongside accounting software, another tech-related question to ask is whether an accountant uses the cloud.
The cloud provides a more secure way of protecting your accounts. It also makes for an easier system when checking your accounts alongside your accountant.
Ideally, you need to find an accountant who is at least experienced in using the cloud. This is true even if you’re against using the cloud yourself, as it shows that the accountant you’re looking into is well-versed in the technology side of accounting today.
8. Check Reporting Frequency
One of the most important jobs of an accountant is preparing reports. You need to ask an accountant up-front how often you should expect to receive financial reports from them.
Some accountants provide reports on a monthly basis, whilst others might only do so during tax season.
Continued communication between you and your account is crucial. The more reports you get from them, the better you understand your own business performance.
It can help you make significant changes in your business approach before any tax season occurs.
That’s why you need an answer to this question before you sign up with an accountant. Make sure you go with an accountant who you know you can communicate with regularly.
9. Go With Your Gut
At the end of the day, you’re going to be working with your accountant on a regular basis. The best advice that can be given on hiring an accountant is to go with your gut feeling.
Maybe you enjoy the way they carry themselves during emails or in face-to-face meetings. Or, you’ve seen their track record and feel like you can rely on them to handle your finances.
If it doesn’t feel right in your gut, chances are that it isn’t right for you. This is your business, so you need to ensure you hire an accountant that feels right for you.
Where Can I Find Out More?
The above 9 tips should help you when it comes to hiring an accountant, but you’re already in the right place.
Here at Bianchi & Associates, we handle bookkeeping, tax services, and accounting services for a variety of businesses. If you’re in the Rochester NY area, we’re also close to where you’re operating.
To find out more about how we can help you, make sure to contact our team directly.