A certified public accountant will become an invaluable part of your business team. But to have the most successful business relationship, you must first choose the right accountant. How can you do this? Here are five key things to do to ensure a good match.
1. Pay Attention to Personalities
While an accountant's education and experience are vital for a good choice, you also need someone with whom you can work well. So, do you and they communicate well? Do you feel that you both are on the same page? Do you feel comfortable talking about concerns, your strengths and weaknesses, and your goals? Are they proactive and understand the kind of help you need? If so, they could be a good match.
2. Check References
As with any potential business partner or service provider, you should check the certified public accountant's credentials and business status. However, don't skimp on talking directly with the references they provide. Other business owners and managers can give you a lot of information about what this accountant has done positively (or hasn't done) for their business.
3. Make a List of Needs
Know what you want done before you seek out someone to do it. Every business is a little different, so you need an accountant whose skills and services are tailored to you. For instance, a small business with high inventory turnover may need help keeping down costs to increase profits. But a company that sells just one large piece of expensive equipment per week may need to learn to do job costing to boost its profit margin. These require different approaches.
4. Keep It Local
A smaller and more local accounting firm will prioritize you even if you're just a small business. Rather than be a small fish in a big pond with a national firm or franchise, you will be a big fish in a small pond. In addition to more time and attention from the accountant, you also get more local experience and connections.
5. Ask Many Questions
Come to any meeting with a new accountant armed with a list of questions. During the interview, you may forget what you wanted to talk about, so write it down. If you're afraid to ask anything or you think they feel you're wasting their time, this may not be the right place to get the help you most need.
Where to Start
Ready to start finding the right accountant for your small business? Begin by reviewing these five tips and making an appointment with a CPA in your area today.