How do I choose an accountant for my small business?

Choosing the right accountant is an important decision for a small business owner. A good accountant will save you time and help your business grow; a bad one could cost you much needed money. With many to choose from, the decision can be difficult.  So when it comes to selecting and working with an accountant, here are some important things to consider.

  • relevant expertise.  Someone who has worked with companies in the same or similar industries means they understand the unique needs of your business.  In addition, experience working with larger clients is relevant since it can mean they will be able to help you as your business grows.  If your company uses cloud-based software, you’ll want someone who uses web-based tools.
  • references.  There are two ways to find a great accountant: through referrals and networking.  As a small business owner, take advantage of your connections to help you choose the right accountant. Talk to other business owners, get in touch with your local Chamber of Commerce, tap into your social network.
  • certification. Chartered Professional Accountants (CPAs) are qualified professionals who have completed a professional certification program.  In addition, they are required to complete annual professional development and comply with member rules and standards.
  • location.  It used to be important to have your company’s accountant nearby but, today, more companies are collaborating online, using cloud-based technology to manage their business. With cloud accounting, you and your accountant can view identical real-time data at the same time – no matter where you are.  That said, the decision about where to find your accountant really comes down to what suits your company best and how you want your accounting to be managed.
  • intuition. While there are many rational considerations such as certification, experience, references, when you meet an accountant for the first time, don’t discount your intuition. It is important to connect with and feel comfortable talking to your accountant.  After all, you will be trusting them with the intimate details of your business.

Good accountants help companies grow by providing strong financial management and practical advice on business issues. This will save you money in the short and long term.   So take the time to choose an accountant that is a great fit for your business.


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