Finding the right accounting service for your small business ensures you’re setting up the right systems and putting your business numbers in the right hands. Here’s how to do that.
7 tips when looking for an accounting professional:
Ask for referrals.
Look for the right blend of experience.
Watch for the right certifications.
Find the services you need.
Ask about communication and flexibility.
Hiring an accountant can bring lots of benefits, whatever stage your small business is in. Accounting professionals can help with tedious tasks such as preparing records for tax time, tax return preparation, financial statement management, and financial analysis.
Discovering you want to hire an accounting professional is just the first step, however. There are so many options for business accounting out there today that finding the right person or company can feel daunting. This guide walks through everything you should look for in an accountant to help you find one that meets your current needs.
1. Ask for referrals
You likely have connections to businesses in your industry that are similar to yours in size and scope. This network is a great place to start when searching for any kind of professional service. Ask other business owners directly or on social media who they use for accounting services and what they love about them. Going with a service that you know has a good track record and that someone you know can vouch for sets up the relationship to succeed.
2. Read reviews
Sometimes strangers’ words can also help you separate the really great accountants and financial professionals from the bad. Read plenty of online reviews when you’re considering a service. Look for good ones, but also pay close attention to the complaints. Are they related to a service you will need from them? Are they personality- or experience-related? Did the accountant make a serious mistake? Sometimes the professional may have responded to the comment publicly, which means they are carefully managing their online reputations. That can be a good sign.
3. Look for the right blend of experience
If you run a small business, you’re likely not going to want to work with an accounting professional who only has experience with big corporations. Make sure the person you hire has worked with organizations like yours, whether you’re a nonprofit, retailer, or contractor. Ask if they have experience with the services and guidance you really need. This should all align so you don’t have to deal with any kind of learning curve.
4. Watch for the right certifications
When you need an accountant, make sure you pay attention to whether they are a licensed certified public accountant (CPA). You also may need to work with a tax accountant, which may be an attorney specializing in tax law. A certified management accountant (CMA) is also an option to consider, as these professionals may be able to help you manage your business finances beyond preparing your taxes. Think through what your business needs, and look for certifications that tell you whether someone has the right background.
5. Find the services you need
Not all financial experts provide every accounting service you need. You may require tax preparation services in addition to report generation and cash flow analysis, for example, be looking to set up a more efficient accounting system. Look for a professional who can give you every service you really need. You don’t want to have to get these services from multiple places. Ask for a list of services the company or accountant provides. Talk to them about what you’re looking for to make sure they can accommodate and have proven experience with all the deliverables your business needs.
6. Consider cost
Cost is going to be a big factor in your search. Figure out your budget for financial services before you get started. Do you want to pay a flat fee for a one-time service annually, or do you need someone who is around all year if you need them? Also, remember that someone quoting you an extremely low fee for services doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best option for you. You don’t want to put your business numbers into the wrong hands. If an accounting professional seems like the right fit and you’re worried about their fees, try negotiating. The right person may be willing to work with your budget.
7. Ask about communication and flexibility
Finally, you need to work with a professional who will be consistent and dependable. When vetting accounting service providers, ask how they handle communication. What are their work hours? Do they prefer email or phone? Do they offer client texting? Will meetings be held in person or virtually? What kind of systems or software do they use? It’s ideal to find a professional who can cater to your needs and offers flexible options for ongoing communication and meetings.
Why Franco Blueprint?
Finding the right accounting professional can help you create a better, more efficient business. Make sure you fully vet who you work with so you know that your business financials are in good hands.
Franco Blueprint wants to be that team for you. Our experts are experienced in helping small business owners and CEOs with tax management, business setup, and accounting automation to reduce financial risk and boost cash flow. We make it easy for you to focus on what matters most in your business by helping you streamline your accounting processes.
Get in touch with our team today to schedule a free consultation.