3 Tips for Finding the Ideal Accountant

Sooner or later, every small business reaches a point when the task of record-keeping requires more than a simple calculator. Even a sole proprietorship will find that managing its finances and typical bookkeeping duties can become complicated over time.

Professional accountants can offer help.

After all, an accountant can manage the business’s finances, taxes, and more. In many instances, an accountant also acts as a trusted advisor to the small business. He/she can help with the management of cash flow, provide financial advice that aids in plans for growth and assessments of risks, all while managing the daily business records.

Keeping the books can become a complicated task!

Personal and Professional Combined

In addition to providing solid financial advice for the small business, many accountants also provide business owners with personal financial advice. This is because in many instances, business and personal finances become very closely linked. Therefore, a sound decision that is beneficial for one is likely to be beneficial for the other. The problem is finding an accountant who has the skill sets needed and that can be trusted in every way is not always easy.

The list of tips and suggestions below should be helpful in your quest to find an ideal accountant.

Tip 1 – Start with What You Want

One of the basic things you should do is assess the needs of your business and your personal preferences. Determine the duties and responsibilities you plan to turn over to the accountant.

This gives you a starting point for the skill set of the ideal accountant you are looking for. In addition, that information will make it easy to construct interview questions that will truly help the ideal accountant for the job shine.

Tip 2 – Review Information Provided

After announcements are made about the job opening, you will begin receiving resumes and cover letters. You should take the time to read over this information very carefully. This is an opportunity to read about the candidates’ education and work experience. Reviewing this information will give you some insight into the type of places the individuals have worked and for how long.

Select the best of the best to interview. Ideally the candidates will have had some experience with a business with similar dynamics as yours. The fact is, there are many differences between a large corporation and a sole proprietorship or small business. It’s also a huge benefit if the accountant has experience in the industry your company is involved in.

The interview gives you a chance to get to know the job applicants.

Besides having an opportunity to meet the job candidates face-to-face, interviews also give you a chance to see what their personalities are like. Since you will be working with them on a routine basis, this is important.

Of course, you will also want to find out details about the applicants’ abilities. For example, you may be looking for someone who can help with tax filing or even with start-up advice. Or perhaps your business already uses a particular type of accounting software. If so, you will certainly want to know if the applicants have any experience with that software.

Tip 3 – References Matter

Before making a job offer to the candidate of your choice, it is important to check references. Job references are always important — especially when the job includes access to financial documents and other sensitive information.

The truth is, if the wrong accountant is hired, real problems could develop. And they may not be noticed right away. In some cases, the problems could take weeks or even months to be noticed. This could include anything from sloppy records to the dishonest handling of money.

Hiring the ideal accountant will make life easier for a small business owner. It provides peace of mind and much more. As they say, accountants can find and solve problems you didn’t know you had — and as the joke goes, they solve those problems in ways you don’t understand. But as long as the problems are found and solved, you will rest easy!

Debbie Allen is a blogger, professional content writer, and Internet marketer. She writes about various small business management and online marketing strategies.

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