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How to Find a Good Accountant for Your Small Business or Home Business?

When you start your business, your cash flows will be such that you can handle all the accounts related stuff yourself. But as your business grows, your cash flows, profits and losses will increase too. You will have to keep an account of these on a daily basis. You will also need to have a financial statement at the end of the month. All this requires a dedicated person who can handle this stuff without making any mistakes. All this information is crucial when you are filing your taxes. During an audit too, this information comes handy.

What does an accountant do?

These are some of the basic stuff that your accountant would handle which would make your job easier.

•  Maintain your daily cash flows

•  Maintain your monthly financial statements

•  Help you with tax preparation

•  Helps you in the tax filing process

•  Helps you with the process of getting your returns from the IRS

•  Provides you with tax information and gives ideas for saving/reducing your taxes

•  Helps in filing your taxes online

Should you hire a Consultant or a full time accountant?

Since your cash flows are not very huge throughout the year, you might not want to hire an accountant for the whole year. Hiring an accountant in Tampa, Los Angeles or Seattle might be a costly affair, since you will have to provide all the employee benefits to that person. In such cases, you can opt to hire an accountant as a consultant. The hired accountant will take care of your monthly cash flows, financial statement, tax filing and returns.

But, as you grow with your business, so does your financial information. So, if you can afford to hire an accountant all throughout the year, it could turn out to be beneficial too.

What to look for?

But there are a large number of consultants available in the US. So how does one choose a good accountant (

Accuracy: A good accountant is a one who has an eye for details and accuracy. Since he/she will be dealing with your cash, it is very important that the person does the work to the highest level of accuracy. An eye to minute details is a requirement of a good accountant. Look for the following in the accountant before you zero down on hiring them.

Punctuality: A good accountant should be punctual in his/her work. Generating financial statements on a monthly basis, tax preparation and filing, checking for the returns, etc. are some key jobs that the accountant has to handle. In all these scenarios, it is important that the accountant finishes his work on time. Hence look for this quality too while looking for an accountant.

Sincerity: there is no bargain on this one. You are entrusting the responsivity of your business finances to this person. Make sure that the person is trustworthy. Also, do a thorough back-ground check of the person whom you are planning to hire. In such cases, a word of mouth from some acquaintances might be of great help.

Experience: You get many first time accountants for lesser prices. But, it is always better to hire someone with experience. Handling tax returns and dealing with the IRS require experience. It is even better if you could hire someone who has handled similar businesses. The experience that the accountant would get to your business would help solve some financial problems that you could face. Also, an experienced accountant can give you many options available to save and reduce your taxes.

License: It is required to check if the accountant you are hiring has the required qualifications to handle your finances. Check for the valid license. The accountant or the agency with which you are dealing should be registered. This ensures that your money is handled by safe hands.

Hiring an Accounting Firm Worth it? 5 Tips for Getting Your Money’s Worth

Hiring an accountant is no longer just about finding someone to crunch some numbers. As there are so many different companies, organizations and business models out there today, accountants are able to do so much more than just handle the books or file taxes; they can advise on risk-management solutions or assess compliance issues; some can even sign financial statements, depending on their credentials. Therefore, the first step to hiring an accounting firm is to determine your specific business needs and goals. Do you want someone just to handle the books, or are you looking to work with a firm that will be there as your company grows? What are your business goals? Do you want to stay a small business or expand to a larger franchise?

The first step to getting your money’s worth from an accounting firm is to know exactly what you want and expect. Then do your research, so you know which firms are suitable to approach. If you’re not sure where to start, ask around. Word of mouth is still the best way to find out information that you will not otherwise find on the internet or in a phone book. Try to get referrals from people whose businesses you admire or professional standards you trust. Then meet with a variety of top accounting firms to see which one suits your needs and goals best.

Choose Licensed Candidates

Not every accountant is equally qualified. There are three professional accountancy designations, each with differing educational requirements and areas of specialty. Chartered accountants (CA) are globally recognized, and their services vary from start-up counselling to functioning as a trustee in areas such as insolvency, receivership, or bankruptcy. Certified General Accountants have a more general range of duties, including assessing financial statements to overseeing accounting processes. Certified Management Accountants (CMA) combine accounting experience with advanced management skills and training.

The advantage to hiring an accounting firm, rather than a single accountant, is that many firms will have all three designations on staff, whether in-house or out. That way, if you have diverse business needs, you can work with a variety of trained professionals with extensive areas of expertise. If you’re wondering if hiring an accounting firm is worth it, think of your business needs and goals and make a decision based on whether you’ll get your money’s worth based on what services will be available to you.

Talk $

Most accountants charge by the hour, so first things first, find out what their fees are. Usually, they’ll range between $150-400 per hour, depending on where they’re located and how big a firm they are. Hiring an accounting firm ( is not an inexpensive endeavour, so you’ll want to ask them why it’s worth it. Ask them to provide you with money saving strategies, and assurances that they’ll be able to save you the maximum dollars possible. Don’t be afraid to talk openly with them about money with; it’s their job, after all. Is hiring an accounting firm worth it? Only if they’re going to save you money in the long run.

Talk Tech

Because we live in a fast-paced, technologically-oriented world, it’s important for many businesses and organizations to learn how to use technology to their advantage. The same holds true of accounting firms. Do they have the technological knowledge or capacity to manage your accounts in an increasingly online world? Part of determining whether hiring an accounting firm is worth it is finding out what their strengths and assets are. If you run an online business, for example, you’ll want to hire an accounting firm with a lot of online experience, as copyright and compliance laws will differ. One way to get your money’s worth from an accounting firm is to hire one with the technological capabilities required to manage your business needs.

Gauge the Risk

The last tip for getting your money’s worth from an accounting firm is to gauge the risk. Some accountants can be quite aggressive with tax compliance issues, which can put the client at risk. Ask yourself what you’re looking for in an accountant or accounting firm. Is there a CPA firm that has a reputation for being both creative and responsible with client accounts? You’ll want to seek out these firms, as they will make you money while keeping you out of any legal or financial trouble.

Is hiring an accounting firm worth it? Bottom line: yes, if they’re making you money.

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