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 (http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/benefits-of-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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