Although there are many aspects of your business that you can manage on your own, accounting is one area that is worth turning over to a professional.
Choosing the right accountant is one of the most important decisions a small business can make. A good one can help you with your taxes and find ways to keep cash flowing; a bad one could cost you much needed money.
Picking the right accountant is a vital business decision, so take your time finding an accounting partner that is right for you. Here are some things to consider:
Understand your needs.
Evaluate the needs of your business and match them to what the accounting firm can provide. Some businesses may have employees with the training and time to handle some of the accounting services, while many other businesses could benefit by letting their staff handle the direct operations of the business rather than spending time and resources in accounting-related matters. Understanding your needs before you begin your search will help make things more efficient.
Take your time with research.
Don’t settle for the first accountant you talk to. Make it a goal to interview at least three accountants before making a final choice. Speak with other business owners in your industry to get second opinions about the firms you’re looking at. Also – ask the accountants to share testimonials from existing customers.
Consider your accountant as a long-term financial partner, and not someone to just prepare taxes and financial statements. The best accountants are the ones who offer advice on how to grow and protect a business. Look for someone who has demonstrated experience as a business consultant. Ask them to show you their skills and knowledge of supporting a small business.
Consider the value.
The money an accountant can save you and your business must naturally be weighed against the costs of employing them. While it is always a good idea to know what the fees will be, don’t let the bottom line be a deterrent on your choice. Money spent can potentially be recouped easily by money, and time, saved in the future.
Are there additional services?
Find out all of the services the accounting firm provides and which employees/departments would handle each of the services. It also makes sense to seek recommendations on what services they feel could benefit your business the most in the short-term and long-term.
If you have any additional questions about finding an accountant, our MidWestOne bankers can help you feel confident in your decision. Contact us at 800-247-4418 or visit us at any of our bank locations.