Knowing that an accountant is one of the most important professionals you will hire for your small business doesn’t make the process of finding the best one any easier. Not only must this person have in-depth, specialized knowledge of small business accounting, he or she must be someone you get along with well. After all, you depend on your accountant to offer sound advice to help you achieve the highest level of profitability and you naturally take advice from people you like and trust. Below are several tips for how to find the best accountant for your small business.

Start by Asking Fellow Small Business Owners for Referrals

Many people head straight to the Internet when they need to find a service provider, and accountants are no different. Unfortunately, this may not be the most effective way to find the right accountant or agency to represent your small business. Instead, we recommend asking for direct referrals from others in your network who have researched and hired a business accountant in the past. If you feel your network isn’t large enough for that, consider joining your local Chamber of Commerce or visiting a Small Business Development Center.

Ensure the Accountant Can Provide a Wide Range of Financial Services

If you plan to hire a staff accountant, you need to go beyond someone who specializes only in payroll or bookkeeping and look for a new employee with a strong and diverse accounting background. Examples of some of the skills to look for include:

  • Ability to pay bills on behalf of your company.
  • Financial advice that takes your company’s past performance, future goals, and information available on its general ledger into account.
  • Financial recordkeeping skills to maintain the general ledger of your small business.
  • Running payroll promptly and correctly as well as filing the necessary reports and paying required payroll taxes for your business.
  • Annual preparation of your business tax returns as well as providing ongoing guidance about ways to maximize deductions and minimize tax obligations.

Look for an Accountant with Industry Experience

Every industry presents unique financial concerns for small business owners. We encourage you to search for and interview several accountants with experience in your specific industry. Ask for examples of how the accountant has helped advise others in your industry along with the specific advice he or she has for you. It’s also helpful to hire an accountant who has worked with other small businesses under your specific tax structure such as limited liability company, partnership, sole proprietor, or S corporation.

Capital Business Strategies is Here to Help

We would love the opportunity to provide your small business with bookkeeping, payroll, and other value-added services. Please contact us whether you’re still in the interview stage or you’re ready to sit down with one of our accountants for a small business strategy planning session.