When you launch your small business enterprise, you will have to contract with all kinds of vendors, including attorneys, lenders, suppliers, and more. And at some point you’re going to need an accountant, to help you file your taxes at the very least. Unfortunately, selecting the right vendor can be a bit of a chore. Here are just a few considerations that should help to make your choice easier.
- Referrals. There are doubtless a number of business accountants you can choose from in your area, but the more options you have, the more overwhelming your search can seem, especially when so much of your time is taken up with the daily concerns of managing your new business. So you need to find ways to narrow your search, and one of the best options is to ask family members, friends, and most importantly, colleagues in your industry for referrals to qualified and reputable accountants. Most will also offer up personal reviews of accounting firms you’ll want to avoid.
- Credentials. You probably won’t find many practicing accountants that aren’t certified public accountants (CPAs), but you need to look for more than just a degree and a license to practice. You want to make sure you choose an accountant that has experience dealing with business startups like yours, someone who is well aware of your particular challenges and needs and that knows how to guide you where your finances are concerned in order to ensure that you take advantage of every potential savings and that you aren’t doing anything that would make you a target for an audit.
- Cost. You’re going to pay for any accountant you hire, but you have to find one that works for your budget. While a good accountant can save you quite a bit of money, it won’t matter if you’re being charged way more than you can afford to pay.
- Rapport. You might not think it’s important to get along with your CPA, but you at least need to be on the same page. You should look for someone that shares your ideas where risk tolerance is concerned – you don’t want someone who is willing to cross the line and do something shady just to save you money regardless of the risk it puts you at. And of course, you want someone who puts things in terms you can understand and is willing to answer your many questions.
- Reliability. Before you select a vendor for your small business accounting needs, you’ll want to make sure you’ve found a reliable service provider. This means two things. First, you need someone who is going to answer when you call or at least return your calls in a timely manner. So if you’ve left messages and you haven’t heard back, warning bells should go off. You also want an accountant that has a good track record, so reading consumer reviews on sites like the BBB (Better Business Bureau), Yelp, and even Angie’s List could help you to pick a vendor that suits your needs. Whether you end up hiring a family friend or contracting with a professional firm like SDA CPA Group P.C. , a little research and a consultation can help you to find the accountant that’s best suited to the needs of your business startup.