When you have small business, you count every dollar while spending. How to find good accountant in your budget and on your terms and condition is really challenging. However, this post can help you to choose right accountant.
How to find good accountant for your small business ?
Learn difference between bookkeeper and accountant:
Before hiring, be clear about roles of bookkeeper and accountant in your business. Bookkeeper does daily data entry activities. However, it covers preparation of bills, invoices, reconciliation of bank transactions, payroll run, fixed asset accounting, sending and reconciliation statements, answering accounting queries, managing inventory and much more.
Other side accountant ‘s duty covers checking everything, preparing financial reports for taxes, filling of taxes , informing for tax dates, arranging cash flows, entering journals, . Your accountant may be CPA or non CPA.
Should you do your business bookkeeping and accounting yourself?
Some business owners spend their time for bookkeeping in xero, quickbook etc. However, it lasts for initial years of business because generally business grows in 2-3 years and it is difficult to handle the work own self. I recommend hire accountant from 1st month of business. So that he can be familiar with your business and fulfill your accounting needs easily. Long term vision helps you to take the right decision. Read our post why and when you should outsource bookkeeping service to know the benefits of outsourcing books.
Prepare task list and fit it to timeline:
Every business is different. In my career, I have handled more than 1000 books and there is variance in each business. Accountant has to work with different people to gather data. There are different business processes and systems. It is advisable that you prepare accounting and bookkeeping task list and fit them to timeline. Ask the candidate whether he is ready to adhere to timeline and accounting procedures. If business is very small, weekly accounting work is good but you may require accountant presence on daily basis if business grows rapidly.
Discussion about fees:
Don’t be shy for discussion about fees. Ask accountant how he will charge you. He may charge hourly, monthly or special fee per task. Make things clear at the beginning. Bookkeeping fee ranges from $25 to $50. Accounting costs you in range of $200 to $400. It varies with complexity of your business transactions.
Be clear about skills and quality you need from your accountant. He should be honest, punctual, accurate, familiar with specific software, having specific experience, cpa or non cpa, etc. The sad thing is that you can’t test all quality with one interview. Accounting is task which requires accuracy and dedication. Your accountant should love the books and tax rules. This quality helps him to work for you happily in work load and handle difficult client queries.
Decide communication mode:
Make sure that you and your accountant has strong communication while working. Do you want to have his number and call him anytime? Are you OK with communication with mail only? Do you prefer any chat app like Skype for discussion? Discuss this thing with future accountant earliest.
Try for some time:
You may not hit your goal of finding good accountant in first place but you can hire somebody on trial basis and move with him permanently in future or try someone else.
From where can you hire accountant?:
Hire local accountant:
Hiring local accountant is good if you want face to face communication. He can work at your office or at his place. This option is bit costly as you have to pay various monthly allowance to him as employee. As cloud accounting software such as xero, quickbook, zoho, myob becomes so much popular, there is no need of presence of accountant at your place. You can work together online with optimal cost. Read our post about benefits of cloud accounting.
Hire CPA firm:
CPA firm also provides bookkeeping and accounting service. However, it is bit costly in beginning of business. ( They are charging $200 to $300 / hour depends on location of business). You can allocate bookkeeping work to some one else and get help of CPA firm for tax matters.
There are various freelancer available to work as accountant for $25 to $50 / hour. He can prepare you necessary data and you can supply it to your cpa firm.
Hire outsourcing agency:
Online bookkeeping service providers provide bookkeeping and accounting service with affordable monthly packages. There is team of bookkeeper, accountant and tax experts working together. It is one of the best options to hire good accountant for small business. It costs you around $200 to $500 per month and fulfill all your bookkeeping and accounting needs.
If you are intending to hire good accountant, you can avail our service for 7 days free. Contact here to start.