How to Hire an Accountant...The Smart Way

BY Eddy Hood In Outsourced Accounting Services On Mar 13, 2012 With 3 Comments

Don't Want to Make a Mistake When You Hire an Accountant?

Learning how to hire an accountant to oversee your company's accounting needs is an up hill task for most business owners. Hiring the right professional accountant allows you to concentrate on core duties. Therefore, it is crucial that you hire a professional accountant who is well equipped with the necessary skills to meet your organization's accounting requirements. The first thing that you need to do is to assess your organization's accounting needs.

A professional accountant will carry out the following duties for your business:

 Business planning- A well skilled accountant will help you with the initial stages of business planning. He will advise you on choosing the right business entity, negotiate agreements and set up bookkeeping systems. Once the business begins running, an accountant will do periodic reviews (we suggest at least monthly), offer advice and prepare annual information returns.

 Accounting Management- A well established accountant will provide a daily, weekly, or monthly service to keep you in the financial loop. According to Ryan Steck, CFO of Ignite Spot Accounting Services, "An accountant should be one of the most trusted advisers your company. He should be able to give you financial clarity when and where you need it."

 Planning personal tax- Personal tax issues are affected and closely associated with business tax issues. Your accountant should be able to help you understand the tax implications of your business entity, transactions and financial performance.

 Business networking- Accountants can be a great source of referrals for your organization. They are capable of referring other professionals such as bankers, insurance brokers and attorneys to the organization.

Hiring a good Accountant

How can a business owner hire a qualified accountant? Here are tips on how to hire an accountant.

 Experience- Professional experience and expertise are crucial when you hire an accountant. Make a list of accountants who have vast experience working with organizations that are of the same size as your business. Depending on the type of industry, some companies may not require specific experience. Ask relevant questions as pertaining to experience and education. Know the specific type of certificates and degrees that the applicant has and whether he has specialized in a particular area of accounting. Also, ensure that the appropriate candidate is up to date with the requirements of continuing education.

 The firm size that will be appropriate for your business- If you are a sole proprietor, you don't have to engage the largest accounting firm within your locality to handle your accounting needs. Choose a firm that is almost the same size as your company and is capable of meeting your accounting needs. Inquire whether your accounting needs will be done by a junior member or a senior member of the staff. If you hire a firm as opposed to an individual accountant, ensure that you know who your direct accountant will be. During the interview, ask questions about response and billing time. Keep in mind, accountants that are not hired as full time employees charge per hour. Therefore, you should have a guaranteed response time which ought to be definite.

 Note the differences between Certified Public Accountants (CPA) and other accountants-Accountants with a CPA designation have attained a much higher level of education and experience, and have gone through rigorous testing exercises to prove their competence. Depending on your organization's needs, some tasks such as loan applications and auditing will demand a CPA holder's involvement while other tasks such as writer-ups, bookkeeping and preparation of tax returns can be effectively handled by general accountants. Therefore, it is crucial to thoroughly review your company's accounting needs before choosing between a general accountant and a CPA.

 Scrutinize Referrals and references- Seek referrals from firms and persons that you trust. Thoroughly interview the prospective accountants and countercheck their references. Ask your interviewees questions focused on your industry, and how they can handle or manage some hypothetical situations. The manner in which the interviewee presents himself during the interview will help you gauge what he is capable of doing.

Learning how to hire an accountant is one of the biggest steps you'll take in your company. Make sure to pick the right team so that your business gets the support it needs. At Ignite Spot Accounting Services, we have an experienced staff ready to serve your company. If you need bookkeeping, payroll, tax, or CFO services...we've got you covered.

My name is Eddy Hood. I've coached over 500 businesses on how to become more profitable. I'm the Founder & CEO of Ignite Spot, and I have mad parallel parking skills.

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