9 Things to Know Before You Hire an Accountant

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Having an expert and skilled accountant by your side is extremely essential, regardless of whether you are an entrepreneur or a business owner.

Over the period of time, as your business expands, you may consider delegating this task to an expert in this field. As a financial expert such as Atkinsons Chartered Accountants, the will be responsible to take care of the fiscal limits and remind you of the business potential.

His job is to alert you with the present financial limitations and work along in cooperation to fix the problem. Once you have made the decision of hiring an accountant, the hiring process can be pretty nerve racking, since trusting a stranger with your money matters and sensitive financial information can be extremely perplexing.

Following are a few aspects one should consider before appointing a financial expert.

1. EXPERIENCE

It is imperative that you hire someone with experience. While it will be a plus point if he holds experience in the relative industry as yours or at least has worked for organizations from the same industry. As he will know the basics, operational requirements, working ethics, industry specifics and the end results more readily than others.

2. HELPFUL ADVICE

A competent accountant should be able to put forward his suggestions in a friendly and acceptable manner. He should make sure that he advice certain procedures to be implemented so as to reduce the costs and brings improvement in the strength of operations on the whole.
But you will need to analyze and evaluate very carefully while hiring one because not all the accountants may possess the quality of examining things that deeply and put forward an honest and profitable feedback.

3. LEVEL OF EXPERTISE

Every accountant may have a certain level of expertise which he can offer. It only depends on what are your business requirements or for what specific domain of accounts you want him to take care of.

If you want a full time bookkeeping accountant, who can simply deal with the bills and invoices then you should keep an eye out for a full service accountant. But this may not turn out to be the best practice.
Accountants charge by the hour, designating a simple task as data entry and handling of the bills may be a waste of money.

If you can get more involved in the accounting processes, dig deeper and look for someone with more expertise, who could advise you on future business plans keeping finances in mind; help you in choosing a secure business loan and many other critical aspects that can only be handled by an expert level accountant or a CPA.

4. ASK AROUND FOR REFERRALS

To hire a person who is going to deal with very sensitive financial matters, check their credibility by asking around in your social circle and find out information from his past clients.

The word of mouth of your friends and family can be the best referral you can acquire. You may also go through the CPA listings available online and pick the ones that you deem right.

But asking around for advice does not mean that you are bound to hire a person that is being referred by your best friend. He may not prove to be an ideal choice for your manufacturing business.

Also, consider the scale of the business one might have worked for. The accountant who has been handling a sole trading organization may not be suitable for a company with 10 employees.

5. SEEK HELP FROM GOVERNMENT AND BUSINESS ASSOCIATIONS

A huge network of business advisors exists who help you find the most suitable accountant according to your business needs.

Moreover, these voluntary organizations and local chambers of commerce also willingly render their expert advices which are usually free of cost.

You may also come across other business owners at such occasions. Do not hesitate in building a network and in mingling with them as they might as well suggest someone efficient around them.

6. MAKE USE OF YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA CONNECTIONS

Although, this may not be one of the best ways but you never know you can stumble upon a very proficient accountant through your Facebook connection, groups and pages.

LinkedIn is one of the largest networks where one can look for a suitable candidate. And if you have an account already it will be easier for accountants recommended by others.

7. INQUIRE ABOUT THE SOFTWARE THE ACCOUNTANT USES

While working in the industry for years and years, the accountants get comfortable with using a certain brand of software. And it may come across as an overhead for them to shift to using software with a 360 degree shift in operations.

Whereas, if this is the case, sharing of data between two different platforms may encounter errors and is risky as well. Data can be imported and exported in suitable formats but this will consume a lot of time. Sharing of such confidential information via email can also be very risky, as email is only as safe as a post card.

Or else you may look for an accountant who shows flexibility in giving up his choice of software and use the one which is used by our company. It will be more feasible and advisable to used cloud based accounting software with built in encryption. Therefore, there will be no risks involved even if the data is being shared multiple times between two entities.

8. INTERVIEW A BUNCH OF ACCOUNTANTS BEFORE FINALIZING

Short list several accountants, interview them, compare their capacities, expertise and potential in accordance with your business requirement then choose the best out of them all.

9. BACKGROUND CHECKS

This cannot be stressed enough: you must carry out background checks before hand. The prospective accountant’s previous clients can be one of the entities you can contact to extract that information from or if he is a genuine person, he will be all willing to share a few contacts for references.
This will affirm the credibility of the information provided by the accountant by cross checking it with other employers.

After carrying out all the processes and taking all the necessary measures of hiring a suitable accountant for your business, always trust your gut feeling. The voice of your intuition can also come up with several pragmatic indications which can either keep you away from experiencing a disaster or can let you make the best selection.

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