The act of finding the right accountant is one that should not be taken lightly. It can be a difficult process for any business owner, especially if their needs are not well defined, or they do not fully understand what they need in an accountant.
Digging through listings on websites like Yelp! and Industry Reviews can help you find the best accountants in your area, but it isn’t always enough. So what else can you do to ensure you get results?
1 . Do Your Research
The internet holds all sorts of resources for doing research. Online directories like LinkedIn provide detailed profiles of professionals who belong to certain groups; looking up their profiles online will give you access to resumes and recommendations left by past clients. Ensure that all information is consistent and in line with the information available on the site of the accountant’s office.
2 . Find The Right Fit
In order to find a good fit, you need to establish how you define “good”. Are you looking for an accountant who specializes in certain types of businesses? Are you interested in an accountant who has experience dealing with companies like yours? What about going through reviews from past clients to see what they have to say about their services? These are all things that matter when finding a great match.
3 . Get A Recommendation From A Friend Or Business Associate
This is one way of finding a great accountant without having to go through a lot of work yourself. If someone can vouch for them, then it makes it a lot easier for you to make a decision. If their accountant has moved on or retired, this would be the perfect time to approach them and ask if they can recommend another professional who can take over their business.
4 . Check The Company Directly For Their Sign-up Fees And Rates
Sometimes, companies will charge an application fee at the start of the process in order to “weed out” unqualified applicants. This is completely unethical and should not be tolerated by anyone looking to work with an experienced professional. However, these fees are sometimes required when dealing with very specialized professionals that only serve select clients; just remember that there is usually some amount of negotiation available before any commitment is made.
5. Ask Around
The best accountants in your area will have a lot of friends and connections, so asking around from other people associated with their industry will help you get the inside scoop. Even if it means going through a few different sources before getting to the right person, it is worth it when trying to find the perfect accountant.
6. Get An Online Quote
Sometimes, just asking for a quote online is enough to get the ball rolling. Filling out an online form on an accountants’ website can give you access to information that you might not be able to get through other means of communication. Providing accurate details about your business and your needs will allow them to send over more customized quotes; this can help save both of you time in trying to find the perfect match.
7 . Make Sure To Check Over Their Background
Anyone can make all sorts of claims on paper, but it is important that they are backed by proper credentials. Go over their resume with a fine-toothed comb; if there are any loopholes or gaps in their career history then chances are good that either their claims are inaccurate or they simply aren’t qualified for the position.
8 . Ensure There Are No Hidden Fees Or Charges
A good accountant will always provide an itemized list of services and fees before accepting any payment. This is essential when dealing with services that require substantial work; it also protects both parties from unwanted billing in the future. Make sure you go through all terms and conditions to ensure there are no “gotchas” waiting for you afterwards.
One final thing that may end up being extremely helpful is to use an agency for hiring an accountant. Agencies can provide access to a wide range of professionals who specialize in different fields; using their services will make the entire process a lot easier.
Finding an accountant is never easy, but it is a lot easier if you know what to expect from the process. Asking questions early on and doing some research can help you narrow down your list of potential candidates and ensure that your final choice is the best one for your business.