Find an Accountant in Time for Tax Season

Tax season is a common time of year when people start scrambling to find an accountant for assistance with their returns and finances.  Since there are a large number of accountants operating today, locating the best accountant for your needs may be a bit difficult.  To help you find an ideal professional, here are a few tips.

Ask Around:  Talk to people you know, and ask who they recommend for an accountant.  If you know someone who has a similar financial situation to your, start by asking who they use and if they are pleased with their services.

Use Caution:  Accountants who make promises of large refunds or offer to deduct every possible expense you have is probably not the best accountant for tax season.  Even though you hired a professional to prepare your return, you are the one who is responsible for what is filed.

Look at Enrolled Agents: Enrolled Agents (EAs) are a type of tax professional who has undergone in depth background checks by the IRS and has passed a strict test.  EAs often provide exceptional assistance for those who have very complex tax situations.

Find a Certified Public Accountant:  Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) are licensed in the state in which they work, and have passed a difficult CPA examination.  Some CPAs specialize in particular areas, such as business taxes, general taxes, or audits, and are best at handling issues that may be somewhat complex.

Consider a Tax Attorney:  When looking to find an accountant, a tax attorney may be your better option.  Tax attorneys are legal representatives who specialize in tax law.  These attorneys often have a law degree in taxation (known as an LL.M.) and are required by law to hold a juris doctor degree (J.D.).  Tax attorneys can handle difficult situations such as assisting you in tax court, or filing estate tax returns.

How to Find an Accountant for Your Business

Find an Accountant

Are you feeling overwhelmed with how to find an accountant for your business?  How do you streamline through the thousands of names that are available in the yellow pages and on the internet? Finding an accountant does not have to be a complicated process!

When you are looking to find an accountant for your business, take a few moments to brainstorm exactly what your company is looking for.  What do you want the accountant to do for your business?

The following are some tips to help find that perfect accountant for your company:

Does the accountant have experience in your industry?

This is particularly important if you work in an unique business environment.  When an accountant has familiarity with your industry, you will save your company both time and money. These individuals should be familiar with your specific industry related terms and challenges.  In addition, the accountant should be able to shed some light on areas of revenue and potential loss that you may not have thought of.

Get a Professional Reference or Use a Customized Search Engine

Professional references are one of the main techniques that company’s use to find an accountant for their business.   However, you want to make certain that the reference is provided by someone from a similar field.  When you get a reference, ask for details on why they are recommending this specific accountant or firm.  What did this individual do for the other business? How did they save them money? What is their communication style like?

The internet is another source to help you find an accountant.  Customized accounting search engines, like GoodAccountants can help you streamline the process, highlighting individuals who are familiar with your particular industry.

Are there any unique requirements to consider?

If you have an international business is it required that the accountant can converse and read multiple languages?  Try to find an accountant that has the exact attributes that your company requires.  If you don’t, you will just be looking for another accountant in the near future.

Is there a match between the accountant’s personality and your own?

Are you comfortable with your chosen accountant’s personality and style.  Is the accountant’s financial philosophy (risk-taking behavior) similar to that of your company? Are they able to forecast future trends and potential revenue?  Does their communication style match your expectations?  All of these factors are critical at ensuring that you find an accountant that best fits your business needs.

Take the time to find out your company’s specific needs before beginning with the search for your perfect accountant.  Ideally, this individual will be working with your company for several years so you want to find an accountant that is a good fit to your company’s unique needs.

How To Find The Right Auditing Firms

Auditing Firms


If you’re a business owner, you have probably have thought about the benefits to your company from hiring an auditing firm.  Finding the right one to help you go over all of the financials (past, present and future!) of your company can be really beneficial to the financial success of a business.

Finding the right audit firm probably means a few things to you.  First, you want to make sure you find the most affordable firm for you.  The whole point of auditing is usually to increase financial productivity and reach the optimal level of success in a business.  If you’re spending too much of your budget on the accounting firm you choose to audit your business, you’ll kind of defeat the purpose of hiring them in the first place.

When choosing an auditing firm, you’ll next want to consider the type of businesses they usually work with.  You’ll want to find professionals that know your industry and are able to accurately forecast important things about your business that you should be able to determine from an audit.  It’s never a bad idea to ask around and see who other professionals in your area of business usually work with.  This is also good for finding out if an auditing firm has a good reputation, is cost effective, easy to work with and whether or not hiring them was beneficial to the business using their services.

A good rule of thumb when sifting through auditing firms is to give them a small project- really just a piece of the pie- to show you how they would normally perform an audit on your company.  This is a good way to sort of try them on for size and see if you work well together and to make sure that they’re able to provide you with everything you’re looking for in an audit firm.

It’s a good idea to perform an audit on any company at least once a year to manage productivity and monitor progress of a business.  Finding the right firm is all about finding one that’s affordable, comfortable for you to work with and one that is suited to the needs of your business and industry.

Do Accountants Really Save You Time and Money?

Do Accountants Really Save You Time and Money?

Can you really save your company money with an accountant? Quite simply  the answer is yes,  if you take the time to find the accountant that best suits your company’s needs.  When you find the best accountant for your business you will be saving your company not only money but also time.

The ideal accountant for your firm should be familiar with all of the in and outs of the financial side of your business.  It is an accountant’s job to be an expert on tax legislation and to be able to successfully pinpoint areas of potential revenue and loss for your company.

A successful accountant will take the time to evaluate both the financial weaknesses and strengths of your company.  This individual will highlight any potential areas for  tax savings and help you navigate through the mountain of invoices.  The best accountants will let you know what invoices to keep, what to discard and what to question.

Customer satisfaction should be the main objective for a successful accountant. These individuals will strive to save your company both time and money.  This is why it is critical to find an accountant that is familiar with the unique attributes of your business.   The best accountant for your business should  be comfortable with discussing tax savings and reviewing your  company’s  overall financial plan.    A good  accountant should encourage you to reflect on how your company is both spending and investing their money.  This individual will highlight areas where they believe your company can increase its overall revenue and help forecast and ideally prevent areas of potential losses.

When you find that perfect accountant, you will want to work with them not only during tax season but  year round.  These individuals will strive to build a relationship with your company by maintaining consistent communication and providing financial recommendations.  The best accountant for your company will save you time and money.  These individuals will take the time to learn the unique qualities of your business, strive to build a positive relationship, and encourage you to reflect on the company’s short and long term financial goals.

Tax Preparation: How to Get Ready for Tax Filing

Every year several businesses are caught off guard by the pending tax season. It often feels like the last season has just ended, when the next one begins. As a direct result, a lot of businesses either spend several weeks scrabbling to gather things together for their accountant or needlessly waste money paying another individual to sort through the mass of paperwork.  So how do you avoid this trap?

Develop a Strong Organizational System

The key to effective tax preparation is to set up an organization system at the beginning of January.   Your organizational system should be unique to both your business and to the individual maintaining it.  Set up a meeting in early January or if you are really proactive, in late December, with your accountant.  During this meeting, have an informal discussion about the items, invoices, and receipts that you should be tracking on an annual basis.  At the end of the meeting, take some time to decide what is the best way for you to track these items on a regular basis.

Make the System Work for You

Effective tax filing has to begin with a system that works for you. Ideally, you will use some of the terrific organizational features that are available through technology:  quickly connecting all your systems together.  But if you hate computers, even simple tools like an Excel spreadsheet and email reminders will be extremely ineffective.  In this situation, you will need to develop a paper system or perhaps assign the tracking duty to another individual in your company.

Try to start your tax filing system at the beginning of the year and maintain it.  When you maintain good records, you will save both you and your company time and money.  Retain the hard copy of all receipts. Do not assume that something is unnecessary, your accountant is the expert and will help determine what is necessary to retain and what can be discarded.

Communicate Regularly with your Accountant

Maintain regular communication with your accountant to save you money in the long run, especially if you have any questions regarding expenses and tax legislations.  Your accountant’s role is to save you time and money throughout the year, not only during tax time.

Tax preparation is always easier if you plan ahead.  However, if this did not occur this year, don’t panic. A good accountant that is familiar with your industry will be able to effectively navigate your company through the mountain of paper work and help you stay on track for the next tax season.

Accounting Audit: Bad for Your Business?

Accounting Audit: Bad for Your Business?

Aside from the word bankruptcy, there is probably not another word more feared by businesses than audit.  However, an accounting audit is not necessarily a bad thing for your business.  In fact, in some cases, an audit can actually help your company save money and eventually increase your company’s overall profit and performance.

There are basically two forms of audits: an internal audit and one conducted externally, typically by the IRS.  If you are a professional business maintains accurate and honest records:  neither audit should be feared.  In fact, both types can help highlight areas where your company could improve.

The Benefits of an Internal Audit

Hiring a professional company to conduct an internal audit is typically an extremely effective practice.  Internal auditors are objective individuals who will take the time to evaluate and question each aspect of your business.  At the end of their review, they will provide your company with a list of recommendations.  It is ultimately your company’s decision on whether or not these recommendations should be implemented.

Internal audits can provide the following for your company:

  • A strong, organized accounting system
  • Eliminate or reduce the risk of internal fraud
  • Highlight potential areas of loss and/or missed revenue
  • Decrease the possibility of an external audit

However, internal audits are dependent on the auditor’s ability to recognize whether the information being provided to them is accurate and complete.  To increase the success of your accounting audit, hire a company that is familiar with your industry’s specific needs and challenges. Once hired, be certain to give them enough time to thoroughly evaluate all aspects of your company.

The External Audit

External audits are probably one of the most feared items by all businesses. However, there are ways to come out of this process successfully and hopefully a bit more informed.

When you are notified of an external audit, become familiar with all financial aspects of your business.   Set up a meeting with your accountant and discuss your company’s tax return and where all of the backup material is retained.   When the auditors arrive, answer all questions honestly and readily provide them with the information that they are requesting.  Ideally, the auditors will be satisfied with your response and their file can be closed.

In general, an accounting audit is not a bad thing for your business.  In fact, a thorough internal audit can actually help your company increase its overall profit.

How to Get the Best Accountant that New York Has to Offer?

How do you find the best accountant in New York?  The first step is to evaluate what you will be using the accountant for. What attributes of your business makes it unique? Is it a seasonal business? Is it international? Who else in your business will be communicating with this accountant? Do they have any specific needs or concerns that will need to be addressed?

Get Recommendations from others in your Industry

An ideal way to navigate through the thousands of New York accountants, is to ask individuals from your industry for a recommendation.  Ideally, the best accountant in New York will have already worked in your industry and so is familiar with the specific challenges within your field.   Ask your references for the reason for their recommendation to determine if this accountant would work for your company.

Try to get as many recommendations as possible.  If you have limited contact with professionals in your industry than use one of the several search engines (accountant referral tools) available on the internet, like Good Accountants. These companies have often done some of the preliminary legwork for you and can help you streamline your search for the best accountant in NY.

Conduct a Job Interview

One of the best ways to find the perfect fit for your company is to use the same method that you would to find a new employee.  Write a detailed job description for your future accountant including all of the skills that the position will require.  Although it may seem time consuming, this process will pinpoint the specific accounting requirements for your company and help you find the perfect candidate.

Contact at least five accountants that you believe will suit your company’s needs and set up a job interview with them.  Ask for references, credentials and have the accountant provide you with an overview on how they would meet your business needs.

Give yourself adequate time to find the best accountant in New York for your company.  Ideally, you would like to develop a long term relationship with this accountant. To do this successfully you will need to find the individual that is the best match for your company’s specific needs.

Best Accountants Vs. Cheap Accountants

When you’re looking for a business or personal accountant, you’re usually concerned about two very important factors- cost and quality.  Accountants can be expensive so for some it’s difficult finding one that you can afford.  But remember that the best accountants aren’t always the most affordable ones.  This might be one time you don’t want to limit yourself too much on how much you want to spend because sometimes you really do get what you pay for.  Splurging a little bit more on the person or company who is the best accountant for you is probably completely worth the cost.

It’s understandable that you probably don’t want to spend as much as you’d like on an accountant.  After all, you most likely have a budget you need to follow.  The best accountants will help you maximize your spending in all areas though so spending a little more than you’d like on a reliable and knowledgeable accountant may be worth it because of how much they’ll end up saving you in the long run.  Go too “cheap” on your accountant and you could end up costing yourself much more.  A less expensive and therefore usually less experienced accountant may not know all of the ins and outs of your business and may not be aware of all of the ways to save you money.

When it comes to finding the best accountants, sometimes you can find one for cheaper that is still a good, high quality accountant but usually you need to be willing to spend a little more for quality.  Investing in a reputable and knowledgeable accounting firm will never be a bad investment.  After all, every business needs an accountant and if you’re going to invest in one, make sure that they’re going to help you optimize your spending and business costs as much as possible.  Moderately priced accountants are usually the best option and offer you the expertise and affordability that you’re after.