Many people wait until the last minute, or an emergency, before realizing they need an accountant, but it’s best to be proactive and find an accountant before you’re in desperate need or his or her services. Hiring an accountant can be one of the most important business decisions you’ll have to make, and should not be rushed. Consider all of these important aspects when embarking on your search, and increase your chances of finding the right accountant that you can build a long term relationship with.
Word of mouth is always the best way to find an accountant that is reputable, but preferably, you should ask for a referral from people who are in a similar life situation and have similar financial needs. If you know someone in the profession, but they aren’t suitable for your particular financial situation, they can be an excellent source for finding an accountant who is. Ask lots of questions and find out about the accountant’s performance as well as working style to consider if he or she would be a good fit.
An accountant that needs to advertise may not be the best way to find an accountant unless they are just starting out or recently relocated to a new location. A busy accountant means that they provide good service. If you don’t know anyone personally who can recommend a good accountant, try talking with other business owners in your industry, or your industry association if there is one.
Narrowing the options
Once you have a short list of potential accountants, schedule an initial meeting to compare qualifications, experience and services offered. Meet the accountant at their office or place of work to get the best idea of their professionalism and personality. Personality and work style are both crucial factors for good long term fit. One of the most important questions to ask is, “Why should I use you?” You’ll also want to find out how the accountant calculates their fees.
Be sure to conduct an in-depth interview of each potential candidate. You’ll want a good fit personally and professionally with the accountant that you’ll be entrusting a lot of private information with, and possibly even your life savings. Find out about their life experiences and even hobbies, in addition to their accounting experience.
If you want to find an accountant that is right for your business, it’s important to take the time and ask the right questions in order for your company to truly succeed.