There are a plenty of reasons why you would want to hire an accountant. Running a business is exhausting work as it is, even without having to deal with your company’s finances on your own. Why not help yourself by allowing someone else to take at least a part of this burden. Aside from this, someone with experience in this field is bound to outperform you in most of these financial tasks. Finally, a person who wasn’t involved in the initial planning and the very launch of the company might bring a new perspective on this matter and therefore illuminate a shortcoming you failed to predict.
Unfortunately, as someone who has never worked with accountants or financial experts before, you are highly unlikely to know what to look for. With this in mind, here are several tips and pointers that can help you out.
Are they available all year round?
The first thing you need to inquire about is whether your accountants are available all year round. You see, in some regions, there is a thing called tax season. In the United States, it lasts from January 1 until April 15 and it is your duty to file the previous year’s financial statement in this period. Seeing how this is also the time when you are supposed to apply for the annual tax return, make contracts with your employees and deal with similar financial issues, most accountants don’t see the point in working outside of the season. Unfortunately, your business may (and probably will) need an accountant all year round.
Where are they from
The next thing you should worry about is the issue of the location of your tax accountant. Sure, in the digital era, there is no reason why NSW company wouldn’t entrust their finances to NYC-based accountants. Still, experts from your vicinity are usually better accustomed to the local laws and regulations. Furthermore, they probably have numerous contacts that might come in handy during your expansion. This is why, the aforementioned NSW company would be much better off with a tax accountant from Sydney, than with those from an office that is half-way across the globe.
Will they take care of you personally?
While it might not be that hard for you to do a background check on a company you are supposed to work with, what if they decide to simply outsource the work surrounding your company to someone else? Sure, there is no reason why this should go bad, but this is something you did not agree on and as such, a risk you are not bound to take. When negotiating, make sure that the company you contact is going to be the one handling your finances. In case they are overburdened with responsibilities and, therefore, cannot take you on, they should let you know. This way, you get the chance to find someone else on your own.
Another thing that you should focus on when looking for an accountant is their portfolio. You need to know where they previously worked and what kind of experience they have in your business niche in particular. If possible, you might want to contact their previous clients and ask them for a commentary. Regardless of the online reviews and ratings, word-of-mouth recommendation is still the most reliable criterion for choosing the right person for the job.
Of course, this is not all you need to know before hiring an accountant. For instance, you should also be concerned with whether they are conservative or aggressive, the way in which they are going to bill you and the specific tax program used. While this seems like a lot of variables, running a business (at least doing so successfully) was never supposed to be simple in the first place.
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