While many business owners rely on accountants as the tax return date approaches, these professionals can play a vital role throughout the business cycle. But many individuals choose to pass on hiring the real deal, relying on software and programs in order to get their taxes done. However, an accountant can provide you with financial advice and help you save money throughout the year. Therefore, you’ll want to ensure that you have the best possible choice when it comes to building a lasting relationship with a CPA. The following tips can help you find the right accountant for your short and long-term needs:
1. Check their Qualifications
At the very least, you should make sure that the individual possesses a CPA license, as this will demonstrate that he or she is certified. While there are a variety of professionals that provide tax and bookkeeping services, a CPA gives you the knowledge that he or she has reached the minimum level of education. Another vital question is to ask how long they have been in the industry, and what type of clients they specialize in. These type of questions can help you narrow down the wide range of possible candidates.
2. Similar Values
Perhaps you represent an established company, and are looking for an accountant who’s experienced in financial stability. Or maybe you’re a startup, and want to find a professional who has a similar sense of entrepreneurialism. In general, you’ll want to find a CPA that understands the exact needs of your business. Whether your business is as stable as a rock or is willing to take risks, you’ll need an accountant who can follow along with your business values.
3. Look for References
It can be hard to determine on your own if the accountant is qualified or not. Therefore, one way to find a qualified individual is to go through your network of contacts. Ask colleagues and coworkers whether they can refer you to anyone they’ve worked and have experience with. If you’re unable to get a direct referral, then try to ask for the accountant to provide references during your first meeting.
4. Team Size
One tip is to find an accounting firm that is about the same size as your own business. If you’re running a startup or a home business on your own, then a sole proprietor will probably be enough to fit your needs. But if you have a small to mid-sized business, or are planning to scale, then you may want to find an accounting firm that can accommodate your size. For example, accounting firms with multiple personnel can be a great option, as they have the manpower and services for your business demands.
5. Determine Compatibility
Choosing an accountant is not a simple decision, as you’ll be entrusting this individual with your finances and detailed aspects of your business. Therefore, you’ll want to ensure that you can get along with the professional. During your meetings, take the conversations to different tangents to see whether you can build a good relationship with the accountant. If you get the sense that there’s no common ground between the two parties, then you’ll want to move on to the next candidate.
Abby Evans is a writer for Jobs.ca, and who writes on everything from navigating job search engines and finding jobs in Toronto. She has written on a variety of blogs and websites, and loves to learn all she can on the job hunt.
Allan Fefergrad is a Montreal Accountant specializing in income tax returns for personal and corporate clients. Contact Allan today and keep your hard earned money in your hands!