Why Regional Accounting Firms May be Better for Your Business than the Big 4

It’s a big decision. How to choose between the myriad of accounting firms to find the best financial advisor for your business? The relationship between business and accounting service provider should be a long-term partnership marked by mutual trust and familiarity.Though there is comfort in the prestige and familiarity of names like Deloitte orErnst and Young, there are a lot of reasons to take a closer look at regional accounting firmswho can provide high quality service without the celebrity status.

Relationships matter

Big 4 accounting firms highly leverage their junior staff. This means that most of your business issues and face-to-face time will be handled by relatively new employees. In a regional firm, the employee structure is more top heavy and each partner will typically have fewer clients. As such, you are more likely to get more time and attention from the heads of the firm who know the business inside and out. Having a direct line to guy at the top will cut out layers of communication and allow you to get your questions answered faster. Plus it’s nice to have face to face interaction with the people that you are ultimately counting on to make sure the financial side of your business is running smoothly.

Value for your money

This is the big one – all those years and dollars the big 4 accounting firms have spent building up their reputation will show up in your final bill.Everything else held constant, the extra expense just might not be warranted. Carefully consider what you are actually getting in terms of service or resources and take the brand name factor out of the equation.

Flexibility

Because regional accounting firms aren’t entangled with the same rigid procedures and red tape that are ever present in larger firms, they are more nimble and can often respond faster to changes and new issues as they arise. Typically there will less people working on your file who have a greater breadth of knowledge and can integrate their knowledge of your business to respond quickly and creatively to your needs.

Continuity

Staff turnover at regional firms is typically much less than at the big 4 accounting firms in Burnaby. It will bea great relief at tax or audit time to work with someone who is already familiar with your business and can hit the ground running. An accountant who has continuity on your file will be able to offer greater insights on year-to-year changes and will have a clearer view of your organization’s big picture.

In summary, many regional accounting firms provide all the same services as a big 4 firm such as assurance, tax preparation andlegal assistance – often with better service and a lower fees.Choose a firm with an established reputation and experience with businesses similar to yours. A good firm will be able to provide referrals from previous clients so that you can follow up on how they delivered on their promises in the past.