Your business is important to you, and growing that business successfully requires talented business tax accountants. If you don’t already have one, here are some tips for choosing the right one.
1. Do your research
You want to choose an accountant for your business that you are comfortable with. You want someone who understands your business goals and who is willing to work with you to realize them. There are literally thousands of accountants for you to choose from, so make a long, and a short list first.
2. Interview your short list
Any accountant worth your business will be eager to sell you on theirs. They should be excited to work with you and interested in what your business does, and what your plans are for the future. If they cancel your initial consult, or reschedule it for a time that doesn’t work for you, scratch them off your short list. Focus on those who make getting your business a priority.
3. Background checks
Investigate your short list of accountants, or accounting firms. Look for consumer reviews and confirm their qualifications. Most accountants display their credentials in their office, making them easily visible. If you don’t see any, it might be prudent to wonder why, or at least provoke you to inquire where they went to school.
4. Are they specialists?
Many accounting firms house all kinds of accountants, but if you are dealing with a business comprised of a singular accountant, you’ll want to be sure they are equipped to handle your business’s accounting needs. If they primarily do personal taxes, or deal with family wealth, they may not be the best match for your business.
5. Do they have resources?
It’s easy for accountants to get overloaded, and for business accountants, every month is tax season as each business’s fiscal year end varies. Do the candidates on your short list have partners, or employ other accountants who can handle the workload? Are they available to make house calls at your place of business? Can they handle things if your business gets audited?
6. Are they progressive?
If anyone on your shortlist is still filing tax returns of any kind on paper forms, run for the hills. Any accountant you consult should be fully versed in a myriad of accounting software, and familiar with the government online e-filing services. This will make remitting quarterly taxes much more simple, and ensure you and your accountant are getting instantaneous updates on accounting laws, practices, or notices involving changing deadlines.
7. Are they versatile?
Sometimes it isn’t convenient for you to drive to your accountant’s offices to have a meeting, or drop off files. Do they provide you with another option? Are they open to a Skype or FaceTime meeting? Do they have a Cloud based drive for you to upload your files to? As technology advances, so do the options in the business world. Meeting with your accountant face-to-face should be a choice, not your only option.
8. Do they have a clean record of practice?
Have their credentials ever been suspended or has legal action been taken against them? This may be more difficult to find out, but you don’t want your business’s good name to be tainted by the shady practices of your accountant. If they have ever had their credentials suspended, or faced legal action, you’ll want to know why and then make a decision from there.
9. Do they remember your name?
Your accountant will become a large part of your business, and you are a large part of theirs. If they can’t differentiate between you and their other clients, you might want to consider someone else.
Deadlines are the currency of the accounting world. There are tax deadlines, filing deadlines and reporting deadlines, to name a few, and its your accountants job to make sure you don’t miss any of them. Seeing how organized they are at your first meeting, and whether or not hat meeting takes place on time, will be a good indicator of things to come.
Don’t sign on the dotted line with just anyone. Do your research and choose a business tax accountant you can trust. This may be a long term engagement, make sure it’s a happy one!
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