Sunday, 10 June 2018
Hiring an accountant for your personal or business needs offers more than one benefit. Today's accountants do not only do the business math for you or file taxes for your business; they also provide valuable advice. A trained accountant can analyse the information from your business's statements and determine how the company is doing and ways to grow it.
Contracting accounting services for a time is also cheaper than employing a full-time accountant. It's what to opt for if yours is a small business, or if you're just starting out. Hired workers don't oblige you to pay permanent-worker-benefits and, therefore, won't put a strain on your finances.
How do you hire an accountant?
You want to get the best services, and due diligence is needed when going through the hiring process. Here are top tips on how to hire the best accountant or accounting services to avoid disappointment.
Before hiring, ask yourself the following questions:
• What are Your Business Needs?
Do you need more than just business maths and taxes taken care of? With the high cost of hiring business consultants and lawyer's advice, you may want an accountant who will offer more. It's especially important if your business is ailing and you need fresh ideas from someone who can analyze business data and come up with suggestions.
An accountant is trained in business law as well as business mechanics. They understand the implications of specific practices in relation to the local laws. They are also knowledgeable in the management and productivity needs of a company. They can, in some ways, replace a business analyst or consultant and a lawyer to advise you on what to do. Find an accountant or an accounting firm who is ready to offer these extra services.
• How Accessible is the Accountant or Accounting Firm?
Since the accountant or accountants will not be permanently based at your company, you will need to be sure that you can find them when you need to. Ensure this before you commit yourself to hiring them. How easy is it to contact them? If it's a firm, do they have offices around? Is their customer care desk responsive and friendly? How was your first reception like? And, do they have functional contact channels such as telephone numbers, email address or social media accounts? How is the response to customer queries on these channels?
To be sure that you will get your queries answered once you start doing business with the accounting agency, make sure you've answered the above questions about their accessibility. You don't want to meet with disappointment midway. If you see anything that raises doubts, seek for more information. If you confirm you will likely get frustrated by the inability to reach them when in need, move on to another firm.
• How is the Accounting Firm's Reputation?
Do you have friends, business partners, or relatives who have information concerning the accounting firm you want to hire? They can be the most suited people to advise you on whether to hire the company or not. If they've used the firm's services before, the better. Their information will be first a hand and more reliable. You can also ask the accounting firm or individual accountants for their referees.
Also, scout for reviews both offline and online. Look for magazines and other publications that talk about the accounting firm and how good our bad their services are. The internet is another source of information you can use to find reviews.
• Do They Have the Necessary Certifications?
Before hiring for accounting services, determine the certifications the accountant or accountants hold. The accounting profession is governed by various certifications, both national and international.
Being certified means the accountant is competent enough. As a result, you get quality services and a real value for your money. You also get to hire the best of brains in the accounting field to the benefit of your business. Failure to ask for these qualifications and certificates could result in you getting served by incompetent accountants who may not offer valuable suggestions on how to grow your company.
• Do They Run a Business?
It can be that they currently do operate a business, or were involved in one. While not necessary, an accountant who already runs a company would be an advantage to yours, too. They understand the challenges faced by business people and, possibly, how to overcome them.
However, don't rely on this factor of business ownership too much. Other factors should also apply. If you can't find an accountant who is also a business owner, don't feel guilty hiring one who has never owned a company. It's only that owning one adds them more value.
• Do they Use Digital Accounting Technology?
If they do, you will be assured of quick accounting services. Digital accounting also assures you of accuracy. While every accountant you will come across will most probably be using digital filling and accounting software to do their work, you can't assume that they all do. Some may still be into some paperwork, something that could even mean they charge more because they have to employ more helping hands.
The type of accounting software used by accountants also varies, with some using customized programs that assure improved efficiency, accuracy and speed. If you have a large business or organization, you will need an accountant or accountants who use sophisticated software to carry out their work.
• How Much Do They Charge?
Cost is not always proportional to quality. Some accounting firms charge unfairly high rates while delivering average services. That doesn't mean that you choose the lowest prices, though. It means that you select the most reasonable, not too high and not too low.
Scout around before deciding which rate is the best for you. It will give you an opportunity to compare different prices from different accountants or accounting firms before determining the one to hire. Ask for hidden costs before committing yourself, such as if you will be required to pay for consulting them outside of accounting agreement.
With these tips, the accounting services you hire for your business or personal needs will be the best. Only ensure that the people you contact are honest. You're going to entrust them with your financial information, so you want them professional and ethical enough.