It’s hard to understate how vital good accounting is in business these days. When 82% of companies fail due to poor cash flow management, you can’t afford to have inaccurate finances. If you want to ensure you have good books, you need an expert accountant to handle the job.
Are you looking to find the best accountant? If so, it pays to know what questions to ask before you interview one for the job. Keep reading to learn the best questions to ask when you decide to hire an accountant.
Do You Have Specific Experience In My Industry?
While a general accountant can handle a lot, that doesn’t make them the right pick for every CPA role. Every industry out there has a few things that make them different from the rest. If an accountant inexperienced in your industry takes on the job, they may not know those things.
Try to find a local accountant who has worked in your industry before. When you find someone with specific industry experience, the chances are good that they know all the little details about accounting in your industry.
This knowledge will help your accountant keep better books and not make mistakes that can cause your company headaches.
What Services Do You Offer?
Not every accountant is a one-size-fits-all solution for your financial needs. Most accountants can probably handle your books and ensure that you have accurate numbers to make business decisions. However, not every accountant offers services outside of bookkeeping.
There are many different services accountants can offer. Here are just a few that you can look for:
- Tax preparation
- Payroll processing
- Cost accounting
- Managerial accounting
- Audit accounting
Your business may not use all of these services, so it may be wiser to go for an accountant with a more limited role. Examine your business needs along with the services offered by an accountant to ensure you find a partner who can handle everything you need them to do.
Are You A Certified Accountant?
You can’t just call yourself a CPA and offer services as an accountant. That title is reserved for people who take the time to study and pass the certified accountant exam.
Before you hire an accountant, ask them to verify their CPA license. Anyone with the correct license can provide you with a license number. Once you have this number, you can verify that the CPA title is real and the license is up to date.
An accountant won’t get held to the same standard if they don’t have a verified CPA license. By working with a licensed CPA, you know your accountant will go above and beyond to ensure they follow the rules and provide excellent service.
Do You Take Security Seriously?
The chances are good that any accountant you work with these days will use digital tools to get the job done. It isn’t feasible anymore to do everything with paper. It takes a lot of time and isn’t productive.
While digital tools increase productivity a lot, they do have one big downside. You have the risk of cybercrime.
You’re handing over sensitive information when you work with an accountant. You need to ensure that anyone you hire has the proper security measures in place. Ask this question before you hire someone, and don’t hesitate to look elsewhere if an accountant doesn’t take security seriously.
How Will You Charge Me?
There’s not one standard form of pricing for accountants. Each individual and company have preferences related to the type of work they do and the clients they serve.
The first method of charging is an hourly rate. An hourly rate is great for a company that doesn’t have many needs and needs sporadic work. In this case, you only pay for what you need.
However, if you have regular accounting needs, you may do better with a fee-for-service price structure. In this structure, an accountant will charge you a fixed rate for certain services. Doing this is a great way to estimate your accounting costs and not pay more for hourly work you don’t need.
Do You Work In Multiple Locations?
If you operate a larger business, the chances are good that you don’t only have to worry about financial issues in your current location. As you move across state lines and borders, the regulations regarding finance will change.
The question is, will your accountant be able to help you if you operate in different locations?
Make sure whoever you hire has the means to take care of your business everywhere. If they can’t, you’ll end up hiring another accountant to take care of your financial needs in your other locations.
Do You Have References?
You won’t learn everything there is to know about an accountant just by speaking with them a few times. They aren’t going to talk about their shortcomings with potential clients if it means it will cost them the job. You’ll need to do some extra digging to get more information.
Talking to past customers is a great way to gather more details. A great accounting firm like Suretax Chartered Accountants should have several satisfied customers. Ask to speak with them to learn how more about an accountant operates.
Finding The Best Accountant Isn’t Easy
There are many accountants globally, and not all of them can handle the job you need to be done well. Before searching for the best accountant, make sure you know what qualities to look for in one. When you put in a bit of work before your search, you’re in a better position to find a great accountant for the job.
If you’re looking for more roles to outsource in your business, head back to the blog. You’ll find more articles that will help you find the best outsourcing partners to run your company.