4 Tips for Hiring an Accountant

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Many small business owners start out by doing most of the work themselves, from customer service to product development. As the business grows, it becomes difficult to perform all the tasks alone. If you are hiring an accountant to handle the increasingly complex business finances, then consider the following tips.

1. Assess Your Needs

A professional accountant can handle a variety of tasks. Make sure that you know exactly what you want before you hire someone to handle your accounts. Perhaps you prefer to handle some of the routine bookkeeping tasks yourself, but need help filing your taxes or preparing for a loan, or maybe you may want someone who will work independently to handle all the financial needs of the company.

2. Research Candidates

It is important to find someone who has experience handling finances in your industry and operates with integrity. A poorly trained or unethical accountant can cause serious problems and it may require the services of a litigation support specialist to sort things out again. Seek out online reviews from as many sources as possible and search for the candidate on social media to look for evidence of unprofessional behavior. Perform a background check to ensure they do not have a criminal history involving fraud, identity theft or embezzlement.

3. Get Referrals

A great way to find trustworthy accountants is by asking people in your network for recommendations. Hiring someone because they were the first person to appear in an internet search or have the biggest advertisement in the newspaper can be a mistake. Nowadays, anyone can place a flashy advertisement in front of potential clients. Asking your family members, friends and industry associates for referrals can help you narrow down your prospects.

4. Evaluate Regularly

As your company grows, your needs may change. Over time, your accountant may no longer be able to meet the demands. Keep an eye on the financial reports and maintain open channels of communication to ensure the accountant continuously performs well. Even someone who was highly recommended may not be a good fit with the company culture. If the quality of work is poor or personalities clash, it may be best to sever ties early. If your accountant is a great fit but seems overwhelmed, hire additional help as necessary to allow them to operate efficiently.

Properly maintained finances are essential for your business. If you are struggling to find the time to work on the books, do not fully understand all the applicable laws or prefer to concentrate on other aspects of the business, then consider hiring a qualified accountant.

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