Dealing with your personal or professional bookkeeping most likely isn’t your favorite task. Unless you have a real penchant for numbers, it can be overwhelming and stressful. Thankfully, there are people out there who actually enjoy the process of dealing with issues such as tax returns and financial planning, and they are here to help those of us who struggle with the chore. If you’ve decided that it’s time to hire an accountant in order to make your life more manageable, there are a few qualities you should keep an eye out for.
While it’s always more pleasant to do business with someone who makes you feel comfortable, a certain degree of professionalism is necessary when working with an accountant. The accounting firm that you choose should have a professional appearance, whether that be in their office, on their website, or when speaking on the phone. Those who come across as less than professional will likely have less than impressive services as well.
A proven track record is always encouraging, especially when someone will be dealing with your finances. Ask friends and family if they have a recommendation for a trustworthy accountant, and go online to search for reviews from previous clients. An accountant that has a history of satisfied clients likely has the experience needed to do a great job for you. While it may be tempting to go with a less experienced or not as well known firm in order to save money, you may be unimpressed with the accounting help that you receive.
Accounting is a profession where knowledge is key. There is simply no way to fake your way through the job, so finding a qualified accountant with knowledge and know-how is essential. A college degree is certainly beneficial, and the knowledge that comes along with years of training is sure to be helpful. However, on the job training is also something to consider, as well. You will also want to ensure that whoever you choose is certified, whether they be a CPA (certified public accountant) or a CMA (certified management accountant). Participation in continuing education is also useful, as this will help your accountant stay on top of changes in the industry.
When you go about hiring an accountant, you are doing so because they have the knowledge to accomplish something that you may not know how or have the time to do. An accountant who can go above and beyond the task at hand to provide insights into your business and strategies to help things flow more smoothly is an invaluable resource. Before you make your decision, speak with your potential accountant to determine whether or not they offer additional insights along with their standard reporting.
Choosing an accountant doesn’t have to be the headache you may be envisioning. By keeping the above qualities in mind, you will be well on your way to finding an accountant that can easily help you with all of your personal or professional bookkeeping needs.