How to Choose a Small Business Accountant

Working with a small business accountant can provide you with significant help as a business owner. If you find a good accountant to work with, your life can become simplified and your finances can become easier to maintain. However, choosing an incompetent accountant can make things much more difficult for you. Here are the basics of how to choose a small business account successfully.

The first thing that you want to keep in mind is that you need to shop around. Many people will walk into the first accountant's office and hire them. If you do this, you will not know whether you are hiring the best accountant available. You should visit several different accountants in your area before making a decision.


When you visit accountants, you need to make sure that you ask the right questions. You need to sit down with them and ask them many different questions that apply to their skill level in the accounting field. This is the time to gather information about them. Many people get into a business relationship without finding out all of the facts about their partner first. If you are already doing business with an accountant, it is difficult to switch to another accountant because you will have to start from scratch and break down your financial picture. Therefore, you need to make sure that you get a good feeling for who this person is before getting involved.


When you are interviewing accountants, the first question that you will want to ask is whether or not they are a CPA. Being a CPA gives you the ability to conduct a number of different business practices that you cannot do if you are not a CPA. In order to become a CPA, you must go through a very detailed process that involves many qualifications. Therefore, they are held to a higher standard in the industry. 


Another important part of the interview process should entail the details about their fee structure. You will need to know exactly how much they charge and how they calculate their fees. You want to know whether they charge by the hour, by the job or some other method. You also want to know what expenses they expect to be reimbursed for. You do not want any surprises when it comes to calculating your fees.


You will also want to ask them about their level of experience in the industry. You want to know that your accountant has significant experience working with your type of company. They might be able to offer you a list of some of their clients that are similar to you. This will help you understand that the accountant can actually handle the work that you will give them. Otherwise, you might feel uncomfortable giving them certain jobs to do.

Making the Decision

It is your job to gather all this information and make a decision to the best of your ability. Consider everything that you learn when talking to the accountant and then weigh it against the other accountants that you have interviewed.