There are a dizzying number of accountants out there, so how do you know which one is right for you? You can’t take chances with your finances. You need to get it right the first time. Here are just six tips for finding an experienced and trustworthy accountant.
1. Know Your Needs
Why are you looking for financial services in the first place? Do you just need seasonal help with your taxes, or are you hoping for a long-term partner to guide you as your business evolves? Be honest about your expectations to find the best accountant for you.
2. Look For The Acronyms
Public accountants (PAs) are the lowest rung on the accountant ladder, and certified public accountants (CPAs) are the highest. Depending on your state, you might also run into licensed public accountants (LPAs) and registered accounting practitioners (RAPs). Never hire an accountant without these qualifications. Always ask for proof of accreditation before signing on the dotted line.
3. Get A Referral
Instead of blindly scouring the Yellow Pages, ask your friends, family and business acquaintances if they have any recommendations for an accountant. This will ensure both their integrity and their trustworthiness. Some financial professionals report up to 90 percent of their business coming from word-of-mouth.
4. Ensure Their Availability
If this is your first business, you’ll probably have a lot of questions for your accountant. Make sure that you choose one with 24/7 availability or flexible office hours for clients. There’s no use in hiring a financial advisor who’s never around when you need them.
5. Ask About Prices
While most accountants charge by the hour, some will offer a flat fee or charge you only by the services you require. Others will tack on extra fees for things like phone calls or working lunches. Before you officially hire an accountant, sit down with them and hammer out the details of their cost.
6. Consider A Firm
If you have a large business with a lot of paperwork, a single accountant may not be enough for you. You might enjoy better service at a full-blown accounting firm like the kind run by Michael J. Yuda. They can manage your accounts, file your taxes and advise you on investments on a much larger scale than an individual person.
When it comes to money matters, only the best will do. Use these six tips to find an accountant that you can trust.