Factors to Consider When Choosing an Accounting Firm

For any business owner, it can be overwhelming to keep up with the ever-changing tax laws. Whether you’re a sole proprietor or you own a mid-sized business, taking care of everything from cash flow management to minimizing tax liability can be a daunting task. Unless you’re a financial expert, understanding every aspect of tax laws can leave you scratching your head. So, it makes sense to hire an accounting firm to manage your books and taxes instead of handling bookkeeping all by yourself. For almost every business, it’s best to find an accounting firm that offers personal and corporate tax planning, income tax preparation, business advisory, and bookkeeping services.

Accounting professionals are qualified and make sure to stay updated about new tax laws. In addition to bookkeeping, accountants offer financial advice and help businesses develop budgets and set financial goals. Accounting professionals offer invaluable services; however, not all accounting firms are equal. You may find some incompetent accounting professionals who offer services at a low cost. But when it comes to your finances, it becomes crucial to find a reliable and qualified accountant. With that in mind, here are some factors you need to consider when hiring an accountant firm for your business.

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Qualification & Certification

Ensure the accountant you’re hiring has undertaken a finance-related bachelor’s degree and preferably some postgraduate degree. If you need services more than simply filing income tax, find an accounting firm that employs Certified Practicing Accountants (CPAs). If an accountant is a CPA, it means that the person has passed an exam and meets certain state-specific criteria. This certification also ensures that the professional has up-to-date knowledge of tax laws because CPAs must periodically renew their certification. The best firms also have a membership in organizations like the Institute of Chartered Accountants. Only qualified accountants can become a member of these bodies.

Accounting Services Offered

Most businesses need multiple services such as tax filing, auditing/reporting, cash flow analysis, and more. Depending on the services you need, make sure the accounting firm you choose can handle all your financial needs. A full-service accounting firm offers a wide range of services to deal with all your financial needs. In addition to this, make sure the firm is familiar with your industry. It’s important to hire an accountant who is familiar with your industry and the unique issues faced by your business to provide you with the right advice. This means that an accountant specializing in retail tax is not the right choice for agricultural clients.

Reputation and Experience

Dealing with business finances and taxes can be quite complex. It can be risky to trust any random individual who claims to offer accounting services. Before hiring an accounting firm, make sure to do some research to check the firm’s credibility and work experience. You should take a look at online reviews of the firm and their check social media accounts. You can also get references and speak to their clients. A reliable accounting firm will also post clients’ testimonials on their official website.

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Student. Award-winning communicator. Subtly charming coffeeaholic. Organizer. Gamer. A real dynamo when it comes to managing jack-in-the-boxes for fun and profit. Spent the 80's donating shaving cream in Libya. Spent 2001-2004 lecturing about Roombas in Jacksonville, FL. Garnered an industry award while getting my feet wet with sheep in the government sector. My current pet project is working on Slinkies in Orlando, FL. Spent 2002-2009 developing strategies for crayon art for the underprivileged.