What to know before you hire an accountant

When you’re just getting your business off the ground, it’s common to have a handle on every aspect, including finances. As the company grows, it becomes necessary to distribute some of the responsibilities. We understand that it can be nerve-racking to give control of your money to a virtual stranger, so we’ve compiled a list of the most common questions business owners pose and the guidelines to use when hiring an accountant.

Before you begin the recruiting process, you’ll need to define the scope of the job. Do you expect an accountant to do the books for your business only, or will they be responsible for personal finances as well? Outline the list of responsibilities that he or she will have. This is important because what you get from a bookkeeper is different than when you hire a CPA.

For example, a CPA can represent you or your company in an IRS audit, help design a successful business plan, and prepare financially for future growth. Your decision will also hinge on budget. You’ll pay more for a certified professional, but their financial capabilities are larger than those of an uncertified accountant.

Ask the tough questions

Once you’ve discerned if a CPA the best fit for you needs, start your search by asking for accountant referrals from friends and associates that have similar businesses. Doing so will help narrow the field of local accountants down to those that come with the right experience and solid references.

Ask the referring party about the responsiveness of the individuals they recommend. Is he or she easily reachable when you have questions or concerns, and what is the average turnaround time on filings and reports?

We recommend that you talk to two or three different accountants before making an offer. You’ll want to pick someone who would work well within the internal culture of your business and who has a communication style that matches your own. Make sure you have a clear understanding of their fee structure and work out a contract that suits both of your needs.

Get the right answers

Preparing for the interview process helps ensure that you’ll ask the right questions. Hire an accountant that has the skills to handle the tasks you need done today as well as those that will come with growth.

GYL has earned a reputation as one of the best Southern California accounting services because our CPA’s have the training and experience to help you run your business efficiently now and plan for expansion in the future.