As a business owner, you have no shortage of responsibilities vying for your attention. Finding enough time to balance the day-to-day of running a business is a job within itself. However, savvy business owners understand they can't do it all. Instead, these successful business leaders partner with accounting firms to outsource some or all of the financial aspects of the business. If this is where you're at, the experts at MB Group can help. Let's take a closer look at what to look for in an accountant for your business.
Solid Credentials Are the Traits of a Good Accountant
When it comes to finding the best accountant for your business, it's imperative to understand that not all are created equally. Because of this, you can start by finding an accountant who is a CPA or Certified Public Accountant. CPAs are highly-skilled professionals who have completed a certification exam. CPAs are considered to be more trustworthy and knowledgeable due to the work and education required to attain and maintain their licensing. In addition, do a search for credentials including the Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) or Certified Management Accountant (CMA).
Experience Is What to Look for in an Accountant
In addition to the accountant's credentials, their experience speaks volumes. You can inquire about the amount of time the firm has been in business as well as the areas of accounting they specialize in. Most importantly, make sure the accountant or accounting firm has experience with your specific industry or business. This expertise is a critical trait of a good accountant who can provide you with valuable industry insights and guidance. A few of the most common questions you can ask to gain insight into their level of expertise include:
- How long have you been an accountant?
- Can you explain your credentials and experiences?
- What types of accounts and businesses do you typically represent?
- How long have you worked in this specific industry?
- What services can you offer my business?
- Where do you potentially see the possibility to add value?
- What accounting programs are you experienced with?
Look for an Accountant Who Can Add Business Intelligence & Value
All accountants and financial professionals will specialize in different areas and offer an array of services ranging from basic bookkeeping to audits to taxes to business planning. However, CPAs have the potential to offer the highest level of value with actionable intelligence and tax advice that a bookkeeper would be unable to offer.
Bookkeeping typically handle the daily financial aspects of business, such as:
- Creating reports
- Managing accounts receivable and payable
- Reconciling accounts
- Entering data
- Managing payroll
Accountants take it a step farther and offer tax and business accounting advice while handling the larger financial picture. These experienced professionals can add value to your business in more ways than one, including:
- Tax filings
- Business advice
- Business planning
- Cash flow management
- Tax advice
- Tax preparation
- Tax planning
- Generating reports
- Analyzing business financials
Certified Public Accountants (CPAs)
CPAs can perform everything an accountant can do in addition to create audit reports and legally represent your business in the event of an audit by the Internal Revenue Service. As you can imagine, having a skilled CPA on your side in the event of an audit is invaluable.
When choosing an accountant, don't overlook their reputation. And in today's age of information, you should have no problem finding ample indicators of the accountant's level of service. You can ask the accounting firm for a list of references willing to speak to you on their behalf. You can also perform searches via Google, LinkedIn, and other publications to learn more about their interactions with clients.
Just because you hire an accountant doesn't mean they will be accessible to you when you need them. Make sure you know when and how you can best reach your accountant. And before you do this, it's best if you know which mode of communication you prefer. Once you have defined these parameters, choose an accountant whose availability and response times are suitable to your needs.
Look for a Good Communicator
Your accountant will be tasked with keeping you in the know about taxes, account statuses, and business reports. More often than not, this process involves the explanation of complicated concepts. As a result, it's best to find an accountant who is capable of skipping the confusing jargon and speaking in a language you can understand.
Contact MB Group for Experienced Accountants
If you're looking for the traits of a good accountant, look no further than MB Group. We are an experienced team of CPAs who confidently check all of the boxes. Contact us today to learn how we can give your business the competitive edge it needs.