09 Dec How to Choose the Best Accounting Firm for Your Accounting Needs
If you are running a business, one of the first things you need to take care of is your accounting. Let alone the fact that a good accounting record would let you effectively track your finances, it is necessary for all businesses to keep a decent record of their financial transactions by law, so you could expect to run into a lot of trouble if you don’t have an accounting department. Now, you can not be expected to take care of the accounting on your own. You have got a business to run after all. What you need is an accountant, or rather an accounting firm, to get the job done for you. And this is how you go about choosing the right one for your company.
Consider online services
With online services and e-commerce being all the rage in this day and age, it’s not hard to find any service on the net. The same applies to accounting firms and services; one quick Google search would guide you to quite some competent accounting services that can easily manage your books. So, if the location is not an issue for you, these services may be worth looking into. Granted face-to-face interactions do feel a lot more secure and trustworthy, but some truly stellar firms operate over the net that does deserve your attention.
Certification is important
While this one goes without saying, it is worth reminding that signing up for a non-certified accounting firm service is a risky venture. Yes, you may not need a highly certified accounting service for tasks such as general financial management, tax calculation or general bookkeeping, but if you’re ever looking to expand your business or even planning to audit in the future, you’d need the skills of a certified professional at your disposal. Certified professionals are taught advanced courses after all, so it only makes sense they would be more competent in their accounting skills than accountants that aren’t certified as Chartered Accountants (or any other degree of the kind).
Look for a firm that specializes in your industry
There’s a lot of merit in looking out for this factor. Not all industries operate under the same principles, and while most industries would require the same kind of general accounting services, each business may differ in their respective needs according to their industry. That is why hiring an accounting firm with prior experience in your field of business may prove useful, since they’d already know exactly the kind of service you’d need and may even serve to provide you with services you didn’t even know you needed before. Other than similar market experience, you would need to check whether the service you choose CAN provide you with every service you need; you don’t want to end up hiring a firm that falls short of your needs at the last minute, now do you?
The best way to judge the worth of service is by appraising their previous work. Naturally, a firm that’s done a commendable job for other firms in the past would be able to handle your business’s accounting with far greater expertise than another firm whose track record is not as impressive as the first ones. That is why it is important to ask around for companies that have a great track record with their clients. You can go about this in two ways: either look up a company and then review its previous work or ask around your social network for competent accounting services that could handle your business’s accounting needs. Either way would eventually lead you to the doorstep of a capable accounting firm that won’t disappoint you in the long run.
Another platform to ask around for great accounting services would be a business advisors network. Asking for help here is always encouraged (and sometimes even funded by governments since small businesses are the backbone of a country’s economy) and you may even be able to build some great business connections on these platforms while you’re at it. Their advice is usually free, so you have nothing to lose, and who knows, you may even be able to find a great accounting firm this way.
Look into what software your firm of choice uses
This last point may not seem as important, but when you are operating a business, you want every sector of your operation to run as smoothly as possible. That is why it is important to check for software compatibility issues (that are more common than you think) between the software you normally use to record your data and the accounting firm’s preferred software for using that data for accounting purposes. This is the last thing you want to waste time in, so ask any accounting firm you’d want to hire upfront about any software they use and whether it has had any issues in the past. If there is indeed a compatibility issue, then it may be best to move on to a different accounting firm instead of trying to find a workaround. Still, if the firm is willing to cooperate with you in this matter and use a different software do take them up on their offer.
Before sealing the deal, one must always negotiate a price he feels comfortable paying. But of course, if you’re running a business, you’re already well-versed in this law of trade. So, it would only be logical to extend this practice into drawing up a contract with an accounting firm. Both you and the firm are looking to make as much profit as you can, so it is important to meet at a middle ground each party is satisfied with. Only then can you hope to have a healthy partnership with your accounting firm of choice in the long run.
Choosing the right accounting firm may be hard, but it is not a service you can do without. That is why it is important you choose one quickly for your business but even more important you choose one that’s right for you and your company.