We’ve all read the newspapers and seen the countless news broadcasts about crooked accountants and their practices. Some skim a few dollars here and there from several of their clients, while a few others simply leave the country with the entire bank accounts of those who trusted their finances to their family CPA. Hiring such a key person to offer advice and services isn’t something that should be taken lightly, so we’ve come up with some steps to complete and some questions to ask to help you find a certified public accountant.
First things first, unless you’re a giant corporation, you don’t need to hire a full-time accountant, nor is it a wise, cost-effective idea to run out to find services from an accounting firm. Remember, a large firm has to hire individuals to work there that aren’t accountants, such as receptionists, personal assistants, maintenance, etc. Not to mention the VIPs that are running the operation. All of these things cost money, and guess where that money is going to come from- you! Small business owners simply don’t need this hassle.
The Internet has increased the availability of goods and services and such to nearly everyone, especially small business owners. One such service is consulting companies who, for a fee, will scout any available resources to find the right individual to fill your need. For example, if you’re looking for a doctor, a consulting company will sift through the literally thousands of potentials physicians, narrowing down choices by location, experience and areas of expertise, thus revealing your ideal doctor for your needs.
The same holds true for accountants. Specialty areas, years of experience, location, as well as any special awards and/or notable accomplishments are all taken into consideration in the search for your perfect CPA. Simply type any pertinent information onto such a service’s website and you could have a name and phone number to communicate with your new accountant within hours.
Many of these types of websites and companies charge a registration fee from the accountant’s end, leaving you and your money free to pay for any other services you might be interested. Other perks for utilizing such a referral service can include the accessibility to different financing and mentoring options that you may not realize existed- all for your small business to thrive.
On another note, be sure that you never sign any sort of contract with an accountant before or after you’ve met with them. You should never be held to anything that you don’t want to be, or be charged for services that you don’t need or use.