Tax

Choosing the perfect accounting firm for your small business?

The tax laws seem to be getting more complicated every year as a result of legislators’ constant tinkering, leaving the common person bewildered when it comes to making important financial choices.

Among these choices is whether or not to liquidate an investment property or assert a tax deduction for operating a business from home.

Accounting firms keep up to date on any new tax legislation, and many of them also provide financial advice and assistance to individuals and small businesses in the development of budgets and the setting of financial goals.

If you want someone to handle your payroll on a weekly basis or you just want solid tax guidance, you’ll be satisfied with your option if you ask some basic questions before making a decision.

A small business has a number of significant considerations, but one of the most important is who its accountant will be.

If it’s a good one, it can help your company save time and develop, but if it’s a terrible one, it could cost you money that you really need.

When there are thousands of options available, making a decision might feel extremely overwhelming. When it comes to choosing an accountant and working with one, what are some of the factors that should be taken into consideration?

What exactly is an accounting company? Why is it necessary for your company’s operations?

The majority of the services that an accounting firm can provide for your company include auditing and accounting.

It creates financial records for you, making it simple for you to monitor both your revenues and expenditures.

Another essential service that an accounting firm may provide for their clients is advice and guidance on how to improve their company’s overall financial health.

It is beneficial to your long-term planning, such as when you are looking to buy a property or upgrade your infrastructure.

As a result, you will be able to figure out how to break even and what your requirements are in terms of cash flow.

Audits are carried out by accounting firms, and they involve looking not only at financial records but also at the procedures and controls that are in place.

This is done to ensure that proper records are being kept, that company policies are being adhered to, and that your company’s financial practices help support your business goals in the most efficient way possible.

There are a lot of accounting businesses that provide a variety of tax services.

The firm’s accountants are able to assist you in determining a new tax code, determining your company’s tax liability, and ensuring that you meet all filing requirements and deadlines in a timely manner.

This will help ensure that your financial reporting practices are in compliance with current regulations.

You will be able to plan your subsequent actions, determine whether or not you are earning a profit, and come to a conclusion on the expansion of your business by utilising these services.

Choosing An Accounting Firm For Your Small Business

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Finding the correct company to work with is essential, whether you’re an individual looking for tax assistance or a company that needs a full range of accounting services.

Find out what your company needs

You must first have a clear idea of the tasks or obligations that you want the accounting firm to take care of for your company before you can hire them.

A non-certified accountant or bookkeeper might be recruited to assist with activities such as creating monthly financial statements and bookkeeping if necessary.

A CPA, often known as a certified public accountant, is required in order to seek advice on tax planning, have tax returns prepared, or have financial statements audited.

Investigate the kinds of accountants that the company employs.

However, before you hire an accountant, you need to first understand the type of job or tasks you want the accountant to perform for your company.

This is necessary before you can make an informed decision.

A non-certified accountant or bookkeeper might be recruited to assist with activities such as creating monthly financial statements and bookkeeping if necessary.

A CPA, often known as a certified public accountant, is required in order to seek advice on tax planning, have tax returns prepared, or have financial statements audited.

Consider whether it makes a difference where you live

It used to be crucial for businesses to have their accountants work in close proximity to their offices. However, in today’s world, an increasing number of businesses are managing their operations through the use of cloud computing and online collaboration.

This indicates that location is not as much of a concern as it formerly was.

Cloud accounting allows you and your accountant to examine the same real-time data at the same time, regardless of where either of you may be physically located.

Your company should base the decision regarding where to look for an accountant on what is most conducive to its success. Your accountant could be located pretty much anywhere in the world, depending on how you wish to organise the business’s financial affairs.

If you are willing to work via email, phone conversations, video conferences, or other secure accounting software, for instance, you could be in Melbourne while the other person is in a different nation.

If your accountant can work from anywhere in the world, you won’t have to make any adjustments to your business practices in order to accommodate their location.

You are able to locate a person who possesses a deep comprehension of the particulars of your company or sector.

Buying A Business

On the other hand, you might prefer face-to-face interaction and think it would be helpful to have someone who can attend business meetings with you.

In this case, having someone who is able to accompany you would be beneficial.

If this is the case, then you will need to restrict your search to accountants who are either located in close proximity to your business or who are willing to make occasional trips to your location.

Make sure that they are well-versed in the financial regulations that pertain to your company, regardless of the location at which they operate.

If you require help with your accounting, you can give us a call on (03) 8568 3606 or email us on [email protected].

Look for small business experience

The fees that large accounting companies charge their clients are typically higher than the fees charged by small and medium-sized firms.

If you are a tiny business that has only recently begun operations, this may not be to your advantage.

You need an accountant who has experience working with small businesses, and it would be ideal if that accountant also has experience working with enterprises operating in your field.

Some accountants become highly familiar with the issues that are peculiar to a given business after spending a significant amount of time working for clients in that industry.

Watch out for the large accountancy firms.

You need an accountant who has experience working with small businesses, and it would be ideal if that accountant also has experience working with enterprises operating in your field.

Some accountants become highly familiar with the issues that are peculiar to a given business after spending a significant amount of time working for clients in that industry.

If the accountant has worked with a number of clients who are similar to you, then they will be able to provide you with sound advice on how to make the appropriate financial decisions for the expansion of your business.

Try to find an accountant who specialises in your industry

You will need the assistance of someone who has previous experience preparing tax returns and financial documentation for businesses with a size and revenue that is comparable to your own.

If the majority of your company’s operations are performed using cloud-based software, you will most likely require the services of an employee who is proficient in cloud computing.

It is even better if they have worked with organisations that operate in market sectors that are comparable to your own since this will help them grasp the specific requirements of your company.

You could wish to look into whether or if they serve customers of a greater scale.

If they do, that is a good sign because you will know that they should be able to accommodate your growing needs over time.

If they don’t, that is not a good sign.

You might also ask them for a customer list that includes information about each company’s total income as well as some of the workers they employ.

Find out how their previous customers have evolved and grown over the years to get a better idea of whether or not they will be able to meet the changing requirements of your business.

Is the prospective accounting firm you’re looking into well-regarded in the industry?

You want to make sure that past customers were satisfied with the service that was provided; a smart approach to ensure this is to check at Google and Facebook to read reviews about a potential company.

Read as many reviews as you can and pay attention to details such as the number of reviews the company has received, the amount of time that has passed since it received reviews, and whether or not past customers are giving positive feedback.

Tap into your social networks

When looking for a new accountant, the best option can already be in front of you the whole time.

To get started, enquire with any close friends or family members who already run their own small enterprises as to whether or not they can recommend their accountant.

If that’s the case, why? And if not, what are the reasons? The responses to both of these questions may come in handy at a later time when you are conducting interviews with potential applicants.

It is important to keep in mind that selecting an accountant is a personal decision; therefore, what may be appropriate for the public relations company owned by your closest buddy may not be appropriate for your manufacturing company.

Also, take into account the various organisational structures of businesses.

It’s possible that the best accountant for a company with ten employees won’t be the finest accountant for a sole proprietorship.

Do a research

It is imperative that you conduct research on any potential accounting firm now that you are aware of the services that you desire.

Find out as much as you can about the company, including how much experience it has, how long it has been in business, whether or not it has the ability to assist you with the services you require, and, most crucially, whether or not it has experience working with small businesses.

Talk to government and business associations

Numerous national economies depend critically on the success of their local small business communities. Because of this, governments often try to foster their expansion wherever possible.

As the owner of a small business, you should make use of the various networks of business consultants that are available to assist you in making decisions, such as selecting the appropriate accountant.

Additionally, there are many non-profit organisations and local chambers of business that are eager to provide you with advice.

Take advantage of these resources because they are provided for your benefit and their guidance is typically provided at no cost to you.

They can also be beneficial venues to network and engage in conversation with other proprietors of businesses. If you repeat this process a few times, you will likely find that other people who own businesses will recommend an accountant to you. If nothing else, this should make it easier for you to narrow the pool of potential interviewees down to a more manageable size.

Fees

Because there are many different billing structures that might substantially differ from one another, it is essential that you understand how an accounting firm that you are considering will bill your company before hiring them. It is essential that you have a clear understanding of how you will be charged because some companies bill by the hour while others charge fixed prices for each service they do.

The costs charged by your accounting firm must, after all, be affordable for either your company or your personal finances for them to be considered a viable option.

The majority of businesses compute their revenue one of two ways: either on an hourly basis or using a flat rate. Before you agree to move forwards with anything, you should make sure that you have a clear understanding of how much everything is going to cost you.

The manner in which fees are computed and the total amount charged might vary greatly from company to company.

Some accountants charge a monthly cost that includes their fee to complete taxes, while others charge monthly fees for bookkeeping services and then separately for business and personal tax preparation.

Some accountants charge a monthly price that includes their fee to complete taxes. Before deciding which provider to work with, it is important to find out how they handle billing for their services.

There are a variety of prices that different accountants and accounting firms set for their services. It is different depending on the number of services that are supplied as well as the credentials of the individual who is giving the services.

Some accountants offer a one-time, flat cost for their bookkeeping services, while others charge an annual fee for a predetermined package of services, such as tax preparation.

It is possible that you can negotiate how you pay, but this will depend on how much cash you have coming in.

Be sure to conduct a thorough review of your financial situation before making a choice.

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Inquire Regarding Accounting Software

Before you decide on an accountant, you should enquire about the kinds of software packages they advise their clients in the small company sector to use. It’s possible that some accountants are still utilising outdated desktop accounting software in their practices.

They have no interest in upgrading to the most recent online accounting systems available. You are looking to make an investment in accounting software that will allow your company to scale up during the next three to five years.

You should also look for an accountant that is able to instruct you in the usage of your software and assist you in establishing your initial chart of accounts.

You should also find out whether they can assist you in obtaining a price reduction for the accounting software you use and enquire about this possibility.

It’s common for accountants to have their own accounting software that they prefer. There is a good probability that they have been in the company for a considerable amount of time and have grown accustomed to using a specific brand of software.

This may present a challenge. In the event that your organisation makes use of a different programme, there is a possibility that there may be problems sharing data.

Although it may be possible to export and import data using a format that is appropriate, doing so may take a considerable amount of time and frequently result in errors.

Email is approximately as safe as sending information on a postcard, therefore there is a possibility that very sensitive financial information you transmit back and forth could be intercepted and viewed by a third party.

Therefore, you should look for an accountant who uses the same software that you do.

Or, if that is not possible, someone who is willing to do it.

There is no valid explanation that prevents them from utilising more than one variety of accounting software when serving their various customers.

This is especially the case if the software is simple to understand and use.

It is in everyone’s best interest if you can reach an agreement to utilise user-friendly, industry-leading accounting software and to only trade files that have been appropriately encrypted.

Choosing accounting software that is collaborative, hosted in the cloud, and has built-in encryption is an even more appealing alternative.

Because of this, you won’t have to worry about the dangers that are associated with trading information back and forth.

Check If the Accountant Uses Cloud Technology

The use of cloud computing is becoming increasingly popular among accountants.

The reason for this is due to the numerous advantages that are available to them, such as the protection of their data, the availability of their data from a remote location, the adaptability with which they can do their task, and many other aspects, such as electronic invoicing.

You should always be able to get at the information included in your accounting records.

In addition, you want the accountant to be available at all times to handle any pressing concerns that may arise.

When the accountant uses cloud services, this is something that is an option for them.

Decide Whether You Need an Accountant or a CPA Firm

When they first start out, many owners of small businesses do their taxes on their own.

With the assistance of modern software such as ProfitBooks, Xero, Sage, and other programmes of a similar nature, it is now far simpler for owners of businesses to perform basic bookkeeping responsibilities in comparison to times gone by.

However, once a certain amount of time has passed, it becomes prudent to employ a professional accountant or a team of accountants in order to manage the obligations of accounting, payroll, and taxes.

The size of your company as well as the volume of financial transactions that you process each month will determine whether or not you require the services of a certified public accountant (CPA) or a small, independent accounting firm.

Range of accounting services

You should look for an accounting firm that provides a variety of services, particularly for businesses.

Some examples of these services include financial management, auditing and reporting, cash flow analysis, and succession planning.

This kind of company will do much more than complete your tax return; in addition, they will be able to provide you guidance regarding the monetary predicament of your company.

Dealing with only one company for all of your financial requirements not only saves time but is also significantly more efficient.

Leverage Social Media 

The majority of accountants in today’s world are active on a variety of social media channels.

Any active accountant or accounting company absolutely has to have a profile on the professional networking website LinkedIn.

You will want to check their profile to see whether they have any client testimonials or recommendations listed there.

This demonstrates that they run a successful company and come highly recommended by at least some of their clients due to the quality of their professional services.

Inquire Regarding Recommendations

Asking other business owners who they work with for their accounting needs is one technique to identify a qualified accountant for your company.

There is no recommendation more trustworthy than one that comes from one of your peers.

Inquire about their experiences when dealing with their accountant or bookkeeper, and try to get an estimate of the financial resources you’ll need to spend for these services from them.

Inquire Regarding the Reporting Frequency

You need to ask your accountant how frequently you can expect to receive financial statements from them.

When you are expanding your business, it is very important for you and your accountant to stay in close communication with one another.

Not only do you want to rely on your accountant for assistance during tax season, but you also want to employ them as business counsellors.

Therefore, it is important to communicate your expectations regarding the frequency of reports and communication upfront and to select an accountant who can fulfil those criteria.

You really must have an experienced accountant on your staff. Conduct at least three interviews with prospective accountants before making a decision.

It is imperative that you select an accountant who is a good match for the needs of your small business.

Move on if you have engaged an accountant who does not have the impression that they are a member of your team.

Even if you might experience some hardship in the near term as a result of doing this, your company will benefit in the long term from your efforts.

If you want to make sound choices for your company, you need access to current financial information.

This begins with services provided by professional accountants.

There is a very solid explanation for why the nature of our working relationship feels more like a marriage than a business transaction.

It is not a decision that should be made flippantly because your accountant will become deeply involved in the day-to-day operations of your business.

You will require someone in whom you can place your trust, who possesses the appropriate experience, and who will be there for you whenever you require their assistance.

Accountants who are skilled at managing complex financial work and providing advice on practical business concerns are invaluable to the growth of their client’s businesses.

This will absolutely result in cost savings for you, both immediately and over the course of time. As long as you make an informed decision, there is no way that you will make a mistake.

The best ones will be your partner in all except the name.

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