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?

Auditing and bookkeeping make up the majority of the services that a professional accounting firm can offer to your organisation.

It will generate financial records for you, making it easier for you to keep track of both your revenues and your expenditures.

Another vital service that an accounting firm may give for their clients is advise and direction on how to improve the overall financial health of their company. This may be a very helpful service.

It is advantageous to your long-term planning, such as when you are looking to buy a property or modernise your infrastructure, examples of which are given in the previous sentence.

As a consequence of this, you will have the ability to determine how to achieve profitability and what your needs are in terms of cash flow.

Audits are carried out by organisations that specialise in accounting, and they involve looking not just at financial records but also at the processes and controls that are already in operation in the organisation.

This is done to guarantee that accurate records are being kept, that corporate regulations are being followed to, and that the financial processes of your firm are helping to support your business goals in the most effective 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 A Small Business Accounting Firm


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 go ahead and hire an accountant, you need to make sure that you have a clear understanding of the kind of work or responsibilities that you want the accountant to carry out for your business.

This is required in order for you to be able to make an educated 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.


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.

tax chart

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.

Choose if you require a CPA firm or an accountant

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

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.

Make use of Social Media

The vast majority of accountants working in the modern world are present and engaged across a range of social media platforms.

The professional networking website LinkedIn is an important necessity for any active accountant or accounting firm. It is imperative that you have a profile there.

You are going to want to look at their profile to determine whether or not they have included any recommendations or testimonials from previous customers there.

This demonstrates that they are able to run a successful business and that at least some of their customers have a high opinion of them as a result of the high quality of the professional services that they provide.

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 have an obligation to enquire with your accountant about the frequency with which you can anticipate receiving financial statements from them.

It is critical that you and your accountant have an open line of contact with one another whether you are growing your company to a new location or adding new services.

You should not only rely on your accountant for help during tax season, but you should also use them as business counsellors to ensure that your company is operating at its full potential.

As a result, it is essential to establish your expectations regarding the frequency of reports and communication up front, and it is also essential to select an accountant who is capable of meeting those standards.

You absolutely need to make sure that your team includes a seasoned accountant. Before settling on a choice, it is recommended to conduct at least three interviews with potential accountants.

It is of the utmost importance that you choose an accountant who is an excellent fit for the requirements of your small business.

If you have hired an accountant but they do not give the feeling that they are a member of your team, it is time to look elsewhere.

In spite of the fact that you could have some difficulties in the immediate future as a direct result of doing this, the results of your efforts will be beneficial to your organisation in the long run.

You need to have access to up-to-date financial information in order to be able to make intelligent decisions for your organisation.

The services offered by experienced accountants are the first step in this process.

Why does the nature of our working relationship feel more like a marriage than a business transaction? There is a very good reason for this phenomenon, and it is very simple.

Because your accountant will become highly involved in the day-to-day operations of your company, this choice should not be made on a whim but rather with careful consideration and deliberation.

You are going to need the assistance of somebody who is someone you can put your faith in, who has the necessary level of experience, and who is willing to be there for you at any time you might call on them for support.

Accountants who are capable of managing difficult financial work and providing guidance on practical business matters are of immeasurable value to the expansion of their clients’ companies.

You will almost certainly end up saving money as a direct and indirect consequence of this, both right away and over the course of time. If you make a judgement after considering all of the relevant information, there is no way that you will get it wrong.

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

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