Starting a business will require you to find all manner of external vendors to work with, mainly because you can’t afford to have all kinds of specialists on the payroll. Whereas a major corporation has entire departments devoted to marketing, sales, legal concerns, payroll, and accounting, just for example, you’ll have to pick up the slack on some of these areas yourself and hire outside vendors for piecemeal work to cover the spread. And while you probably anticipate having to wear plenty of hats when you launch your business, that doesn’t necessarily qualify you to handle all of your business needs in the same way a trained professional can. So when it comes to accounting practices, you may need some help from a CPA. But how do you go about finding a reputable accountant for your business startup? Here are a few things you’ll want to look for.
The first order of business is to narrow your search. There could be dozens of independent CPAs and accounting firms in your area to choose from and you might not have the slightest idea of where to start. Plus, you probably don’t have time to schedule a consultation with every name in the phone book. So you should begin by talking to family members, friends, and colleagues to garner referrals, as well as get some idea of which vendors are best avoided. If you don’t happen to know anyone who can offer you advice in this arena, try joining industry forums comprised of local businesses or simply look for reviews via the Better Business Bureau and Yelp, for example. You can also try checking in with the local Chamber of Commerce for suggestions.
Once you have created a short list of candidates it’s time to start setting up consultations in order to ask questions and see what your preferred vendors can offer. You’ll certainly want an accountant that meets standards for education and certification. But almost more important is the experience these people bring to the table. As a small business owner you need to find an accountant that is familiar with your particular challenges, and preferably someone that works with other companies in your industry. This will ensure that you get the best financial advice related to your particular business. A CPA with the right experience can help you to save as much as possible on your tax filings without getting flagged for an audit, as well as develop the practices and procedures that are going to streamline your operation and maximize profits.
Of course, it couldn’t hurt to hire someone you have a rapport with, and when it comes to small business accounting, this could mean finding a CPA who shares your ideas about risk management in accounting, as well as a professional that is capable of speaking in laymen’s terms and answering all of your questions. You also want to hire someone that is reliable and available, so if you can’t get a callback when you’re a prospective client, don’t expect anything different down the road. You may find that the best accountant to meet the needs of your startup is a trusted, longtime friend of the family, or you might end up choosing a reputable and reliable firm like SDA CPA Group P.C. Either way, taking the time to determine your criteria and consult with accountants is bound to deliver a professional relationship that will benefit your business for years to com.