What to Look for in an Accountant for Your Small Business

Accountant for Your Small Business

Starting and running your own business can be stressful and complicated. You’ll face all sorts of financial challenges as you get your small business off the ground, and it’s important that you don’t make the kind of mistakes that will haunt your business for years and stunt its growth. Having a reliable, knowledgeable accountant by your side to help you make the right choices can be the difference between a company that thrives versus a company that dies.

Because we have several years of experience working with small businesses, here’s a few guidelines that you can use to help you find an accountant that’s right for your small business.

Do they have small business experience?

First of all, one major difference between large and small businesses is that a small business owner’s personal finances can strongly tie to the business’s finances. This commingling of personal and business finances presents unique challenges that larger businesses don’t have to worry about. A good small business accountant understands all the consequences and tax penalties that can come from juggling personal finances with business finances, and will help small business owners start off on the right foot.

Related: 3 Reasons to Never Mix Personal and Company Accounts

Do they understand your industry?

Additionally, a good accountant understands that different types of businesses have different kinds of problems. The ideal accountant understands the industry you’re working in and the unique challenges that you face. They can tell you how realistic your business model is when compared to others working in your field and help you with filing your taxes, managing payroll and dealing with other special questions your industry may pose. They also understand how current legislation can affect your industry on both a state and federal level.

Do they have certification?

Furthermore, if you’re seeking out a CPA, ask about their certification. Accountants are regulated by their state’s licensing board and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. You can find out more information about your accountant’s certification status by requesting their certification form from their state’s accounting board.

Related: CPA vs. Bookkeeper: Which Does My Business Need?

Do they have a specialization?

Seems like all accountants specialize in a particular area of finances. It could be accounting, auditing, business valuations, financial management reporting, fraud/forensics, internal controls, personal financing or taxes. Figure out the needs of your business, and which of these specializations will be most relevant to you. If your prospective accountant specializes in forensics and auditing and you’re looking for someone who is a personal financing expert, you two may not be a good match.

Are they a good communicator?

Finally, can they break down complex ideas into simple, easy-to-grasp language? Or do they use lots of insider jargon? Accounting can be a very complex, easy-to-misunderstand field. It’s important to work with someone you trust. One who can keep you in the loop about your finances by explaining it in the plainest of terms.

In conclusion, learn more about the services that Hacker Accounting provides by calling us at 602-375-5251.

Chris Hacker
Chris has been working in the bookkeeping and accounting field for over 15 years preparing business, income and payroll taxes. Chris has a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State and is an Enrolled Agent with the Internal Revenue Service.