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Accounting, business and technology insights for those who are blazing their own trail to success.

The Five Questions Small Business Owners Should Ask Their Accountants

Posted by Amrik Randhawa on July 17, 2012 at 8:45 PM

Many solo practitioners and small business owners hire a bookkeeper to do data entry and generate financial reports for their companies; and with Kashoo Small Business Accounting, your bookkeeper’s job is much easier! So what can an accountant do for your business? Quite simply, accountants take those reports and your other financial documents and analyze and recommend steps for you to take for the financial health of your business.

Most people don’t understand accounting very well. That’s why using an accounting program especially designed from the ground up for freelancers, small businesses, and solo practitioners is so important. But when you hire the best accountant for your particular business circumstances, you will also be able to receive the best business advice for your company. What should you look for when hiring an accountant? Here are five questions to ask someone who would like to join your team as your accountant and financial advisor:

1) Are you a Certified Public Accountant (CPA)? CPAs have more education and more experience and expertise than non-CPA accountants. Depending on your needs and circumstances, it may be well worth the higher fees to hire a CPA. Make sure to also find out how fees are assessed—get an agreed-upon fee structure up front.

2) How do you keep up-to-date with the ever-changing tax implications for a business like mine? Depending on your business structure, you may also need a tax attorney, but your accountant should at least be abreast of the tax rules and regulations of your taxing jurisdiction to help you keep in compliance.

3) Do you have experience and expertise with my type of business? Especially for creative people like writers, web designers, musicians, artists, etc., it is very important that the accountant knows how to work with the creative community.

4) How much experience do you have with business and personal financial consulting? Your accountant should not only be able to help your business grow, but should also be able to advise you on how your business financial decisions impact your personal finances.

5) How technologically savvy are you? In today’s business world, being up-to-date on technological developments is of utmost importance. Hopefully your accountant has hung up his green eyeshade and put away his quill pen, but he (or she) should be at least as “techy” as you are—better yet, even more so. It will save you both time and money when your accountant can log onto your small business accounting application and be “on the same page” with you in real time.

Most freelancers and small business owners can discuss their finances with their accountant monthly or quarterly, in addition to the yearly business review, because with Kashoo Small Business Accounting, their financial data and business reports are easily shareable. An accountant is absolutely necessary, even periodically, so make sure that you hire the right accountant for your company.

Topics: Know and Grow Your Business