Small businesses have a good share in providing employment in the country, being a vast majority of the active private businesses.
It is even hard to identify a good accountant for small businesses. I am quite sure that you might have faced similar challenges finding the best accounting firm out of dozens of available options.
But it does not have to be that difficult for you. A better understanding of your budget and what services you need would be enough to discern a good accounting firm that meets your needs more effectively. Here are tips on what you should consider before deciding on hiring an accountant for your business.
Tips for Choosing the Best Accounting Firm
- Understand Your company needs
- Do your research
- Compare Fees
- Questions to ask prospective accounting firms
For small businesses, finding the right accounting firm for the first time itself is how they stay alive in the competition while effectively managing their finances. Oftentimes, this manifests as hiring whoever comes your way. Our goal is to empower you to have better control over these decisions. These tips can make things a little easier, saving you time to prepare for the more difficult aspects of hiring an accounting firm to handle your finances.
Understand your Company’s Needs
It is likely you have considered analysing your business’s financial needs before seeking an accountant, even before anyone tells you to do so. As the already saturated accounting market is filled with accounting firms. Striving to serve as small business financial advisors. They want to be there for you always at every stage of your business’s growth. Help you create a business plan, review your inventory, look for ways to reduce your tax liability, identify growth opportunities, etc.
It is wise to hire a certified accounting firm (CPA). But to prepare for that you might want to understand the accounting basics and figure out your business performance and financial health. To have holistic knowledge to define your business goals. Analyse your data and workflows, communicate findings with your team, and plan for sturdy business growth. Be clear about what your needs are before you look for an accountant, so you can narrow down your options.
Do your Research
When you want to hire an accounting firm, you need to know why you should hire them in the first place. I would recommend you should always do a quick background check to ensure legitimacy to avoid any fraud. Also, find out who other businesses in your circle use their accounting and auditing services and how satisfied they are with them. If you do not get any worthy referrals. You can use the internet to find reviews and recommendations based on your location for, ex. Top 10 accountants in Ringwood, before choosing a specific accounting firm.
How much does an accountant firm cost? Well to be honest it depends on many factors and somewhat on how much you have for negotiation. The accounting market is full of frustrated buyers and overpriced services. In such a case you would want to compare the top accounting firms in Melbourne and Victoria or for a larger part, amongst the top accounting firms in Australia.
But before you launch into the many factors for higher service charges of CPA firms. Try to understand the complexity of the job, as you are going to pay higher for every arising complexity and need of expertise. The cost will often depend on how you present the books to the firms.
Prepare A Shortlist of Questions to ask Prospective Accounting Firms
How much will it cost me to have my accounting job done?
The cost of business accounting and auditing services stands at around $48/hr. However, final prices usually vary from job to job. Make sure you enquire about the ways how you would get billed. Will there be a fixed fee, subscription-based, or value-based billing?
What types of clients do you work with?
This is a good probing question to evaluate their experience in your industry. Chances are you will get the same old answer, that they have worked with all types of clients. Then you must ask again if they have deeper experience with a type of client and industry.
How do you figure out your rates?
There is a lot to consider when it comes to this question. Many CPA’s do not provide a clear price and timeline for your tax return. So, every add-on from your end could go as unexpected for the accounting firm, and they will tack it on to your return.
What happens if I get audited?
There are many tax preparers out there who prepare tax returns but do not offer ongoing support. This is your chance to clear the fog. If you want someone to stand by you and represent you in front of the auditors or Tax Court during an audit.
You should know, “Only CPAs, EAs, and Tax Attorneys may represent you before the IRS in court.”
What tax software do you use to prepare returns?
This is a big red flag. It is not advisable to hire someone who uses the same software that you can buy for $50 and do it yourself.
Does the fee for preparing my tax return include tax advice and consulting throughout the year?
Tax return accountant preparation fees include advice until the point when you file your annual tax return plan. But you may consider seeking the help of a tax planning expert if you feel you will need or want quarterly or annual tax planning and advice.
How will you track and share my progress?
It can be useful to ask about the technology that a CPA firm uses to analyse your current financial situation and track progress over time. What tools do they use for what? It is all-important to ask before making any hiring decisions.
How can you help me reach my goals?
Unless you are a financial expert yourself, you might not see accounting and tax problems coming. Hiring the right CPA firm is not about avoiding audit and taxation troubles. But making sure that the firm is going to help you grow, assist with financial strategy, help you strengthen your business, and plan.
Most accounting firms in Ringwood, Melbourne, Victoria, Queensland, and South Australia charge the same average rate and it is lower than the average cost of business accounting services and consulting services for financial accounting strategies in Victoria and Western Australia.
By following these tips, you reduce your risk of making the wrong choice for your company. It is always a good thing that you leave the accounting hassle to experts. This way you can focus more on growing your business, instead of dealing with hiring issues.
You can find professional accountants at www.mizaelpartners.com.au or to speak to one of our accredited accountants call us on +61 (0) 466 228 000.