How To Find A Good Accountant: A Comprehensive Guide

How To Find A Good Accountant: A Comprehensive Guide

"When money realizes it is in good hands, it wants to stay and multiply in those hands."
-Idowu Koyenikan

Accounting is critical for businesses as it is the foundation of financial management.

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However, managing your company's finances can be challenging if you are unfamiliar with debits, credits, and recording transactions. Nonetheless, you don't have to do it by yourself!

You can run your business successfully by seeking an accountant's advice and financial expertise. They bring incredible experience and knowledge to the table, assisting in streamlining finances and ultimately increasing profitability.

A seasoned business accountant's counsel could mean the difference between success and failure, and their knowledge can help direct your choices as your company expands.

But how to find a good accountant for your business?

This article will highlight ways to find a good accountant for financial help. But first, let's begin with who an accountant is.

Who is an accountant?

An accountant is a skilled professional who manages and assesses financial data for people, groups, or companies. They keep track of financial transactions, create financial statements, and offer direction.

Accountants are typically well-versed in accounting principles, financial regulations, and tax laws. They could carry out various duties like budgeting, tax planning, auditing, bookkeeping, and financial analysis. Depending on their specialization, accountants can work in various industries, including forensic, corporate, government, and public accounting.

The role of an accountant goes beyond recording and reporting financial data. They help businesses make informed financial decisions, manage cash flow, optimize tax strategies, and ensure compliance with financial regulations.

Their expertise and analysis contribute to an individual's or organization's financial health and success.

What tasks can an accountant do?

An accountant can streamline your finances in the following ways:

  • Maintaining accurate and up-to-date financial records and recording financial transactions.
  • Creating financial statements.
  • Conducting financial analysis to assess an individual's or organization's financial performance and health.
  • Helping with forecasting and budgeting tasks to ensure efficient financial planning and resource allocation.
  • Managing invoices, processing payments, and collections for accounts payable and receivable.
  • Providing tax planning and preparation services, ensuring compliance with tax laws, and maximizing tax benefits.
  • Conducting audits to determine the accuracy and integrity of financial data.
  • Giving financial advice and guidance to individuals or businesses to assist them in making informed decisions.
  • Assisting with financial software implementation and training to streamline accounting processes.
  • Analyzing costs to find areas where savings can be made, and efficiency can be increased.
  • Participating in financial planning and strategy development to help the company grow and profit.
  • Maintaining compliance and best practices by staying current on accounting regulations and industry standards.

How to find a good accountant?

When you've decided it's time to hire an accountant, the next step is to decide which one to hire. But you must consider a few factors first.

How to get an accountant? Adhere to the following best practices:

Identify your needs

Accountants specialize in multiple fields. For example, some accountants specialize in tax preparation for multiple companies, while others assist a small number of small business owners with year-round financial decisions.

While some accountants are willing to assist with bookkeeping, others prefer to concentrate on general business duties.

When you first contact the accountants on your shortlist, find out what services they offer their clients. Then, consider what you want your accountant to do for your business.

Talk about their client-facing methods and the amount of experience they have in your sector.

Will a face-to-face meeting with your accountant be necessary, or will virtual meetings be adequate?

Selecting an accountant or company offering only the required services may be more cost-effective.

Seek recommendations

The best candidate might be around you. Begin by asking any friends or family members who run small businesses if they have a particular accountant they would recommend.  

Why, if so? Why not if not?

When it comes time for candidate interviews later, the answers to both questions may be helpful.

It's important to remember that selecting an accountant can be subjective; therefore, what works for your friend's PR firm might not be appropriate for your eCommerce firm.

Make the most of your online connections. Though it's not the worst option, Facebook isn't necessarily the best place to ask for recommendations for accountants, but other networks that are more focused on business might be. LinkedIn is among the most renowned business social media platforms, and if you already have a profile there, you could use it to find accountants recommended by others.

Check qualifications and certifications

How to find an accountant for small business involves looking for accountants with relevant educational backgrounds, such as a degree in accounting, finance, or a related field. A strong academic background suggests a solid comprehension of accounting concepts and procedures.

A higher level of expertise and dedication to professional standards can be shown through certifications. Therefore, seek out accountants with credentials like Certified Management Accountants (CMA), Chartered Accountants, or Certified Public Accountants (CPAs). Passing challenging exams and completing ongoing professional development requirements are typical for these certifications.

In addition, consider the accountant's experience in your industry or business sector. Accountants who have previously worked with similar businesses can provide valuable insights and tailored solutions to industry-specific challenges and requirements.

Interview multiple candidates

Don't just take your first offer, as you would with anything else. Instead, set up the situation so that you can evaluate various accountants. Choosing the business accountant best for your company will then be simpler.

An interview can determine how well you and a potential partner will get along. Additionally, a series of interviews will assist you in better defining the type of accountant you require and provide you with invaluable free counsel. This might even make it easier for you to clarify the needs of your own company.

Discuss their fee in-depth

Don't be shy about discussing billing. Ask all these questions to ensure they fit right into your budget.

Does the accountant charge by the hour?  

Do they provide packaged services?

Do they charge a fee for phone or email tax advice?

If each emailed question costs $50 to answer, you should know this before signing any documents.

Verify that every accountant you speak with provides written quotes, then take some time to compare them carefully. Finally, consider various possibilities; one fee structure might be acceptable when your company is small, but it might lose its allure as it expands.

There are no fixed rules. You could request a sliding scale based on turnover or a combined method of charging, among many other options. If you don't ask, you'll never know if the accountant will accept your suggested fee structure.

How much will an accountant cost?

According to a study, an accountant for business makes an average of $54,890 annually.

But depending on the accountant's experience, location, and your company's unique requirements, fees may be higher or lower than this figure. The accountant's fees, the tasks to complete, and how frequently you need them to work will all affect how much you ultimately pay for accounting services.

To clarify, accountant fees will vary depending on the individual accountant, as with most service-based professions. These three fee structures are commonly used to calculate accountants' fees.

  • Hourly basis: This standard payment structure is based on the accountant's experience level and your business's demands. However, ensure your rates abide by the wage laws established by the US Department of Labor.
  • Per-project basis: If you only occasionally need an accountant for tasks like tax preparation and audit, you can get one on a per-project basis. The accountant estimates the cost of completing the project, and you will pay a one-time fee. They multiply their minimum pay rate by the estimated hours to complete the project.
  • Monthly salary structure: Choosing a monthly salary structure is best if your company requires ongoing accounting services. You can always budget for the accountant's fees as part of your business expenses.

Is this the right accountant for my business?

Businesses can differ significantly in size, sector, and operational complexity. For example, larger businesses or those with complex financial transactions may need a full-time accountant to handle the heavy workload and guarantee accurate financial management.

Employing a full-time accountant, however, can be prohibitively expensive for many small and medium-sized businesses. Aside from a competitive salary, other costs include benefits, office space, and ongoing training.

So, how to choose an accountant?

In such cases, virtual bookkeepers provide a cost-effective solution. Virtual bookkeepers are highly skilled individuals who offer remote accounting services at a fraction of the cost of a full-time accountant.

Virtual bookkeepers are experienced professionals who provide remote accounting services on a part-time or project basis. Using technology and cloud-based accounting software, they can effectively manage a company's financial records, process transactions, reconcile accounts, and generate financial reports.

There are multiple advantages to hiring a virtual assistant bookkeeper.

First, costs are significantly reduced compared to hiring a full-time employee. Businesses can pay for the precise accounting support they require without incurring additional overhead costs by using virtual bookkeepers, who typically bill based on the services rendered or the time spent on the tasks.

Second, flexible bookkeeping services are available. Businesses can use their services as needed, expanding or contracting as necessary. This flexibility is beneficial when dealing with financial audits or busy times like tax season.

Additionally, virtual bookkeepers are frequently highly qualified professionals with broad accounting experience. To ensure accuracy and compliance in financial management, they stay updated with the most recent accounting standards and guidelines. As a result, businesses can leverage their knowledge without the overhead expenses and long-term commitment of hiring a full-time accountant.

Wishup: The ultimate staffing solution for your business!

Wishup is a platform that links American business owners, startups, and small companies with vetted and pre-screened virtual assistants who can help with data entry, bookkeeping, customer service, and administrative tasks.

Wishup aims to help small business owners and entrepreneurs run their operations successfully.

Wishup's devoted bookkeeping team, equipped with extensive knowledge and experience, can meet all your bookkeeping requirements. Our bookkeeping assistants have years of experience managing books for various businesses and are eager to put their skills to work for you. This includes making payments and keeping thorough logs.

Let's look at some of the best perks of choosing Wishup's virtual bookkeeping services:

  • Strict hiring criteria to select only the top 1% of applicants

Wishup provides virtual assistants among the top 1% of applicants worldwide. You only have to select a qualified candidate without regard for relocation, taxes, or other issues.

  • Graduates with over 200 different skill sets and expertise in 70+ no-code tools

Before working with clients, Wishup virtual assistants receive training and have more than 200 specialties. Additionally, they know all the most recent no-code tools to aid your productivity.

  • Exceptional virtual assistants who have been thoroughly vetted and trained on-site

Wishup's virtual assistants have undergone thorough background checks and other verifications. As a result, you won't have to spend time on the time-consuming interview processes because they have already been pre-interviewed and vetted.

  • Instant replacement with no questions asked

Let's say your primary assistant is unsatisfactory or unavailable because of an urgent matter. In that case, Wishup provides the fantastic benefit of replacing your virtual assistant immediately and without any questions.

  • Onboarding begins within 24 hours of selection

Wishup's virtual assistants have undergone extensive background verifications. Moreover, you won't have to waste time on the lengthy onboarding processes because they have already been pre-interviewed and vetted. Simply hire a virtual assistant in less than a day.

  • Both overseas and domestic virtual assistants are available

The restrictions imposed by geography are no longer an issue! You can hire a VA based in the US or abroad through Wishup, depending on your location and business needs.

  • Trial offer of seven days and a refund promise

To determine whether virtual assistance matches your organization, you can test it out with Wishup virtual assistants for free. You have seven days to test your virtual assistant's adherence to the culture and values of your business. If you're unhappy with the virtual assistant, you can request a refund.

  • Assured data privacy and security

Before being assigned to clients, all Wishup VAs sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement to ensure that their client's data is secure and safe.

  • Dedicated help

Wishup assigns a dedicated account manager to assist throughout the hiring process, ensuring that you have continuous support for query resolution or process management.

What tasks can you delegate to a Wishup bookkeeper?

  • QuickBooks administration

Our virtual bookkeepers can help you manage QuickBooks by performing the following tasks:

  • Maintaining accurate accounting records.
  • Creating automatic reminders.
  • Setting up automatic payments.
  • Data entry

Data entry can be time-consuming and tedious, consuming much of your time. Instead, delegate this task to your virtual accounting assistant and allow them to assist you with the following:

  • Recording all transactions accurately
  • Sorting them into the appropriate ledgers
  • Summarizing records with precision
  • Keeping sufficient records of financial transactions.
  • Accounts payable administration

Allow your bookkeeping assistant to handle the following accounts payable duties:

  • Generating purchase orders
  • Managing vendors
  • Billing management
  • Tracking expenses
  • Promptly paying invoices
  • Accounts receivable administration

A virtual bookkeeping assistant can assist you with claims filing, late payments, and other accounts receivable tasks like:

  • Making invoices
  • Keeping customer records
  • Monitoring collections
  • AR Ageing analysis
  • Credit/Debit notes
  • Establishing provisions
  • Reconciliations

Your virtual bookkeeper can help you compare records to ensure no mistakes. They can perform a variety of reconciliation tasks, including:

  • Verifications of vendor payments
  • Bank rebalancing
  • Reconciling credit card accounts
  • Financial statements preparation

Your online accounting assistant can help you create financial statements like these:

  • Income statements
  • Account statements
  • Cash flow projections

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Hiring the best virtual accountant is only a few steps away!

When selecting the ideal accountant for your company, you may feel overrun by choice. You should contact several accountants and interview them to see if they are well-suited for your company.

While some businesses require full-time accountants, many smaller businesses find virtual bookkeepers a more cost-effective option. With Wishup, you can leave your finances in trusted hands and rest. To contact the Wishup experts, book a free consultation or mail to [email protected].

How do you know if an accountant is good?

Strong problem-solving ability is what makes a good accountant. In addition, they are trustworthy and reliable, providing accurate financial information and guidance to support informed decision-making.

How do I find a top accountant?

Seek referrals from trusted sources and conduct extensive research to identify accountants with solid credentials, experience, and positive client reviews. You can also hire a virtual bookkeeper through platforms like Wishup to avoid the hiring process entirely.

How do you know if you can trust an accountant?

Consider professional certifications, track record of success, and client testimonials when evaluating an accountant's trustworthiness. Additionally, you can establish trust by meeting with the accountant and evaluating their receptivity, openness, and eagerness to address your concerns. Or, just contact Wishup to steer clear of these tactics and select the best and most trustworthy!