You might not be aware of it, but the best accountant is not always the cheapest one. In fact, the cheapest might not always be the best accountant. Your accountant is there to assist you in making sound financial decisions and in implementing them. Thus, it is important that you consider his or her fees and services carefully. After all, you will have to pay them eventually, whether you win a lawsuit against the company or not.
So, how do you choose the Top 10 Accountants for your needs? The best accountant should be capable of assisting you in tax-related matters such as filing tax returns accurately. But some accountants specialize only in business accounting, while others are also good at general bookkeeping and auditing. If you need assistance with business accounting, be sure to ask the following question: What services do you offer? This way, you will know if the firm you’re considering hiring specializes in that area.
In addition, you may want to ask the best accountant you can find if he or she would be willing to hire other accountants to assist you in the preparation of your annual audit reports. An audit report contains a detailed description of what went wrong during the year, which you should review before the next year’s report. If your business has its own internal accounting department, it is best that the people who comprise that department be hired by the best accountant you get. Otherwise, a third party will be needed to prepare the next year’s report.
When hiring the best accountant for your accounting needs, be sure you also give him or her access to all of your clients’ financial records. These records, called ledgers, contain all of your clients’ income and expenses. In essence, the accountant will be doing all the work required to prepare your tax return. Some accountants will even prepare the tax return for you, but they will be the ones to prepare and file your actual return, not the other way around. So if you have concerns about having your accountant to prepare your tax return for you, this should not be a problem.
Of course, the best accountants aren’t always the cheapest ones. Some small businesses don’t need as many accountants as large corporations, or even medium-sized businesses. If this is the case for your business, you may want to consider hiring a mid-sized accounting firm. Smaller firms may cost less than the larger ones, depending on the quality of the professionals you get. But as with all things, it all comes down to the quality of service you receive.
Not only should you look for an accountant who can provide excellent service, he or she must also be capable of producing accurate, reliable, and timely financial results. Look for an accountant who has been practicing in your line of business for at least five years, since this indicates experience. While this isn’t a prerequisite, it’s probably best for small businesses to choose accountants who have been doing this type of work for longer. Not only will this increase the odds that your tax return will be accurate, but your refund will likely be bigger too, since accountants who have been working with smaller businesses are more likely to know the business owners personally. And the experience they bring to the table will make their fees more competitive with those of more experienced firms.
When comparing different accounting firms, ask them about their specific areas of expertise. Find out what specific skills they have when it comes to preparing taxes for small businesses. For instance, some accountants specialize only in business taxes; others are knowledgeable about payroll, insurance, estate planning, and so on. The best accountants will be able to give you a complete list of their specialties. Ask them to give examples of the services they offer; the more experience they have with particular types of accounting issues, the better.
If these general criteria are all the accounting firms you’re considering offer, then go with the one with the largest clientele and the most experience. Enrolled agents will need to pass an exam that is administered by the IRS, proving that they have at least five years of experience. The best accountant will also be licensed with the IRS, although only five years of experience is necessary for this certification.