Tips To Choose The Right Accountant

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The right accountant can help save you money and act as a trusted financial advisor.

Your accountant has access to all of your personal financial details, so you want to choose one that you can trust. Following these tips to choose the right accountant can help save you money, keep your finances in order, and keep the IRS at bay.

Look for the right experience and qualifications.

Your needs may be simple or complex; make sure the accountant you choose has the experience to meet them. Ask about their qualifications. Find out how long they’ve been in the profession. Learn about any designations they may hold and visit your state accountancy board website to make sure they’re registered.

Talk to references.

A good accountant should be happy to provide you with a list of references. You can also seek referrals from friends, family and professional acquaintances. Find out what a typical response time is and if the accountant in question is proactive and reliable. If you are considering an accountant in a larger firm, find out who typically looks after the client’s business.

Find out if additional services are offered.

If you’ll need advice down the road on paying for your kids’ college, estate planning, setting up a trust or other specific needs, find out if the accountant you’re considering will be able to assist you in these areas. Choosing an accountant now who can meet these future needs will save you the time and trouble of conducting another search.

Determine how you will be charged.

 

calc.jpgWill there be a fixed fee or are you paying by the hour? Are you billed on a monthly cycle or once an issue has been completed? If you are billed by the hour, what are the hourly charges of everyone who will be working on your account?

 

Make sure there is a good connection.

Before you begin a financial relationship with an accountant, you want to make sure you will work well together. Find out if your working styles are similar—if you prefer to meet in person to discuss issues, then your accountant should be willing to do so. Be sure your accountant understands your goals and can help you achieve them. And most importantly, listen to your gut instinct—you want an accountant whom you trust completely.

Make a change if you need to.

Using these tips to conduct a careful search should help you find the right accountant to meet your needs. If, however, you find that the accountant you’ve chosen just isn’t the right fit, don’t be afraid to move on.

This article contains general information. Individual financial situations are unique; please, consult your financial advisor or tax attorney before utilizing any of the information contained in this article.

Source: BusinessInsider.com, Business Link, SMEtoolkit.org, Inc.com
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