Choosing an Accountant for Your Small Business

When starting a small business, there are many things you need to make sure are in order before officially opening your doors to the public. While staffing, location, and product are, of course, important, nothing is more necessary than ensuring your financial situation - payroll, taxes, and the like - is in tip top shape. Enter the trusty accountant, the backbone of your small business financial needs.


Before you start, you should make sure that the accountant you choose is a CPA, or Certified Public Accountant. These accountants have to go through special training and pass a special test to become certified. While they may be more expensive than a basic bookkeeper, they have a wider set of skills and are typically more well-versed in various tax codes and other necessary information when setting up a small business. You can find a reputable CPA by inquiring with your state’s local CPA organization.

When choosing an accountant for your small business, there are a number of things that need to be taken into consideration, the most important of which is your tax situation. Every small business is different, so finding an accountant well versed in various tax codes, rules, and regulations is one of the most important things you can do. A good accountant with plenty of experience working with small businesses can help you save thousands of dollars, especially with the initial setup of your small business.

In the long run, a good small business accountant should be able to help you manage your financial situation throughout the first couple of years your business is open, or at least until you feel like you have a firm grasp on how to manage it yourself. An accountant for your small business should also be able to help manage your employees’ finances, such as payroll, taxes, workers comp, and benefits, all of which can cost a lot of money, especially if you have a lot of employees.

After your small business has been setup and running smoothly, your account should be able to help you determine where you need to improve. For example, if after six months you find that you’re losing money despite making solid sales, a good accountant, who should already be familiar with your business model, should be able to review the numbers and discover just how exactly you’re losing money.

All too often small business owners are unprepared for the various financial hurdles that have ended many business in the past. As such, you should always do proper research before choosing an accountant for your small business through online reviews and especially word of mouth. A good accountant will allow you information on past and current clients for you to follow up and discover how good your potential client is, straight from the horse’s mouth. In the end, a good accountant will stick with you for the long haul, providing service when you need it and making the expenditure for the accountant worth every penny.

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Posted on May 21, 2012 at 9:00 AM