If you’ve decided that it’s time to outsource your accounting processes, you’ll want to make sure that you hire the best person (or firm) for the job. Hiring a qualified, experienced accountant is a process that requires several diligent steps. Remember, knowing that you need an accountant, versus understanding how to hire one, are two different things.
Identify your needs
Before you start your research, you’ll need to define what your needs are. For example, do you just need someone to help you with your taxes, or do you need someone who can help you track your expenses, such as employees’ salaries, accounts payable, and accounts receivable? Each businesses’ needs are unique- and knowing what yours are can help you identify potential candidates that specialize in what you need help with.
Check their online reviews
Online reviews are the new word-of-mouth reviews. As you start to research various prospects, take some time to see what other business owners have said about the service they’ve received from them. If the accountant or accounting firm you’re considering has a long list of 5-star reviews, that’s a good sign. On the other hand, if their past clients have nothing but bad things to say about their experience, this may not be the best candidate to hire.
Ask about their fee structure
One of the first things you should ask a potential accountant relates to their fee structure. Do they bill clients by the hour, and if so, what’s their hourly billing rate? Do they bill hour by hour, or do they bill in 15-minute increments? If they don’t work with hourly billing and instead, they require a monthly retainer, how much will that retainer be? Do you feel that the amount of work that you need help with each month can justify that expense? Lastly, take a minute to calculate what you think their services will cost you on an annual basis. This can help you with your budgeting for the upcoming year. Lastly- you shouldn’t hire someone based on costs alone. An experienced, knowledgeable accountant that has a higher bill rate, may be able to complete a task in less than half the time of an inexperienced accountant that charges less.
If you’re in the process of evaluating accountants and CPAs and you’d like to learn more about our team can help improve your accounting efficiencies, we’re here to help. Call Hughes, Snell & Co., PA today to schedule a complimentary consultation.