Three ways to search for a great accountant
In my last blog, I talked about how you can know that your accountant or bookkeeper is doing a good job. Today, I want to talk about how you find that great accountant or bookkeeper in the first place. More specifically, how you can search for the perfect professional to fit your financial needs.
Finding a great bookkeeper is vital to your success as a business, as I’ve discussed many times before. Their knowledge, expertise, and communication skills will be the key to your business growth whether you’re a startup, small business, or even an independent contractor.
So, what are these magic ways of finding an accountant or bookkeeper? Here we go.
Word of Mouth
This may sound obvious, but I’m talking about more than asking your Facebook friends for their recommendations. Most of your friends are going to be in different circumstances from you and that’s normal.
It’s more important to ask other people in your industry or other unique situation who they use and then ask if these professionals provide the level of service I mention in my last blog. This includes the willingness to answer questions, timely and appropriate reports, and working to understand your individual needs.
That last one is why I say to ask people in your industry. Even if someone is a business competitor, they will likely be willing to refer a qualified service provider to you. Some industries have incredibly unique concerns when it comes to bookkeeping and reports that need to be filed. You need a professional who has a breadth of experience in your industry and not just “they had a client once who did something like this.”
For example, industries such as entertainment, construction, and product-based businesses that carry inventory all have very unique needs. Some bookkeepers specialize in those industries, others avoid working with those industries. Other examples are if you are an expat or a nonprofit organization, both of which have unique bookkeeping needs.
First, I suggest you check out the website for your state’s Board of Accountancy. They will have a list of member accounting firms with detailed descriptions of what they do. They often will have other information as well, such as what you can find on the Arkansas State Board of Public Accountancy website. On that site, you can search a national database that is aggregated from all states in case you need accountants in different states.
I recommend that any online search be two-pronged. Yes, look for those who have earned their CPA license, but also search reviews before making any final selections. While earning a license takes dedication and hard work, not all professionals are equal, and reviews should give you an idea of who would be a good fit for you.
Search for services
My final tip is to search based on the specific services you need. Even those who earn their CPA license may not do everything you need. For example, some CPAs only do taxes and not bookkeeping. I have my CPA but I don’t do taxes. I do, however, specialize in bookkeeping. Decide what services you need and use that information to find what kind of professional you need.
I specialize in working with startups, small business, and independent contractors. I’d love to talk to you about your specific needs to see if us working together is a good fit. Give me a call!