Many small business owners start out by doing their own taxes. Once their company grows, they realize they no longer have enough time for everything and that hiring a professional accountant is necessary. Here is a little guide that can help you find the right person for your business.
Decide what you need
The first thing that you need to figure out is whether you want an internal or external accountant. Some companies have low volumes of financial transactions and do not require a full-time accountant. In-house accountants are usually necessary when a business reaches a stage where their transactions are too large and complicated to be done by an amateur.
Another thing to have in mind is that not all accountants are the same. Some are experts in tax preparation and bookkeeping. Others can help you cover the basic paperwork and accounting. Moreover, some accountants can help you in many other areas of your business seeing as how they have a broader expertise. They can advise you in the long term and see which aspects of your company can be improved. Additionally, if your industry is very specific, it’s best to look for someone with knowledge in that field.
Does location matter to you?
Depending on your answer to that question, you can also decide whether to get an in-house accountant or not. Nowadays, thanks to the ever-improving technology, your accountant can be in a different city, country or even on a different continent. Due to cloud accounting software, you can get information about your financials in real-time. You can schedule online meetings to discuss any issues or to get a monthly report. On the other hand, if you prefer face-to-face interaction on a regular basis and having your accountant be present for important meetings, you can opt for an internal accountant. Go for the approach you think is best for your company.
Begin your search
Once you know what you are looking for, you can compose a detailed job ad. Specify what skills are required for the position. Explain what is expected of the candidates.
There are many places to look for accountants. You can post the job ad online or turn to public and private employment agencies. Xero, a cloud accounting vendor, offers lists of experienced professionals. Your local chamber of commerce can also be a great resource. Of course, do not forget to ask your friends and colleagues. They might have some great candidates in mind and can offer you other advice as well.
Prepare for the interview
If you opt for an in-house accountant, you need to make sure that this new employee fits your company culture; after all, they will be working in your offices every day. Seeing as how this person is going to be handling your finances, you can do a background check. Also, look at their online presence and posts on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. After this, you can schedule interviews with several candidates that you think would fit in well.
Ask for their references and check whether they pan out. See if they are certified and what software they are familiar with. Make sure they have at least some experience in handling the things you require. Can they do your bookkeeping? Are they able to handle your taxes, investments and financial statements?
You can ask some more probing questions to see whether they will fit your company culture. Ask about their work-life balance, their philosophy on customer services, what they consider to be a good client relationship etc. See how they would handle some specific situations. Pay attention to their answer and decide whether you are satisfied. If your gut is telling you to pass on this candidate, listen to it. You will find someone that suits you better.
As already mentioned, many small businesses don’t have the funds or the need to keep an in-house accountant. Outsourcing this job means that you don’t have to go through the entire process of finding the right person that fits your company culture and training them. You also don’t need special offices just for them. You will only pay a monthly fee instead of having to cover salaries and benefits. Moreover, experts in this field keep up with all the latest software as well as with laws and regulations. If your business is located in NSW, turning to an agency for accounting and bookkeeping in Sydney might provide you with the best results. They can take care of your financial transactions and make your job much easier, so go for this option if you think that is what your business needs.
It’s in your best interest to have a capable, experienced person in charge of one of the most crucial parts of your business. They can save you time and money, so keep these things in mind when choosing an accountant for your company, whether you opt for outsourcing or having an in-house accountant.