While a business owner may be a jack of all trades, some things are best left to professionals. Unfortunately, accounting is one of those things.
Figuring out how to hire an accountant for your online business can be tricky. You need to keep many things in mind when making this decision. This blog post will cover six important questions to ask yourself when looking for the best person for the job. Let’s get started!
#1. How Badly Do You Need an Accountant?
Many small business owners assume they can’t afford to hire an accountant, so they try to handle the financial side of their business themselves. However, this is often a mistake.
While it’s true that accounting and bookkeeping firms can be expensive, the cost of not having an accountant can be even higher. Without someone to manage your finances, it’s easy to make mistakes that can cost you money. If your books are in disarray, it won’t be easy to get a loan or attract investors.
Hiring an accountant can save you time as they can handle tasks such as preparing tax returns and tracking expenses so you can focus on other financial matters like marketing and branding.
#2. What Can They Do for Your Business?
Now that you’ve decided you need a professional accountant to help you organize and steer your business finances in the right direction, the next thing to ask is what expertise you need for your business. There are different financial services to consider:
- Preparing financial statements
- Tax returns
- Projection and budgeting
- Inventory management
- Payroll management
The list goes on, but once you know what services you need, you can start looking for an accountant with experience in that area. Choosing an accountant familiar with your industry is also a good idea.
For example, if you are in the food and restaurant industry, hire an accountant who is well-aware of computing labor costs, COGS, and more. Or perhaps, if you are selling online, pick an accounting professional versed with ecommerce platforms such as Amazon. They will be able to provide insights and advice based on their knowledge of similar businesses.
#3. How Qualified Are They?
While certifications are not required for most finance-related tasks outside of public audits, it is still ideal to hire people who have the right credentials for the job.
For example, bookkeepers, controllers, and CFOs who have earned professional certifications have demonstrated their commitment to lifelong learning and keeping up with best practices in the field. So check for these accounting certifications that can help during your hiring process.
- Certified Management Accounting
- Certified Internal Auditor
- Chartered Financial Analyst
- Certified Information Systems Auditor
- Certified Public Accountant
#4. Do They Work With Accounting Software?
Can you imagine hiring a great accountant who has years of experience and the right credentials but doesn’t have a clue in running accounting software or any financial app?
Sure, some accountants for your business will prefer to do all their work by hand, but today, you need fast and secured updates on your business’s financial health to make better decisions. Plus, using an accounting software can save time by automating accounting tasks, freeing your reports from human errors as much as possible.
Thus, you need a professional accountant who is tech-savvy about the most popular accounting software and tools today, such as:
- QuickBooks Online
#5. Can They Communicate With You Effectively?
Your accountant will be responsible for handling your financial records and providing advice on financial planning. As such, you must find an accountant you feel comfortable communicating with.
They will need to take the time to explain your tax situation or financial records in plain language. They should also be updated with the latest financial regulations, so you can be confident that your reports are accurate and complete. Lastly, they should be just one call away from answering any accounting needs you may have.
#6. Do You Trust Them Completely?
Remember, you and your accountant are a team. You are entrusting your business’s financial well-being to their expertise, but at the end of the day, it is your money. It’s their job to guide you in handling cash flow, but you make the final say.
How much do you trust your accountant? Do you feel comfortable sharing every piece of financial data? How complex is your business’s standing?
It is always up to you to give the ‘Go’ signal to adjust your business finances. And your accountant can adjust to whatever level of detail you are comfortable providing. Most importantly, you should feel in control of your finances and confident in your accountant’s abilities every step of the way.
These are just a few things to remember when hiring an accountant for your business. By following these tips, you can be sure to find someone who will be a great fit for your accounting needs and can help take your business to the next level. If creating a successful business is your goal, check out our other financial articles today!