Choosing the Right Accountant for Your Small Business
Choosing the Right Accountant for Your Small Business In order to find a good accountant, you should understand what the accountant can do for you and what they should know. In just a few words, the accountant is the financial monitoring system. Duties of an Accountant To be more specific, they watch over all things finances for you and report to you your current financial standing. Your accountant works to understand every aspect of your company’s finances.They keep track of everything come in and take into account every expenditure the company has made.They use this info to determine the current financial standing—i.e. are you turning a profit or should yoube worried about keeping the lights on in the coming months.There isn’t an expenditure that you should hide from him or her, nor should you hide an income, nomatter how small. All financial documents are carefully examined and understood by the accountant.When you give them all of the information, they can help you prepare a budget of expenditures that youcan afford in the future. They also help figure out the payroll.Complications of CountingThis is a lot more than just counting up your hours and multiplying them by your pay rate. It alsorequires they calculate however much is to be taken out for retirement, sick wages, holiday, andinsurance plans.They have to know how much money to withhold and how much to give. Then they have to know howto distribute the withheld money properly.Their job allows them to give professional advice as towhat you should or should not do in the months tocome. They have a responsibility to be 100% all thetime and to give sound advice.They can cause a lot of grief if they fail tocommunicate the correct information. They could putyou out of business.
That being said, you should look for key characteristics in an accountant. Look for someone that has areputation for integrity.Honesty and integrityFirst and foremost, you want to make sure they have the integrity to do what they’re job calls for. Thismeans they’re honest with their work and do the job to the best of their ability.If there was ever a job that needed honest workers, it’s the financial sector of your company. Dishonestsalesmen can be dealt with, usually without huge ramifications.Dishonest accountants could bring your entire company down. Second, look for someone who is logicaland a good communicator.You want someone who can work the numbers and critically problems solve before they come to youwith anything. They should have a thorough understanding of accounting processes and know how tothink outside the box when hiccups come up.Both will ensure you get the work done efficiently, and correctly. They also need to be able tocommunicate to you.They need to speak your lingo—meaning they speak in such a way that you can understand them. Theyshouldn’t avoid approaching you about issues and keep an open chain of communication at all times.Organization is KeyLastly, look to see if they’re organized. If they can keep track of everything on their desk, then you canassume that they can keep track of everything in your books.You want someone that can get it done right the first time. When you find an accountant that can do allthese things, you’ve found someone that can be a great asset to your company financially.Look for someone that has the integrity, knowledge, communication skills and organization to take careof your books. Stevens Henager teaches its accounting students the skills they need to be successful inthe real world.Come to Stevens Henager if you’re interested in finding or becoming a high quality accountingprofessional. Graduates are experienced workers that often returned to school to get the degree theycare about.Photo Credit: Missi, Dave Dugdale