Five Tips To Find An Accountant

Finding someone to take care of your finances – whether business or personal or both – isn’t a task to be taken lightly. You don’t want to run your finger down the Yellow Pages or pick the first accountant you find in a Google search. When looking for an Arizona accountant, the first place to begin your search should be with a trusted friend or business colleague. In some cases, you may not even know what you need in an accountant so you might not even know what to ask.

The accounting experts at BASC Expertise have put together a Top 5 list of what to look for (and what to ask) a potential Arizona accounting partner:

  1.  Do they have experience in working with a business like yours? While many accounting practices could be the same across the board, there are some business entities that require different knowledge or services from your accounting professional. If your potential accountant has experience with similar business clients, he or she will be better able to anticipate the particular needs your business might face.
  2. Do you work in a specialty area? As you’ll find in many other fields, there are accountants and accounting firms with special expertise. Ask your accountant what he or she feels is the firm’s particular strength, i.e. payroll, cash flow projections, bank reconciliations, tax filing and preparation.
  3. How long have you been practicing and what is the experience of your staff? A lack of longevity in business might not be a big deal as long as the individual you’re interviewing has experience in the field. Experience matters when it comes to taking care of your business or personal finances – you don’t want an accountant to be using your finances as a test run.
  4. Do you have current clients with whom I can speak? Checking references is crucial when shopping for an accountant. Your accountant should be prepared for this question and should be happy to provide you with contact information from a couple of current clients.
  5. How often will I receive reports and what input will you need from me? This question is crucial so that you know whether you need to gather information monthly and take it to the accountant or whether he or she will have access to your accounts and do all of the work behind the scenes. If you are in need of a special report or spread sheet to show cash flows or other projections, how much time is needed before they can provide you with it and ask about any additional charges?

These questions are just a starting point, but they give you an idea of beginning a conversation with an accountant. Also consider meeting with two or three potential accountants before you make a final decision. And remember, your initial impressions may also be a guide to whether the two of you will be able to have a good working relationship.

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