The accounting and tax industry is changing rapidly while at the same time people are starting businesses and trying to run businesses and they need accounting and tax services. So how do you hire the accounting firm that is right for you and your business?
First and foremost:
Recognize that you get what you pay for. This is even more true today as the industry changes and businesses have so many different options for getting the accounting done. But where a lot of businesses shoot themselves in the foot and hurt their opportunity to create a successful business is when they think that “bookkeeping” is all they need and the cheaper the better. “Bookkeeping” is just a step in the process of using your financial information to make decisions, improve profitability, develop strategies that will increase your ability to generate income. If all you are getting is bookkeeping, you are probably wasting your money because it only starts with getting clean, accurate, real-time financial information. Once you get that, the real fun begins.
So, hire an accountant that is selling more than just bookkeeping at some cheap price. Financial statements are not worth the paper they are printed on if you do not then have a trusted advisor to help you read them and partner with you to grow your business into the dream you have for it.
Find a firm that is Forward Thinking:
As I said, the accounting industry is changing and changing rapidly. If your accounting firm is not talking to you about the many ways they can streamline your accounting process, make you more mobile, free up time for you to focus on getting creative with business strategies, then they are not paying attention. Cloud based software, apps for literally everything exist that will transform how you handle the accounting and operational aspects of your business and anyone who is not looking for these solutions will be left behind. These days the forward-thinking accountants are getting away from tracking hours and billing for time. They are creating packages that offer value, that take all the tools that are out there to create processes, automation, standardization of work flows so that you can improve your quality, standardize how your respond to customers, allow you to scale your growth with no more employees but lots more income.
A Comprehensive Approach:
You want a firm that has the ability to service your needs from soup to nuts: If you can find a firm that can
1) provide the bookkeeping/accounting services, and
2) also has experienced professionals that can move beyond the basics and consult with you on how your company can improve in general or in comparison to other businesses in your industry and
3) can provide the preparation of your businesses and its owners tax returns, then you will see the economies of scale that a real accounting firm can offer when you have a team of people that know the specifics of your situation and do more than their particular piece of the process.
Many accounting firms and tax preparers team up to refer clients back and forth and that works as well; you just want a cohesive team that works on all aspects of your financial and tax life.
If you are serious about growing a business, making it as profitable as it can be, simplifying your processes and freeing up your time so you can either have a better work/life balance, have fewer employees or do more with the ones you have, then you need a good, solid, trusted, financial advisor that can take “bookkeeping” and turn it into having your own CFO but for a lot less money. Now is not the time to think that you can get what you need by paying someone a few dollars a month to get your bank account reconciled.
Seriously, you knew that running a successful, profitable business was going to need more than a reconciled bank account, right?