Every business deserves trusted advisors, and benefits from accounting and consulting services. Accountants offer business services ranging from tax services to business accounting services. Each provide business’ multiple benefits. This article focuses on how to select an accountant for your various business needs.
As a business owner, you have a lot of choices to make to ensure operations run smoothly. These choices can be the difference between your business thriving or struggling, so it’s important to take every factor into consideration.
One of these decisions is whether or not you choose to hire an accountant and retain accounting services.
Choosing the “right” accountant makes it easier to run a successful, and profitable, business, but different accountants provide different services. You’ll most likely benefit from more than one type of business accounting service.
Although you probably think you already know what an accountant does, you may be surprised to learn there are differences in accounting specialties and services.
So if you’re wondering how to select an accountant for your business— but aren’t sure where to start— let’s go over the basics.
What Does An Accountant Do?
Whether you have a small or large business, an accountant is the best way to manage your business’s finances. Having a good accountant could mean the difference between success and financial hardship.
A business accountant oversees your company’s financial records and financial planning. They can also manage your bookkeeping, prepare financial documents, and help with tax planning.
The right accountant can also find inconsistencies in your financial records, determine where you might be overpaying for services or goods, and resolve any cash flow problems.
What’s the Difference Between a CPA and a Business Accountant?
You may take your income taxes to a CPA firm each year, but can they do your business taxes too? They can, but make no mistake— a business accountant is not the same as a certified public accountant (CPA).
A business accountant, such as a certified management accountant (CMA), will have studied accounting in college and received a bachelor’s degree in accounting. They’re required to take and pass a CMA exam for certification. They’ll also be trained to meet the demands of modern accounting requirements and are required to have specific business experience.
A CPA also has a degree in accounting and receives their title after completing certain educational and vocational requirements. They must also take the CPA exam and retake it every few years to renew their certification.
A certified public accountant can represent you before the IRS on matters like audits and appeals. They aren’t however the best accountant or accounting advisor for auditing or consulting for your business.
If you’re in the market for an accountant, a certified management accounting (CMA) rather than a CPA is most often better suited for assisting your business and understanding its inner workings because of their business expertise.
Can Accounting Software Replace a Human Accountant?
Accounting software like QuickBooks can make managing your business’s finances much easier. With a variety of options, each with their own robust features, an accountant may seem redundant or even unnecessary. However, this is absolutely not the case.
Accounting software cannot and should not replace an accountant.
While QuickBooks or similar software is essential for your business needs, it won’t replace the expertise, judgment, and financial guidance an experienced accountant offers.
In short, your accounting software should complement the work of an accountant, not replace it. Hiring an accounting firm, with software experts, accounting specialists and bookkeepers is another option for providing your business with the level of in-depth knowledge and expertise to support your business’ needs.
To learn more, check out our article: Can QuickBooks Replace an Accountant?
How to Select An Accountant For Your Business Needs
Choosing the perfect accountant isn’t always easy. When selecting an accountant for your business needs, there’s a lot to consider. Whether you’re a small entrepreneur entering a new field or a team of experts looking to grow your firm, your accountant’s expertise should align with your company’s financial ambitions
Decide Your Ideal Accountant Qualifications
As we discussed earlier, seeking qualified professionals certified in management accounting or public accounting should be the first prerequisite in your search.
If you are seeking outward reporting of financial results and business statements, then a CPA is the right fit for you. If your business requires an internal review, such as management reporting or inventory controls, then a CMA is a better fit.
Find An Accountant With Relevant Experience
It’s important to find an accountant with experience that matches the needs and goals of your business. If your business focuses on cloud-based software, you might want to focus on an accountant with a reputable portfolio in web-based applications.
If you operate a nonprofit, a certified accountant well-versed in fund accounting would be a better fit.
Regardless, it’s important to find an accountant with past experience within your market sector, so they have a better understanding of your financial needs.
Choose An Accountant With Similar Software Experience
From QuickBooks to NetSuite to Waze, there are a number of accounting software options that your accountant may have experience in. If your business uses QuickBooks, find an accountant or accounting service with QuickBooks expertise. This can save both you and the accountant headaches in the future and cut down on any unnecessary errors.
Consider An Accounting Service
Depending on the size, scope, and needs of your business, an accounting firm or service might be a better fit than hiring a full-time accountant.
Accounting services cover a wide range of roles, such as bookkeeping, payroll processing, and reviewing your financial transactions to determine the health of your business.
An accounting service can provide your business with an overall view of your business financial state and set up long-term goals and financial plans.
Find An Accountant You Can Trust
This might seem obvious, but trust is a must when you are looking to hire someone to manage your accounts and provide accurate financial reports!
Find an accountant with extensive experience and seek out references from their past clients.
A great accountant will need to have excellent communication skills when it comes to discussing your business’s finances and will need to be proactive and passionate about saving you money!
Need to Hire The Perfect Accounting Advisors for Your Business? Trust MISSION Accounting
Remember— not all accountants are the same, and you need to select the best one for your accounting needs. That’s why you should trust a dedicated accounting service like MISSION Accounting. Our team of experts can bring their expertise to your business and help you achieve your business accounting goals.
Whether you need an expert in accounting system design, data integration, business consulting, et cetera, MISSION Accounting is here to help.
Looking for QuickBooks software to help keep things organized? We can help there too. Our QuickBooks experts can help your business choose the right QuickBooks version and unleash its full power so you can get the most out of your software.
Bernard Roesch, MISSION Accounting’s founder, is a Harvard MBA and a QuickBooks ProAdvisor. He has over 25 years of experience advising his clients and helping them make intelligent and profitable business decisions.
Contact us at MISSION Accounting today to schedule a complimentary consultation for your QuickBooks software needs. We’re here to help you find solutions to all your business’s financial needs and make keeping track of your finances more manageable.