More than four million small businesses started last year, illustrating that many people leaped into entrepreneurship in 2020. Whether you’re opening an LLC or forming a sole proprietorship, it’s important to have every tool at your disposal. One essential component to running a successful business is ensuring your finances are in order.

Hiring the best accountant will help guarantee that one of the most important aspects of your company is in the right hands. Searching online for nearby accountants is a great way to start, but there are a few things to keep in mind during your searches.

This guide will go over our top tips for choosing an accountant as a small business owner.

Experience and Certification

Not all accountants are CPAs, but all CPAs are accountants. A certified public accountant (CPA) is an individual who has met their state’s licensing requirements. They’ve also earned the CPA designation through:

  • Experience
  • Passing the CPA exam
  • Educational training

The accountant you select should be trained to meet the demands and expectations of their profession. Although they took exams and courses previously, they should continue taking professional development courses. This ensures that they’re on top of the changing regulations and rules in the accounting world.

Even with a lot of educational background, nothing beats years of experience. Look at how long an accountant has been in business.

You should also look at if the account is part of a larger firm or a single-person business. Ask if they have a team that can handle every aspect of your business. You don’t want to have to look for a new accountant as your business changes and grows.

Up-to-Date Accounting Software

As technology changes over the years, accounting software evolves with it. Programs like QuickBooks and Xero improve the productivity of accounts as they automate tedious tasks and reduce a person’s margin of error. Another great feature of modern accounting programs is that accountants can access information in real-time, no matter their location.

An accountant should be up to date in business management tools and cloud-based accounting. They need to be able to help you automate your company’s processes in addition to giving you visibility into your finances.

Modern innovations, such as e-signature software, tax return programs, and other cloud-based tools, get rid of a lot of unnecessary paperwork. It also ensures the efficiency of your document management and tax filings.

Accountants who are open to technological trends and understand how powerful these tools can be will provide value-added solutions to your business. The more tech-savvy your business’s accountant is, the more likely you’ll be a successful entrepreneur.

Full-Service Accountant

As a smart business owner, you know that your time is money. Selecting the right accountant will help you buy additional time so you can focus on your business. Some CPAs will also handle your payroll and bookkeeping, in addition to traditional accounting services.

You need to determine before selecting your account what your weaknesses, strengths, and pain points are. If you need help in other areas of your business beyond basic accounting, you should select a firm or accountant that provides various services.

You’ll also want to check that your accountant is comfortable with helping you with tax planning. They should also assist you with planning for the future for not only your business but you and your family as well. You’ll want to guarantee that you’re utilizing all of the relevant tax deductions that you can.

If your business is getting off the ground, your finances and tax situation might be fairly straightforward. Additionally, you might not be paying yourself.

As your business starts to grow, you’ll have to start thinking about how to pay yourself. You can pay yourself by dividends, salary, or both. Most accountants have basic knowledge of business structures, but you might need to work with a CPA familiar with specialized tax restructuring experience.

Full-service accounting firms, like Suretax Accountants, can help you in a variety of ways. You can cut down the time you spend agonizing over your finances and focus on increasing your customer base.

Speak With Business and Government Associations

If you have a list of potential accountants in your area but aren’t sure how to narrow it down, speak to local government officials. Utilize business advisor networks to help you decide which accountant to select.

Sometimes, local chambers of commerce or organization can advise you on which account will fit your needs. Typically, their advice is free.

An essential component of business ownership is networking. In addition to helping you pick an accountant, you’ll get to connect with other local small business owners. Even if you can’t select an accountant, you can at least narrow down your list.

Consider the Accountant’s Location

Location isn’t always necessary these days with the advent of cloud-based programs. Accountants use cloud accounting so you and your CPA can look at identical data in real-time. It doesn’t matter where you and they are located.

What’s most important when selecting an accountant is what your business’s needs are. Your accountant can be located anywhere if you’re comfortable collaborating via phone calls or emails. Their location doesn’t need to be a deciding factor when selecting the best accountant.

If you prefer meeting face to face and need someone to attend business meetings with you, you might want to opt for a local accountant. Look for ones that are nearby or can travel to your location.

Partner With the Best Accountant to Ensure Your Success

The best accountant will help you avoid unpleasant situations when it comes to filing and paying taxes. You want to be set up for success and have a clear picture of your business’s finances. Don’t wait until the last minute to connect with an experienced accountant.

For more business tips and tricks, check out one of our other articles.