No business owner can afford to hire the wrong accountant. This is especially true of a small business owner whose entire life is wrapped up in his or her business and if an unethical or poorly trained accountant were to be hired, it would be an error that may cause the small business owner his entire life’s work. That is why it is critical to do a thorough and complete review of any accounting firm before you hire them on as your accountant, Sydney.
If you are considering hiring an accountant, it is imperative that you take the time to interview the staff members who will be responsible for handling your accountant. You must be comfortable with who they are, and you must be sure that those individuals have experience with your type of business. Ask questions such as:
- How many accounts do you handle at one time?
- How much experience do you have working with businesses in my industry and with the number of employees I have?
- How long have you been a certified accountant?
- What types of software programs have you worked with?
Ask for a list of references of both current and past clients of the both the accounting firm and the accountant, Sydney. Then, contact them. This step, though uncomfortable for some people, will yield answers for you that you can’t get from the firm itself. Ask the references questions like:
- Is/was your accountant responsive when you tried to contact him or her?
- Do/did they regularly accept your calls?
- On the occasions, you have/had to leave a message, what is the turnaround time for a returned call?
- Are/were they receptive to your concerns and do/did they thoroughly answer all of your questions?
- What is/was their error rate?
- Do/did they ever try to get you to agree to do anything unethical to ‘get around’ any laws or regulations?
When you need to hire an accountant, Sydney, research before you sign any documents. Your business could very well depend on it.