When searching for an accountant, you want to be sure that they have the proper credentials. If they claim to be a CPA, this means that they have passed the exam and are licensed by your state. CPAs also fulfill continuing education requirements to keep their licenses active, and they stay up to date on all federal, state, and local tax laws. There are additional certifications that some CPAs have, such as Accredited in Business Valuation , Certified Valuation Analyst , and Personal Finance Specialist , among others.
You’ll need to think about issues such as the accountant’s location, the division of workload and the type of accounting software you’ll use. Consider how much you’ll have to pay the accountant, and whether they can help to reduce your business taxes. Although the terms accounting and bookkeeping are often used interchangeably, they are actually two very different processes.
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You want to use your how to find an accountant for small business as a business advisor, not just to get help during tax season. So, set expectation about the frequency of reporting and communication in advance, and choose an accountant who meets your requirements. One way to find an accountant for your business is to ask other business owners about whom they use. Nothing is better than a recommendation from one of your peers. Ask about their experience of working with their accountant or bookkeeper, and get some idea of the budget you’ll need to have to pay for these services.
When you are choosing a business accountant, you should always ask what recommendations they have for saving your company money. An EA credential recognizes professionals, including CPAs, licensed by the government to represent taxpayers. They advise clients, prepare personal and business taxes, and deal with the Internal Revenue Service on matters related to business or personal tax audits. A business accountant is your expert in managing financial information because they’re trained in the fine details of assets, debts and revenue.
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Access all Xero features for 30 days, then decide which plan best suits your business. Don’t weigh them down with dozens of written questions to answer. A ten-minute telephone call is likely to tell you far more about your prospective accountant than a three-page form full of bland written answers.
- While you may decide to hire an in-house accountant or bookkeeper, it’s common to have an external CPA prepare your tax return.
- Your accounting software provider can also be a great source of referrals for you.
- At the risk of muddying the waters, we need to stop and mention that there is a lot of overlap between these two processes, at least in terms of the professionals who do them.
- If you’re a very small business, it’s probably best to work with an accounting firm that’s also small and can provide more personalized attention.
There’s no single, flat rate for accounting services, so let’s talk about the variables. For example, lawyers face different regulations than other professional services, so an accountant who specializes in legal practices would be ideal. If your business is in e-commerce, a specialist will be able to help you navigate the complex sales tax issues, and recommend apps and tools to make your business run more smoothly. Certified public accountants are accountants who have had specific training and education, and passed a rigorous exam on business and accounting concepts and regulations.