As a virtual accountant I know there are many do-it-yourself accounting software programs that an entrepreneur can utilize. Remember though, just because you own a swimming pool doesn’t mean you know how to clean a swimming pool. This means that just because you own the software for your business accounting, doesn’t mean you know how to set it up properly or even understand the numbers that are coming out of the reports you can print.

A good accountant could literally be the difference between your business success and its failure. Why? Because your accountant is your business partner who can let you know whether you’re on track with your billing, whether you’re charging enough, whether you are operating in the red or the black and how to make adjustments that will increase your profit. An accountant can help formulate corrections and help get you back on track.

What are some other ways an accountant is good for your business? Here are a few:Picture2

  • They can become part of your “business advisory” board. They can help make sense of financial statements and make certain you’re complying with state and federal tax laws.
  • Record keeping and bookkeeping are the most basic of accounting tasks, but many business owners let those tasks slide because they are focusing on their core competency and creating a revenue stream.
  • Your CPA can offer you tax advice, before, during and after tax season.

How can you get the best accountant for your unique needs? Here are a few questions to ask:

  • What services do they offer?
  • Are they CPAs?
  • Will they prepare your taxes and file them for you? If not, will they help get your records ready so you can take them to your tax preparer?
  • Personality matters. Because you will be working closely with your accounting professional you need to make sure your personalities mesh.
  • What do they charge and what do you get for the fees you’re paying?
  • What kind of internal controls and checks and balances do they practice?
  • Do they seem responsive to your needs during your initial conversations?

When you meet with a potential accountant, it’s likely that other topics will arise. Make note of any questions you have and then evaluate their answers after the meeting is over. Do they take time to make sure you understood the answers to your questions and concerns? If yes, congratulations! You just make have found a valuable member of your trusted advisors group. Cultivate this important relationship.




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