Are you considering hiring an accountant? Whether it’s for business purposes to keep your business finances organised and under control or just for personal use there are five main questions that you should ask your personal tax accountant.
- Are you available year round? Some accountants only work during tax season while others only work other specified times throughout the year. The amount of time the accountant is available will need to depend on what you need them for. If you only need them during tax time then it’s a match but if you need your accountant all year long you will need to find one who will work all year.
- How do you charge for the services? Does this accountant charge per hour, or bill a flat rate? Maybe they charge based on the task being asked to complete. Always find out how they charge and when they charge. Do you pay when you hire them, monthly, weekly after the services are performed? This is very important to understand and get a grasp on because you want to make sure your accountant is paid and paid on time. This should be discussed when you are signing the contracts and working out all the details of the hiring process.
- What are your qualifications? Does your accountant have any certifications or other specialised training? You may or may not need someone with a certification but it helps to know that the person in charge of your financial tasks knows exactly what they are doing. Sometimes you will want accountants who are chartered and this just means they have extra certifications.
- How can I improve my business? As an accountant who is looking at your business’ finances, they should be able to tell you where you can increase or decrease expenses and how your business is really doing in terms of profits. Just remember that when you ask your accountant this question be prepared to take their advice and listen to them because while it is your business they are seeing an unbiased aspect of it and probably have a good idea on how to make it better.
- What is your experience with business accounting (and personal accounting)? You want someone who has practice with accounting because let’s face it if they are completely new to this and mess up the numbers it could mean big trouble for you and your business. While it’s true everyone begins somewhere you just want to be careful with how new to the business they are.
There are many other things to take into consideration when it comes time to hire an accountant but these were the top five questions that are asked more commonly than the others.