Every business in the world will need the services of accountants during the year. Smaller businesses need accounting services once in a while, while large businesses heavily depend on it. Large businesses may even have a dedicated accounting department to handle all their accounting needs.
Most people do not consider the accounting department of a business as a part of its core activities. However, in the absence of an effective accounting department, businesses have to face many problems and bear extra costs.
For this reason, all types of businesses need to find a good accountant. However, good accountants are difficult to find. This is mainly because there are many accountants in the market from which businesses have to choose.
Yet all accountants cannot be considered good. Therefore, businesses must know how to select the right accountant for their needs.
Before businesses can select accountants, they must understand what services accountants provide that makes them so valuable.
What do accountants do?
In the past, accountants used to be only responsible for the bookkeeping of a business. However, nowadays, accountants provide a variety of different functions in addition to bookkeeping. These services may include:
- Auditing services that include examining the financial information of a business internally or externally and giving an opinion regarding it.
- Bookkeeping services that include gathering, categorizing, analyzing, recording and reporting financial information.
- Business advisory services that include advising on different aspects of finance to a business such as expansions, mergers, insurance policies, capital structure, etc.
- Tax advisory services that include giving tax-related advice to a business which may further include tax planning and tax compliance issues.
How to find a good accountant?
There are many different aspects of accountants that businesses need to evaluate to find a good one. Some of these aspects are listed below.
For businesses, the best way to find an accountant is by asking around for referrals or recommendations from different other entities. There are also societies for registered accountants in some countries where business can find registered accountants.
For accountants, registration means they will be a part of some professional accounting body. For the USA, the main accounting body is CPA while for the rest of the world, the main bodies of accounting may include ACCA, ICAEW, CAI, CIMA, etc. If businesses hire registered accountants, they can significantly increase their chances of finding a good accountant.
There are many different types of services that accountants provide, as discussed above. A good accountant should be able to provide all of them. However, the accountants may also need to have experience in those areas to be good at their work.
Therefore, businesses looking for a good accountant should first figure out what their requirements are from an accountant. Once they have their requirements straight, they can look for accountants that meet those requirements. For example, a business may only require bookkeeping and tax services. Therefore, the definition of a good accountant may be different for it as compared to other businesses.
While there are many experienced accountants or accounting firms in the market that can do everything that a business expects of them, they may come at a high price. A good accountant, while experienced, must also come at an affordable price to the business.
Therefore, the business must consider the fees required by accountants. For the business, an accountant that can perform all the duties required by the business at the lowest possible price should be good. However, the business must ensure that the lower costs do not affect the quality of the accountant’s work.
While all of the above points should ensure that a business will find a good accountant, the customer service that accountants offer is also important. Customer service consists of factors such as communication, availability, problem-solving etc.
If an accountant does not provide good customer service despite meeting all the above requirements, the business cannot rely on them in the long run. Similarly, an accountant that provides good customer service but cannot satisfy the above aspects is no good either. Therefore, the business must consider the customer service provided by the accountant as well.
Businesses need accountants for different reasons, such as auditing, bookkeeping, business advisory and tax advisory. Furthermore, businesses heavily rely on their accounting function to save costs and be successful in the long term.
Therefore, businesses must find a good accountant. A good accountant should be registered with a professional accounting body. Furthermore, they should provide the services required by a business. Similarly, they should also come at an affordable price to the business. Finally, a good accountant should also provide good customer services.