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Running a small business is tougher than it sounds, particularly when it comes to managing your accounts and taxes. Hiring an expert accountant is, therefore, mandatory even if you don’t have long lists of finances to track. More than just finding a professional, you need to be judicious about choosing someone who is good enough. This is all the more vital for small businesses because you will want the best value from their services. Asking a few questions before hiring an accountant is a smart approach to judge their expertise and competence. Here are some questions that you should ask.
Can you assist me with tax savings?
Apart from preparing accounts for your business, you should look for someone who can help you with tax savings as well. Since they are financial experts, they will be able to guide you with the calculation and timely payment of your taxes. In this way, you can avail of additional services from a single provider, which can be a significant saving for your small business. So do ask them if they can help you with tax savings.
How can you help me save my money?
The main role of an accountant is to maintain and manage the financial documentation for your business. Beyond just managing your accounts, they may also suggest some process changes for organizing payroll or even provide some simple spending advice. Thus, the role of the professional can be greater than just what it is meant to be. If they can help save money for your business, they definitely make a smarter choice.
Can you give me feedback on my existing accounting system?
Before hiring an accountant for your small business, do ask whether they can assess your current system and provide their feedback on it. For instance, the experts at H.M. Williams extend strategic business advice for their clients in addition to the regular accounting and tax services. Since your existing system may not be effective enough, they can even suggest ways to address its flaws.
Will we be in touch regularly?
Being in touch with your accountant whenever you need them is important. So this is another question that you should absolutely ask the service provider before you hire them. Ask them how often they will be in touch with you. Also, verify the mode of communication that you can use to connect with them outside the regular schedules.
How do you calculate your fees?
The cost of an accountant’s services will perhaps be the biggest concern for your small business because you will obviously have a budget in mind. Do ask them how they calculate and charge their fees, whether they charge per hour or on a fixed fee basis. The idea is to make sure that their services come within your budget and still deliver the value you expect from them.
Besides asking these questions, you should also check their credentials and ask about their experience and track record. Asking for referrals is a good idea because the honest opinion of real clients is the best way to judge the expertise and service quality offered by the providers.