The tax folks at J.K. Lasser sent us a press release today that provides tips on what a small business needs to look for when hiring an accountant. It is not easy to find an accountant that you can trust, much less really look out for your interests.
According to J.K Lasser, the following are the questions you need to ask prospective accountants:
- How are you going to help my business grow? Ask for an outline in writing.
- Are you a tax planner or a tax preparer? You will want to meet with your accountant once a year for both strategic and tax planning.
- What benchmarks will you help me set for my business, so that I can track my projects? An accountant specializing in small business finances should be able to help you set month-by-month goals to chart your progress.
- How tech savvy is the accountant? Are you going to have to print out your accounts to hard copy or can you simply transfer everything electronically? What kind of software are you going to have to buy?
- What overall services can the accountant provide besides business advice, like estate planning, gift planning, legal referrals, etc.?
- How do you calculate your fees? In a time-based fee structure, make sure to find out the hourly rate, as well as all fees for expense reimbursement.
Read the Questions to Ask a Tax Accountant