With tax season just around the corner, it’s important to have the right accountant on hand. If you don’t feel completely comfortable doing your taxes, an accountant can relieve you of the task and get the job done efficiently and effectively. If you don’t already have an accountant, it’s important to know what to look for. Here are five tips for finding the perfect accountant.
Ask for Recommendations
A good way to start your search for an accountant is to ask your friends, family members or colleagues for recommendations. If someone you know has an accountant they like and trust, chances are you will also like and trust them.
Check Their Certifications
There are different types of accountants, but each one is required to have an undergraduate degree. If one becomes a certified public accountant (CPA), it means they have passed an exam and have become certified by the state. They are required to take continuing education classes to retain their certification. A certified management accountant (CMA) must also take an exam, is also certified and must take continuing education courses so they can work within a team at a company.
If you own a small business, you would probably want a CMA. However, if you simply want an accountant to help you out with your taxes and other personal financial matters, a CPA is appropriate.
Know What Services You Need
It’s important to know what services you need from an accountant. There are different types of accounts who specialize in different areas. An enrolled agent specifically has expertise in the area of taxes. CPAs have a wider scope of knowledge in all types of accounting matters and may be better equipped to tackle trickier tax issues like self-employment tax.
Of course, you will want to interview prospective candidates after you have determined what you want out of your accountant. You may want to do this face-to-face as you get a better perspective of someone when you meet in person. Not only can you learn more about their credentials and history, but you can also get a good feel for their personality and whether the two of you will mesh well. After all, you will be developing a professional relationship, and you want to ensure that you get along with your accountant and that there are no issues.
Ask Plenty of Questions
After you’ve started the interview process and know the background information of each accountant, you should be able to narrow down your search for the perfect one. To do that, it’s important to ask appropriate questions, such as about the software they use, services they offer and fees they charge. You can even go a step further and ask their idea of a good client relationship.
These five tips can help you to find the perfect accountant for your needs. Be diligent in your search and all will end up in your favor.