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What Do Accounting Firms Do: What To Look For

The days of accounting books and documents piling up around your office are long gone. These days, you don’t have to browse through a ton of books to find a single entry. Thanks to the internet and digital systems, businesses can turn to accounting and bookkeeping software or accounting firms.

Professional accounting firms now operate via the internet, and they use various tech and software. Not only that, but they provide their staff with updating training, which means that their clients’ financial management is receiving the utmost care. When you outsource your accounting tasks, then you won’t need to worry about missing receipts, documents or payslips because everything is digitized. By partnering with an accounting and bookkeeping firm, you’ll have a well-structured financial management system.

Encourages Business Growth

Business decisions often rely on finances. It doesn’t matter if you want to expand your business or branch out; the money will be a significant deciding factor. If you don’t have a good financial management system in place, then you will not have accurate financial reports. In turn, you might not make the best-informed decision, and as a result, your growth and profitability will suffer.

Using a professional to take care of your accounting needs will ensure your financial management system is organized. This will let you make the best decision possible when the time comes to try to grow your business. Many accountants will even provide you with advice and help you to better understand your financial reports. It’s safe to say that accounting services can encourage growth.

There are many benefits to hiring a professional accounting firm. However, it is important to hire the right accountant. You might be wondering how to do that, and we will discuss that below.

What To Consider When Hiring An Accounting Firm

Not all Coquitlam accounting firms are created equal, and not all will let you reap all of the potential benefits of having a good financial management system in place. There are many considerations to take in before hiring one. These include:

Experience & Knowledge

When it comes to hiring a professional, make sure you choose one that has plenty of experience. A reputed accounting firm will employ a team of highly skilled accountants. The best firms will have many success stories. Before you hire a company, you want to get a feel for how knowledgeable they are and how much experience they possess. Make sure they stay up to date with changes in relevant tax laws.

Services Offered

The last thing you want is to hire multiple accounting services. It is far better to hire only one, so check the services offered by the accounting firm you’re thinking of using. The best companies provide a full range of services, including help with taxes, bookkeeping, payroll, and other accounting-related tasks. Many professional accountants offer such services at a fair price.

Communication Skills

You don’t want to use an accountant who cannot simplify complex accounting terms. Besides that, the company you choose should provide you with frequent updates about your company’s financial status, and this includes issues that might be arising and any good things that might potentially happen shortly. Just because you’re outsourcing your accounting tasks does not mean you have to do nothing at all. In other words, you will still need to do certain things, and a good accountant will communicate with you in a clear manner, that way, you always know what’s going on.

Latest Tech

You don’t want to end up losing financial records due to the accounting service you use having issues with data or tech problems. The firm you hire should use the latest tech and tools to properly manage the client’s financial affairs. A good firm will know what the latest tech is and how to protect data in the event of an emergency.

Finally, you want to consider your budget. Different accounting firms charge different rates. It’s not hard to find a reliable accounting firm that provides services at a fair price. However, do weigh the pros and cons of outsourcing your accounting tasks vs. the pros and cons of hiring an in-house accountant to take care of your accounting needs. Then you can decide what your budget allows.

Services Of A CPA Accountant: How To Find One

The help of a qualified accountant can be valuable to your small company. A skilled bookkeeper will do an excellent work of maintaining records, but to understand the tax legislation and get the financial guidance you need to manage and develop your business, you require an accountant.

While we usually connect accountants with taxes, having you up-to-date of tax reforms and preparing your taxes are not the only assistance a qualified accountant renders.

There are many to consider when running the business perhaps you are looking to incorporate your trade, or you have the option to borrow or buy a commercial property, a qualified accountant will guide you how these operations will impact your taxes so if you do not have an accountant with you, its time for you to hire one! But it’s wise to do proper research and take your time to search for expert accountants that will service your business the best.

How to Contract a Qualified Accountant

1) Referrals

One of the best ways is to ask for references, especially from other businesses who are in similar trade. There is a sound probability that you will get some good leads through referrals. Other sources could be searching the yellow pages to get information on accounting companies.

You can call these companies, and ask for details on the accountants and can specifically discuss your business tax requirements. Note down all this information and prepare a list of proposed accountants.

2) Call the three or four accountants you’ve picked and request to explain their duties.

It is an excellent time to ask for the qualification of the accountant(such as having a CA, CPA, or CGA) and how long they have been part of the accounting firm. You can verify the details with professional groups to confirm the qualification and make sure there are no disciplinary actions against the account.

Use this first contact report to pick two or three accountants to question.

3) Prepare a list of questions for the accountants.

Make sure you ask all questions that matter to your business and do not be shy in learning more about all the billing methods and how will you be charged for the services. Will they bill you for consultation on the phone or email as well?

Make sure you ask them regarding their accessibility as you may need to reach out to them at all times. You can also bring your previous returns to discuss with the accountant and what fees you should expect to pay for similar tax filings.

4) Selection of Accountant

It is crucial for you to select an accountant who holds the experience to deal with tax matters that are relevant to your business. For instance, if most of your business is through online sales, you need an accountant who understands online business taxation. Similarly, if your business is primarily concerned with international trade, you need an accountant who has the experience to deal with tax reforms of doing business with different countries.

5) Have a face to face meeting with the accountant

Never hire a professional over phone or email correspondence. Meet with the accountants and discuss all the possibilities face to face. Not only you will be able to assess the accountant qualifications but also understand a bit about his personality and will you get along with him or not. You will have a long term relation with your accountant, so it is necessary to have a level of comfort and understanding with the account to take things further.

An account is not only a person who will prepare your tax return he could very well be a financial advisor behind your decisions and can help you with financial tactics and strategies that will contribute in the growth of your business. A good account will give you the confidence to make significant financial decisions, all within the proper and required regulatory provisions.

How To Find A Good Accountant: More Than Just Experience

Here at Gadsby Accountants, we often help people to answer the question of whether or not they need an accountant and how to find one that will help them. If you are in business, money is clearly necessary, and handling and monitoring it effectively is essential too. The short answer is that the services of a good accountant are a must for anyone who is in business.

Keep reading if you don’t have your own accountant but feel that you certainly need one. Hiring the right one for the needs of your business should be your goal, and we can help you to achieve that goal.

When do you need to hire an accountant?

It should be one of the first things you do when you establish and run your own business, along with finding a good lawyer and banker too. Knowing someone with accounting expertise is a good thing to do as early as possible, so you have someone to consult when the time comes. It’s always a good idea to find an accountant sooner rather than later, even if you haven’t quite got your business off the ground yet.

What should you look for in an accountant?

Don’t overestimate the needs of your company and hire a huge accounting company immediately when you don’t really need a large company; it’s a mistake many small business owners make. If you have a business employing just a few people, clearly you don’t need the services of a huge accounting firm. You’ll probably benefit from a smaller company if they can provide what you need.

It’s important that you feel comfortable talking with your chosen accountant, in person, and on the phone. And try to work with someone who is willing to answer your questions, is genuinely helpful and doesn’t use too much jargon.

There is little point in working with an accountant that you just don’t feel comfortable with. remember that their role is to help you and your business, advise you on financial matters and generally make your life easier.

How much will it cost to use an accountant?

It typically won’t cost you anything to have an initial consultation as most small practice companies are vying for your business. And the fees for setup work are usually nominal.

The charges assessed by accountants can vary from one area to another; you’ll probably pay less to hire an accounting company in Iowa or Alabama than you would in New York or Los Angeles.

You can get an idea of how much you’ll pay where you live and the average cost of preparing your taxes by referring to the US TaxCenter’s useful guide. If you are based in Canada and need to use an accountant, before deciding on fees that work with your company’s budget, do some basic research on fees charged, so you know what to expect.

What should your accountant do for you?

A good accountant can guide you on financial strategy, help you set up your business and choose the best legal structure for your company, as well of course, as preparing your taxes every year. If you get audited by the IRS, some accountants can support and assist you. And if you need help with a payroll system, forms your business may need, applying for a business loan or deciding which accounting system to use, your accountant can potentially help with all this and more.

By now you can probably see why it’s a good idea to know a reliable accountant, even if you feel you don’t need to hire one full time at the moment.

You may be able to take advantage of different services offered by your accountant, that can be outsourced somewhere else. Don’t make the common mistake of assuming your accountant will do absolutely everything.

As an example, your accountant could take on a role as a general financial advisor, and you can continue to handle your expenses and invoicing with FreshBooks, as you are already doing now.

Your accountant shouldn’t have a problem with you using another company or person to provide additional services at a better price. Remember, it’s all about making sensible financial decisions, as any accountant will verify.

How to find a good accountant

Other small business owners may be able to recommend a good accountant to you, and it’s an effective way to find someone. If you are considering working with a particular accounting company, check online comments and reviews from current clients.

You may also be able to get recommendations for a good accounting firm by using FreshBooks, Bench, or similar services. To locate an accountant based in your area who is comfortable with FreshBooks, use the FreshMap tool.

Working with an accounting company that is based locally is the preference of most of the business owners that we work with here at Bench. If you prefer to work with an accountant who is based some distance away from you, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t do that, although it’s a must that you verify they are able to help you remotely effectively.

If possible, carry out a test run of their services, once you feel you have found an accountant you are comfortable working with. Getting a feel for their system when you are given access to it is obviously useful and will help you to decide if they are the company you want to use for your accounting needs.

The expertise and help of a skilled accountant can make a positive difference, regardless of the size of your business. The right accountant can help your business to grow, can function as a valuable partner for the long term, and can assist with any financial concerns. And of course, tax time is a lot easier too.

A message about our founder

Jean Gadsby is a practising Accountant based on Merseyside and the North West, and has been for 30 years

She deals with all aspects of Business , from start-ups, to preparing Profit and Loss Accounts and Balance Sheets, cash flow projections, dealing with the Inland Revenue and Customs and Excise, and Inland Revenue Investigations.

She has held numerous Public Sector Board Positions, such as a Director of Liverpool Chamber of Commerce, for 11 years, National Lottery Community Fund, Chair of the Good Causes Panel. BAFTA , and Liverpool City Challenge.

“Her vast experience surpasses many of the younger Accountancy Practices working in the field, she will only take a client on if they are committed to a working together approach, and want to ensure that their affairs are looked after on a regular and timely basis”.

She has essential experience in specific area of business forward planning, and has a common sense attitude to working with clients in areas of problem solving.
Her expertise lies within small Businesses, Sole traders, Partnerships and Limited Companies, with an emphasis on Creative Industries, Film and Tv Production Companies.

HMRC Investigation

‘HMRC Investigations’ can be run of the mill with appropriate support and advice.

We have 30 years’ specialist experience of HMRC Investigations. Sadly, the days when we could telephone a local Tax Inspector are long gone, and all Investigations are now just process, which can involve long protracted discussions with someone who doesn’t know the nuances of your business.

However, we are well prepared for this, and you can be guaranteed that we will use all of our experience to expedite the process and obtain the best result for our clients.

We also have an Insurance Policy in force that we offer to clients, as long as their affairs are up to date , to cover for our fees in the event of an Investigation, as an average intervention can last up to a year, and be very costly.

The speed of an investigation can be vital when it comes to calculating interest and Statutory Penalties.