Is There Such Thing as the Perfect Accountant?
When people are hunted down by the IRS, who gets the blame? Accountants. However, the very people who hired those incompetent accountants might also be blamed. People must understand the gravity of choosing their accountants because when something goes wrong, tax evasion not only leads to enormous fines but also jail time.
Right Time for Hiring an Accountant
At the onset, individuals might do taxes on their own, especially when the business has just started. Many accounting software and related tools make accounting work easier and faster. Overtime, the accounting workload becomes too much to handle. The business requires not only record-keeping services, but also long-term business and tax planning, as well as auditing. This is the time to consider hiring an accountant, whether full-time or part-time (depending on the workload).
Accounting Firm vs Inside Accountant
Accounting firms normally offer tax return preparation, financial statement preparation, and financial analysis. They charge an hourly rate, so they are naturally ideal to handle part-time accounting jobs. They are much efficient, too, backed by the firm’s resources and networks.
Meanwhile, an expanding business would eventually require an inside accountant to work full-time. The inside accountant does general ledger and account maintenance, handles, daily transactions, prepares financial statements and analysis, does cost accounting and variance analysis, manages cash, payroll and fixed asset accounting.
Choosing the Right Accountant
Certifications – The accountant has to have the necessary certifications, which prove they are qualified to do the task.
Expertise – Expertise does not always mean years of experience. Some young accountants have greater mastery in accounting responsibilities than senior accountants, mainly because they are more adaptive to new technologies and market trends, and willing to learn.
Size – The size of an accounting firm is not the best gauge for choosing an accountant. Some large firms contract work to smaller firms. It may be easier to work with a sole practitioner than with a large team of accountants. It is best to ensure one knows “who” specifically handles the account, whether they can be trusted or not.
Complexity – Before hiring an accountant, it is imperative that the person understands the workload – what accounting services are required?
Hiring an accountant means that the person or business wants to improve its financial position and reporting. One should be very selective when hiring an accountant.