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What to Look for in Accounting and Tax Services

As a small business owner, it’s important to ensure your numbers are accurate, so finding the right partner to handle your accounting and tax services is essential.


The right accounting and tax services partner will bring the experience and expertise you need to ensure your business’s finances are managed properly and are compliant with tax laws and regulations.


You’ll have peace of mind knowing everything is being handled in the most efficient and effective way.


As you start your search for an accounting and tax services partner, there are a few areas you should pay close attention to. These areas should play the biggest roles in your search.


Understand Your Options for Accounting and Tax Services

Your selection process should begin by first evaluating your business and determining its needs.


What specific services are you looking for?

  • Annual tax prep and filing?

  • Tax strategies?

  • Monthly bookkeeping?

  • Monthly reviews of financial reports?

  • Budgets and forecasting?


Once you’ve determined your business’s needs, you can start searching for firms that offer services that meet those needs.


Industry Experience

Aside from offering the services your business needs, industry experience ranks high on the list of essential things to look for when selecting accounting and tax services.

Your business deserves a partner that understands how and why it operates the way it does.


When you select an accountant with industry experience, they’ll be able to:

  • Help you track the right metrics

  • Make strategic decisions

  • Plan for long-term growth

They’ll have the advantage of knowing what works in your industry and what doesn’t.


Like you, accounting firms niche down and select their ideal clients based on:

  • Who they like to serve

  • Who they are good at serving

So as you work through the selection process, keep in mind there is an accountant out there who wants to work with your business and knows exactly what needs to be done to help it succeed.


Processes and Procedures

Remember the services you said your business needed? Now it’s time to uncover how your potential partners plan to execute those services.


You likely already have processes you are using to accomplish the tasks now, but obviously, they are no longer sustainable. Whether it’s because you’ve grown out of them, they never really worked in the first place, or you simply don’t have the time to keep up with them anymore.


Your new accounting partner will be able to suggest and implement new processes and procedures to ensure your business’s finances are running smoothly.


Be sure to ask accountants how they plan to:

  • Present financial statements to you

  • Collect tax information

  • Implement their tax plan

  • Improve current processes (payroll, cash flow management, etc.)


The processes and procedures they use need to fit into your business so that you understand them and see how they can improve your business.


Don’t Skip the Details

The details matter when it comes to selecting a partner for accounting and tax services. Skipping over these points can cause a lot of issues for your business in the long run.


Pricing

Pricing is one of the first things business owners look at when selecting an accounting partner. However, it should not be a primary factor in the selection process.


Even if a price point is a little outside of your range, consider meeting with their team anyways. You’ll likely find that the prices are well-worth the services provided.


Typically, firms operate on an hourly basis or offer a fixed fee. Select a partner who offers a pricing structure that best fits your needs.


In most cases, a firm operating on a fixed fee will be able to provide the most value for your business.


Local vs. Virtual

For some, location matters.


While a local accountant may be preferred by some business owners, this limits your options. Virtual accountants are a great alternative and offer the exact (if not more) services than the firms in your area.


Customer Service

Customer service is another detail too important to pass up. You’re busy and when you have questions or need to speak with your accountant, you need to be able to count on a timely response. Especially since you will likely be using technology and tools they suggest that you may not be familiar with.

Choose an accounting partner who is accessible and can be reached.


Select the Right Provider for Your Accounting and Tax Services

Selecting the right partner for your accounting and tax services is essential for ensuring success. Working with the wrong partner can end up being a costly mistake, so take your time weighing your options during the selection process.


Keep in mind the points we covered above and be sure to ask questions. Once you’ve found two or three firms that check all your boxes, run them through an interview process. Remember, selecting an accounting and tax services partner is a lot like selecting a new team member.




If you’re still searching for accounting and tax support for your small business, consider Little Fish Accounting!


We offer three levels of service:


These allow you to select which level of service is right for your business! Visit our services page to learn more!

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