Finding and selecting an accountant of the right standard and quality for your business can be so demanding and time consuming if you have no idea of what it is that you are looking for in accounting firm. Over time, the role of accountants in mall businesses become more obvious as most business owners that I have spoken with always complain of falling into the hands of the wrong qualified accountants.
The irony here is that they did not employ the services of accountants that are not qualified. They simply did not choose the right accountant for their business. The importance of accounting and accounting information is so critical that making the wrong choice is not an option for managers especially in these turbulent financial times. The functions of accountants go beyond what many people without accounting background think. Very many people think that the work of an accountant is just to prepare financial statements. This is wrong as the role of accountant now encompass strategic management, supplying useful information for decision making, consulting, acting as business advisors, fighting fraud, etc.
SIX (6) IMPORTANT FACTORS TO CONSIDER BEFORE ENGAGING THE SERVICE OF ACCOUNTING FIRMS
SIZE OF THE ACCOUNTING FIRM
The first thing to consider while shopping for the right accountant for your business is to look at the size of the accounting firm. It will be an incredible waste of money for a small business that can adequately be satisfied by a small accounting firm to engage the service of one of the big four accounting firms.
BUSINESS NEEDS OF YOUR COMPANY
This is also an important point to consider as it will be a waste of resource to engage the services of an accountancy firm that charges premium for their goodwill when an average accounting company can meet your business needs. Though you have the choice of selecting the package you want from the range of services an accounting firm has to offer, there is always a price to pay for reputation of well established accounting firms.
EXPERIENCE AND QUALIFICATIONS
The credentials of the partners and associates of an accounting firm is another important factor that must be consider if the right choice of accounting firm is to be made. It is always better to select an accounting firm that as good mix of people with varying professional qualifications, e.g, CISA, CPA, ACCA, CFE, CIMA, ICAN, ICAS, etc. The implication of this is that more money is likely to be spent in doing this, but, the fierce competition in marketing accounting services has significantly reduced the incentives of management of accounting firms incorporating much in their charges as a premium for having broad range of qualified professionals on their payslip.
SIZE OF CLIENTELE
Success attracts success is a popular saying. An accounting firm that has good customer care services and are vast in business management should be able to attract a retain quality customers. This is not applicable to a fairly new accounting firm that is just starting up.
FINANCIAL POSITION OF THE ACCOUNTING FIRM
A lot of clients make the mistake of not having a look at the financial statements of the prospective financial advisor that they are about to bring in to manage their investments for them. It is ridiculous to believe that group of accountants that cannot keep a clean record of things within their firm can deliver when they are coming from the outside.
KNOWLEDGE OF FORENSIC ACCOUNTING AND FRAUD EXAMINATION
Accounting has gone beyond formalities. Therefore, the best accountants that any vibrant business need now in order to maintain their leadership position and survive the hard knocks of fraud is an accounting firm that has reasonable experience and qualification in forensic accounting and fraud examination.
HOW TO SELECT AN ACCOUNTANT
After carefully considering the factors that are listed above, it is now time for the selection proper to be done. In this section of this article on how to find and select an accounting firm that is most suitable for your kind of business are the processes of picking an accountant from the sample of possible accountants.
GET PEOPLES’ OPINION
If you can get the opinion of the existing customers of an accounting firm, your final decision will be made a lot easier than when the whole analysis is left for you and your team. This is commonly called referral or recommendation in business community. The more positive they are, the more likely you are to enjoy good services.
COLLECT PRICE QUOTATION FOR SERVICES RENDERED
There are loads of cheap accountants that your business leverage on to become more profitable. All you need to do is use the factors that were discussed above to pencil down potential accounting firm to employ.
VISIT THE ACCOUNTANTS
There is no proxy for first hand information. Irrespective of the amount of time you invest in gathering and analyzing information about your prospective accountant, it still cannot give you a clear picture of what you expect. A simple unannounced visit is all that is required for you to see things in their raw state.
IMPORTANCE OF ACCOUNTANTS IN A BUSINESS
The success or failure of any business lays on the management of the company’s cash flow. Having a good accountant to stir the financial management function of a company is one of the key business success factors that cannot be left for chance. The new place of accounting information system in strategic management has made it a must that every business irrespective of the size should have a suitable accountant to seat on the driving seat of the company finances for survival.
The overall development and sustainability of business strategy of a company is heavily dependent on the competency of the company’s accountant. In fact, certain legal pitfalls that a company can fall into are easily identified and averted by the accountant of the company acting in different capacity.
You and your business will be happy if care is taken to find and choose or select an accountant for your business.