As entrepreneurs, doing your homework in order to ensure that you know when to hire a small business accountant is not enough as hiring the wrong (there are no bad accountants but you must select the one that is suited for your specific needs) small business accountant is as bad as hiring at the wrong time. You need to know how to select a small business accountant and that is where this article comes into play.
In this article, you will discover how to select a small business accountant from an experienced professional who have gone there, done that and have seen it all.
The bulleted points that follow are things you must consider before engaging the service of a small business accountant.
9 THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR WHEN HIRING A SMALL BUSINESS ACCOUNTANT
- Personal relationship and lifestyle: the lifestyle of an individual tells a lot about how the person will act when put in charge of bigger responsibility. A small business accountant that constantly picks up quarrel with their family members for example will likely pick up a fight with you.
In same vein, an accountant with gambling problem will surely lead your small business astray. As much as you can, gather as much personal details as you can while selecting a small business accountant for your business.
- Personal investment portfolio: gone are the days when accountancy as a profession was all about number crunching. In this modern day that we now live in, accountants must be seen practicing what they preach. Ask a prospective small business accountant for proof of their investment. No matter how small it is, your aim is to make sure that they have the discipline of managing investment of their own.
- Professional affiliation: in this ever challenging and competitive world where consumers are constantly looking for perfection, it will be suicidal to employ a small business accountant without any professional affiliation as it will be really difficult for the small business verify their credentials and reputation. ACCA, CPA, CIMA and ICAN are some examples of professional accountancy body that whoever you intend to hire must be a member.
- Knowledge of IT and social media: it is no longer optional for accountants to be IT and internet savvy in order to be a modern professional. IT and business operations have been so intertwined that it is very impossible to discuss a business process without thinking of an IT infrastructure to power it. Make sure that the accountant is in the trend.
You can even go as far as asking for an IT professional credential like CISA- I personally became CISA certified to improve my value as an accountant and learnt some coding as an accountant Small businesses have embraced technology just like the large companies used to do. This development made it inevitable for accountants to use technology in their day-to-day activities.
- Past work experience: an individual who claim to be a small business accountant and has never worked for a small business should be avoided. In as much as there are transferrable skills from larger businesses, an accountant who has no experience of working with a small business will not fully appreciate the implications of small business activities and the challenges that faces a small business.
- Level of international exposure: the world has long ago become a global village and people without real international exposure tend to limit their thinking to what is possible within the locally that they are familiar with. Hire a small business accountant with international working exposure.
- Knowledge in marketing and strategy: marketing and strategy are the bane of every successful small business. A hybrid accountant must have good internet marketing skills and strategy as they are your business partners. As a small business owner, you need someone with a well-rounded experience in internet marketing to help guide your steps all the way.
- Reference from other customers: it is very important that you ask of reference from a prospective business associate especially a finance business associate. A simple phone call will be the baseline really.
- Clientele database: this point is giving the above point some flesh and blood. You have to do some basic checks to make sure that the accountant whom you are about to employ is not working for an underground a criminal organization. Find out more about people that they have worked for or are still working for. The cost of doing credit and background check has plummeted so there is no excuse for not knowing the fundamentals about your prospective small business accountant.
Before you go shopping for a small business accountant, make sure that you are absolutely convinced that your small business is ripe to engage the service of a small business accountant.
After ascertaining that your business really needs the service of a small business accountant, the next thing to do is make sure you follow the tips given in this post on how to select a small business accountant.