5 Indicators That You Have a High-Quality Business Accountant

Posted on: 16 June 2020

When you hire an accountant for your business, you need to be able to trust and have confidence in them. Because most business owners aren't accounting experts, they rely on indicators to have that confidence. What are some things to look for that indicate you have a quality accountant? Here are a few. 

1. They Communicate Well. Can your accountant translate accounting concepts into something you can understand? Are they happy to explain anything going on in your books? Do they take the time to explain moves they've made or recommendations they've given? If you can't follow their conversation or understand directions, look for someone who empowers you. 

2. They Plan Ahead. Is your accountant thinking ahead to upcoming seasons and deadlines? Do they look for ways to make your operation more efficient or better at meeting its challenges? You can hire just about any bookkeeper to do your books, but you need an accountant who plans ahead and prepares you for what's coming. Avoid one who is only reactive or handles deadlines as crises. 

3. They Alert You To Problems.  Just about any business owner handling their own books can expect to do at least a few things incorrectly or in an inefficient manner. Therefore, your accountant should be proactively alerting you to things that could or should be done differently. Do they point out transactions that should be re-categorized? Do they have suggestions based on last year's tax paperwork? These types of things are a sign that they have your interests at heart. 

4. They Know Your Industry. Even a small business in a common industry faces challenges unique to that industry. Some businesses — such as medical providers, micro-brewers, restaurants, or farmers — face many out-of-the-box situations. The best accountant is one who has experience in your field and other clients who operate similar businesses. 

5. They Are Organized. Accountants have to juggle a lot of information from different sources as well as multiple projects and goals for each client. For this, they need to have a good way of organizing both their work and their thoughts. As you meet with your accountant, take a look around to see how organized the seem to be. Can they find things at a moment's notice? Do they have a plan when calling or responding to questions? Hopefully, the answer is "yes."

If your accountant doesn't tick all these boxes, it may be time to consider finding a new one. While the process of hiring a new accountant can be a challenge, it will help ensure that you and your business are happy and healthy for years to come.