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How to Find a Great Accountant

1.

Identify company needs. Do you need a bookkeeper to balance the checkbook or someone to prepare financial statements and/or tax documents?

2.

Determine the type of accountant needed, based on your needs. Many accountants can provide all the services you require or are part of an accounting company that can cover your needs.

3.

Ask others, especially those in your same line of business, for recommendations.

4.

Look in the yellow pages or contact other companies for referrals.

5.

Contact the local Chamber of Commerce or the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) for referrals.

6.

Look beyond fees, when evaluating accountants, and ensure you feel comfortable with your perspective accountant and his or her ability to quickly respond to and understand the changing needs of your business.

Tips and Warnings

  • Accountants may have office staff or junior accountants who are qualified to work at a lower pay rate.
  • If you plan on going public, engage a regional or international accounting company, as your investors will demand it.
  • Most accountants will give a free half-hour consultation. Ask, don't assume.
  • When hiring friends or family, understand that you will lose all privacy with your finances.
  • If you feel uneasy with an accountant, don't hire him or her in spite of good credentials.
  • If you are trying to get a substantial bank loan, the bank may require that your financial statements be audited by a certified public accountant (CPA) or accounting company.


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