Gone are the days when only big companies/firms needed the services of an Accountant. At present time when almost all companies whether big or small face the need of their financial statements prepared, filing GST returns, recording and analyzing their accounts, auditing and obtaining financial advice, the utility of an Accountant cannot be ignored. Even if you are a Sole Proprietor you will need your financial transactions recorded and analyzed after the implication of GST- Goods and Service Tax. So from getting you returns filled to providing you legal ways to minimize your tax liability, an Accountant will do it all. As they keep themselves updated with the latest Tax Laws and their practical implications, hiring an Accountant will always be useful.
Generally, Accounting practice covers four basic areas –
1) Providing business advisory services.
2) Accounting & Bookkeeping.
3) Tax and Legal advice.
As this is very obvious that an Accountant is a necessity for a company, let’s discuss some ways to find a good Accountant –
A) Searching suitable candidate to meet.
1) Ask for referrals-
It is always useful to ask your co-workers, friends or other business owners of your industry for some really good suggests.
2) Seek for an Accounting firm-
Check firms offering accounting services in your area of work. Also, see their performance and previous records.
3) Use Internet –
In this era of the internet when almost everything is available at your fingertips, why not search some potential accountants on digital platforms like LinkedIn.
After all the above things, shortlist some potential candidates and begin the process of interview. Try to arrange two meetings for each candidate. One at your site and another at theirs so that both parties can know the environment the other works in.
During the interview, clear it in your mind what you need to know and what you need to communicate to the person you are meeting.
*Their area of service –
Most accounting firms provide expertise services in a particular field. If you are looking for such service provider who can perform all tasks, then clear it in the meeting.
*Your need and expectations from your accountant –
Communicate to your party what you are looking for. Tell them about the expected area of performance and their proficiency in it.
Assure your compatibility with the working style of the accountant. Also, make sure the person you are meeting with is the same one who will be handling your business.
*Fees/ Salary –
If you are going for accounting firm then ask about their fees. Most of these firms charge fees on hour basis. If you are hiring an individual then discuss his salary expectations and the amount you are willing to pay him.
Have 4-5 options to you and then choose the final one keeping Work-Effectiveness and Cost-Efficiency both in mind. DO NOT take a decision based solely on cost factor, as if someone is charging more them he may have more experience and expertise.
After you have made your final decision, spell out the terms of the agreement in an engagement letter which will have the details of accountant’s area of work and the fees you will be paying. This is to ensure that you and your accountant have the same expectations and to avoid any possibility of misunderstanding or conflict in future.
Keep meeting your accountant at suitable intervals of time during his period of service.