How to Hire an Accountant

how to hire an accountant

At the same time, the decision is nerve-wracking, since you will be entrusting an outside professional with sensitive financial information. Showcase your company’s culture, values and job opportunities on a career page so you can attract potential applicants who are aligned with your mission and want to work for you. If you feel that your company may be lacking in this area, learn how to create a better career page to attract top talent. Opinions are our own, but compensation and in-depth research may determine where and how companies appear. By clicking “TRY IT”, I agree to receive newsletters and promotions from Money and its partners. I agree to Money’s Terms of Use and Privacy Notice and consent to the processing of my personal information.

How do you interview an accounting applicant?

  1. 1) How did you handle the past year?
  2. 2) Can you explain accounts receivable and accounts payable?
  3. 3) What accounting software do you have experience with?
  4. 4) How do you follow changing rules and regulations?
  5. 5) List the types of reports you generally make.

But on the downside you will have less commercial freedom and increased overheads, because some of your income will go to the franchise parent company. Franchise contracts vary, so the amount you pay and keep will also vary. Small business accounting can quickly become complex if you do it on your own. If you feel you’re losing control of who owes you money and how much, an accountant can help you get back on track. Small Business Trends is an award-winning online publication for small business owners, entrepreneurs and the people who interact with them. Our mission is to bring you “Small business success … delivered daily.”

In House Staff Accountants

Unless you were an accountant in a previous life, you likely need a certified public accountant. Either way, your startup should have accounting help, even part-time or ad hoc. While accountants tend to have the financial knowledge required for bookkeeping, accountants provide a more strategic analysis of your business. Even though you might not have technical accounting skills – your accountant should.

Brex Treasury is not a bank nor an investment adviser and your Brex business account is not an FDIC-insured bank account. Every accountant should be familiar with how to close the books at the end of the month. You don’t particularly need to know the details but if they don’t know the details that is a red flag. If you get references, check to see if the firm is in good standing with their clients. You can also run a comparison of how their clients match up to you. However some firms have non-disclosure contracts, limiting the amount of information you have access to.

Review applicants’ credentials, experience and skills

At a minimum, you want your small business accountant to have relevant certifications. They should be CPAs with the documents to prove it and should have an advanced degree. After you go through this process and you find the right person for the job, you are ready to invite them for an interview and hopefully extend them an offer. We suggest that you define the five most important skills you think your accountant should have and use those to create a skills assessment for your candidates. You’ll have noticed by now that there is a lot to consider when opting to hire an accountant. Every accountant needs to be able to disseminate technical data in layman’s terms, so this test will assess how a candidate understands and conveys information both in written and verbal forms.

  • Your accountant can help you do many things to grow your business as well as explain whether or not now is, in fact, a good time to expand.
  • Make a priority list for the tasks you’d like the accountant to take on.
  • They don’t usually need to be certified and will be cheaper to hire than an accountant.
  • If ever you were to be audited, an accountant would help you supply the right documents to the auditor.
  • If you’re in a good spot with your finances and mostly need help preparing for tax season, a part-time accountant who specializes in taxes is a good choice.

It can also ensure that you provide good records to an accountant. If you’re operating a new business, ask for accounting software recommendations as part of the interview process. Hiring someone with extensive knowledge of the financial end of your business will help you worry less and focus on your company’s growth.

Prepare interview questions.

With a shopping list-like set of different accountants, the next question is which type of accountant should I hire? You might wish to work with an accountant, a certified public accountant (CPA), or an accounting firm when it comes time to create your financial statements. An accountant can assist you in organizing your financial data whether you need to generate financial statements or pay taxes for your small business, family, or just yourself. Additionally, most accountants keep up with the most recent changes in tax legislation and procedures. They can assist you in locating every tax deduction for which you may qualify, maximizing your tax deductions, and minimizing your tax liability.

Starting with the basics, the Accounting test will help you identify candidates with strong accounting and bookkeeping abilities. No matter who the candidate is, if they perform well on the tests they can move to the interviewing process. And if they don’t perform well, then you wouldn’t be wasting time with them, even if they are a great charmer. This will help with profitability in the long run since candidates who perform well on the tests will probably be more successful in the job than candidates who perform poorly.

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But if you’re going to go that route, make sure you understand the benefits and pitfalls of hiring remotely for this key position. The first step in hiring an accountant is identifying what level of financial help you need. Review your financial records and cash flow to see what state they’re in. If you’re having serious cash flow problems, you likely need a full-time accountant. If you’re in a good spot with your finances and mostly need help preparing for tax season, a part-time accountant who specializes in taxes is a good choice. Beyond that baseline criteria, outline the job responsibilities and required qualifications.

During the hiring process discuss charges including likely fees by task, financial statements, financial reporting, payroll, first tax filing, and any tax issues. How do you find that person who has the financial knowledge that’s a match for how your business operates? Financial needs and tax situations vary by company, for example, sole proprietors don’t have the same needs as owners who have employees. Many small business owners put off hiring an accountant until it becomes painfully obvious that such services are needed. Small business owners often long for the day they can focus on running and growing their companies.

The first step when interviewing potential candidates is to make sure you’re on the same page about what your business needs from an accountant. Since CPAs wear so many different hats, be direct about what your business is looking for and how long a contract would last. This allows CPAs to figure out if they would be a good fit for your business and will help you focus on hiring an accountant who has the right skills for the job. A business accountant oversees bookkeeping, deals with financial paperwork, and helps your business handle its cash flow. Sixty-four percent of business owners don’t feel knowledgeable about accounting. That’s a considerable amount of uncertainty about a subject critical to the health of a business.

Conduct background checks and check references

If you don’t know anyone you can ask for a personal recommendation, you can read online reviews. Every good accountant should have the necessary knowledge to how to hire an accountant understand specific industry-related jargon that is used every day. You can evaluate candidates’ knowledge of this software with our QuickBooks Online test.

how to hire an accountant