The worldwide accounting services market is worth $585.3 billion, and a 2% growth rate is expected throughout 2023.
The sheer size of the market shows you just how vital accounts are.
Yes, a good accountant costs money. However, their expertise will save you money and spot opportunities for boosting profit.
Hiring one is a no-brainer.
Ultimately, the right accountant is more than just a number cruncher. They're an integral part of your business's financial health and growth.
In this blog post, we’ll take you through the four steps to follow to find the right accountant for business growth.
1. Assess your business needs
There’s only one place to begin: by making a list of what services you need from your new accountant.
While it can be tempting to jump right in and start searching for the perfect person, understanding your business requirements will help direct your search.
What are your accounting requirements?
Some of the different accounting services you may require include:
Make a list of all the services you specifically need. This’ll help you to narrow down your search effectively.
Identify your business goals and growth plans
A good accountant will help you unlock growth and take your business to the next level.
So, what are your goals?
The three examples above all require different levels of financial management and expertise. This is why you must establish your goals before hunting for an accountant.
You can find an accountant to support your growth trajectory by aligning your business goals with your accounting needs.
Factor in the size and complexity of your business
Small businesses with relatively straightforward accounting may only need a part-time or freelance accountant.
On the flip side, a larger business with a complex organizational structure, multiple revenue streams, or global operations may need a full-time accountant or even an accounting team.
Furthermore, due to industry legislation, most industries have unique accounting requirements, so you’ll need an accountant with expertise in your sector.
2. Research potential accountants
Now, you should clearly understand your needs and the services you require.
So, let’s start searching for the perfect accountant for your team.
Check that the accountant’s qualifications are from a certified organization
Hopefully, you’ve got a shortlist of accountants by now. So, let’s get into the nitty-gritty in terms of their qualifications.
Ensuring the accountant’s qualifications are certified by a recognized accounting body is crucial. Examples include the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).
Also, ask the accountant if they have worked with businesses similar to yours.
After all, every industry has its own unique challenges. We’re sure you’re nodding while reading that, right? So, you want to be confident that your accountant will be able to handle all the bumps and hurdles your business brings.
3. Interview the accountants you’re considering hiring
The interview is always critical when hiring a new professional.
This is your chance to learn more about the person sat in front of you, and whether they’ll be a good fit for your business.
What are some good questions to ask
It's vital to ask questions that will give you a good feel of the candidate’s qualifications, experience, and working style.
To give you some ideas and inspiration, we’ve compiled ten good questions to ask during an interview for a new accountant.
Of course, you can tweak these questions to suit your specific needs.
Get the accountant to complete a test
If you’re going to be hiring an accountant to become part of your team, rather than outsourcing services, it makes sense to get the accountant to complete an accounting aptitude test.
This will give you a good understanding of the candidates’ knowledge of accounting concepts and how they calculate and post accounting figures. Within just ten minutes, you’ll know whether or not the individual can manage your financial records effectively.
Make sure you choose a short and efficient test. The key here is to learn about the accountant’s skills quickly. You don’t want to overwhelm them by setting a task that takes hours on end.
4. Evaluate their understanding of your industry and how they can grow your business
If you want an accountant who can really grow your company, you need to make sure they understand your business landscape.
An accountant with industry-specific knowledge is a must. They’ll be able to provide invaluable insights and strategic advice, ensuring your business thrives and grows.
Some of the different ways you can make sure the accountant understands your business and industry include:
Ask specific questions
One of the best ways to assess an accountant's understanding is by asking specific questions about your industry.
For instance, ask about your industry's unique financial challenges and opportunities or how they would handle certain industry-specific tax situations.
Discuss your business goals
During your interview, share your short-term and long-term business goals. Ask them to provide strategic financial advice aligned with those goals.
Their response will show their understanding of your business and their ability to contribute to its growth.
Of course, once they have time to do research, they’ll come up with better plans. But their initial response should give you a good idea of whether or not they truly understand your line of work.
Evaluate how proactive the accountant is
A good accountant should not only respond to your queries but also proactively offer advice on cost savings, investment opportunities, and business expansion strategies.
They should suggest ways to improve financial efficiency, thereby promoting growth.
Check their network
A lot of business owners don’t think to enquire about an accountant’s network.
However, if they have a wide professional network within your industry, this can bring a number of benefits your way.
After all, they may have connections with potential partners, investors, or clients, and these connections open up new opportunities for growth.
Ask about the accountant’s past experiences
Ask them about their past experiences with businesses similar to yours.
Have they helped other businesses in your industry to grow?
Can they share any case studies or success stories?
The right accountant can unlock growth for your business
As you can see, there’s a lot that needs to be considered when looking for an accountant.
However, if you take your time and follow the steps we’ve discussed above, you’ll be able to find an accountant who can power business growth and will save your business more money than you spend on their service.