How to Find the Right Accountant for your Business Growth

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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. 

How to Find the Right Accountant for your Business Growth

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:

  • Managing income and expenses
  • Payroll processing
  • Financial reporting
  • Tax planning
  • Budgeting
  • Forecasting
  • Audit support
  • Financial consulting

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?

  • Are you thinking about launching new products or services in the near future?
  • Do you plan to enter new markets so you can expand your business? 
  • Are you hoping to obtain external investment?

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, especially those that may require the expertise of property accountants, often find that their accounting needs are relatively straightforward and can be managed by a part-time or freelance accountant. This approach allows them to focus on their core business operations without the need for a full-time accounting staff.

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.

Assess your business needs

So, let’s start searching for the perfect accountant for your team.

  • Get referrals and recommendations from people you trust - Ask friends, family members, and people in your business network for recommendations. If they have an accountant they’re happy with; chances are you may feel the same way too. 
  • Use professional networks and associations - Are you a member of any professional associations in your industry? If so, there’s a possibility they’ll have a directory of accountants you can use. These accountants will typically meet stringent criteria that the associations have used to narrow down their list of options. 
  • Do some digging online and read reviews left by others - Google is always a great starting point when looking for any professional. Do a search and make a list of different accountants that fit your criteria. Spend some time reading reviews that have been left on independent review platforms. That way, you can be sure the comments are genuine and that the accountant in question has no control over the comments.

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. 

Interview the accountants you’re considering hiring

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.

  • What types of clients do you usually work with? Please tell me about any experience you have with clients in my industry.
  • Can you tell me more about your approach to tax planning and compliance? How do you keep up-to-date with the latest tax laws and regulations?
  • How would you handle a scenario where we disagreed on a financial strategy or decision?
  • How often will we communicate, and what method will we use?
  • What kind of turnaround time can I expect for routine work, and how do you handle urgent requests?
  • What accounting software are you proficient in? Are you comfortable with the software my business currently uses?
  • How do you approach problem-solving when dealing with a difficult financial situation?
  • How do you charge for your services? What’s included in the fee?
  • Are you or your firm able to scale services as my business grows?
  • What additional services do you offer that could benefit my business in the long term?

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. 

Evaluate their understanding of your industry and how they can grow your business

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. 

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