Many budding entrepreneurs in Nashville fail to see the benefits of working with a CPA firm. It is common to think that an accountant can help only with bookkeeping or tax preparation needs. What they often do not realize is that CPAs are financial experts who can also provide valuable guidance throughout the different stages of growing their business.
No matter the size of your company, you will greatly benefit from working with an accountant affiliated with a reputable accounting firm. For the best results, find one who’s a good fit for you and your business. Here are some tips to help you choose the right CPA:
1. Get referrals from people you trust
Ask for recommendations from your peers in the industry or the professionals you work with, such as lawyers, bankers, and marketing experts. Among the things you need to know about a CPA are the scope of the services they provide, how quickly they respond to questions and requests, and if they update their clients on new regulations relevant to the clients’ business.
2. Choose a CPA who is knowledgeable and experienced in your industry
Different industries may be subject to different accounting and tax regulations. Plus, each industry will have its own best practices in areas like inventory, expenses, and pricing. A CPA who specializes or is widely experienced in your field will know about the nuances specific to it and can use this knowledge in helping you achieve maximum profitability. They can also assist you in setting benchmarks by obtaining and analyzing financial standards in the industry.
A CPA will not always have all the answers. But one who has the right experience would have built a network that includes other experts in your industry, including attorneys, lenders, insurance agents, and the like. Your CPA can act as a mentor who will put together and oversee a “team” of experts to guide you in setting business plans and resolving issues.
3. Consider the array of services that the CPA firm offers
As your business grows, your accounting needs will likely also grow and become more complicated. To prepare for this, work with a CPA supported by a firm with multiple expertise. There may come a time when you’ll need an exit strategy for your startup or have to deal with mergers and acquisitions. Or you might need to re-think your tax or salary scheme. You’ll want to work with a single accounting firm who can provide the services you need in various financial areas.
4. Choose a CPA you can trust
In screening potential CPAs, get a feel of how it would be like to work with each one. Do they overwhelm you with complicated accounting jargon, or do they try to break things down so you can thoroughly understand them? Are they buying into your goals and aspirations? Can you rely on them to always be responsive to your needs? These are some of the questions to ask yourself. Because you’re in this for the long haul, it’s important to work with a CPA you’ll feel comfortable with and can trust completely.
Hiring a bookkeeper or a payroll service can help ease your task load, but you will need more than that to succeed. A CPA can put all your financial information together and turn it into a tool for growing your business.
How to Choose a CPA, Forbes.com
Need a CPA for Your Business? Try These Five Tips, BizCoach.org