If you’re trying to keep your business’s revenue stream on track, then having the right accountant on hand is a must. With the right accounting professional in place, your business can remain financially healthy for the long haul.
With fit finances in mind, here are a few things to consider when hiring the right accountant:
Inside vs. Outside Accountants
Before you delve into the hiring process, you need to first decide if your business needs an inside accountant who’s full-time or an outside accountant, such as someone from an accounting firm.
Most small to medium-sized businesses choose inside accountants because they are able to handle general account maintenance and daily transactions.
In addition, because inside accountants are on staff, they’re usually better equipped to manage your business’s cash and payroll needs.
However, if your business doesn’t have room for a full-time accountant or you just need periodic financial assistance, an outside accountant might be the solution.
Outside accountants who work for accounting firms are trained in tax preparation and general income statements, which may be all your business really needs.
Do You Need a CPA or CMA?
There are two main professions in the accounting world: certified public accountants (CPA) and certified management accountants (CMA). CPAs are the most common accountants in business organizations and all of their actions are regulated by the state.
CMAs are similar to CPAs, except they don’t have the same training backgrounds and also aren’t state-regulated. Both professions have a solid understanding of income tax law, but CMAs usually have a more complete understanding of business accounting.
The article “Medical Accounting Professionals: Understanding the Value of Experience” mentions the importance of a strong talent pool when choosing an accountant. Once you decide between CPA or CMA, there are some other qualities to look for in the right accountant.
Many accountants simply handle the books and not much else. Although this is perfectly acceptable, you’ll want to choose a candidate who is comfortable solving problems in a professional manner.
During the hiring process, you should ask the candidate how he or she would handle a company audit or a situation where company funds go missing.
Balancing the books when everything is in order is great, but handling tricky financial situations professionally is ideal.
Whether you choose an inside CPA or an outside CMA, you need to make sure candidates can handle anything your business throws their way.
Bookkeeping is a must, but what about analyzing loan and financing transactions or managing company investments? A well-rounded accountant should be able to offer a number of accounting services.
Accountants are required to keep up with financial reporting processes and tax law by attending continuing education courses. Before you choose a candidate, make sure he or she is up-to-date with all continuing education.
An accountant who is aware of all changes and updates in accounting procedures will be better equipped to handle your business’s financial needs.
Likewise, they’ll also be basing their accounting decisions on the latest legislation and accounting guidelines.
Before you hire an accountant for your business, keep in mind the pointers above and make the right move.
About the Author: Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator of content. He writes on a variety of topics including budgeting and accounting.