What to Look For When Hiring an Accountant

Blog / What to Look For When Choosing an Accountant

Make sure they are a CPA – they said. Make sure they are cheap – they said. Make sure they are responsive – they said.

Great – literally the advice everyone gets from the folklore of the middle class. The problem? The majority of everyone also stays middle class. Not our clients. Why? They understand taxes when they work with AccNet.

Have you ever talked to the 1%? Do you know what every single one of them advises you? Make sure you have a good accountant who not necessarily has the right “credentials” such as CPA, CGA, etc, but someone who knows the how-to of your business with an experienced mindset. Someone who works to strategize your business venture into a scalable revenue stream. Someone who sees the patterns in your business and helps optimize your re-investments in the company. And mostly, someone who is short-medium growth-minded for your company. 

Why these accountant qualities? 

Because anyone who pitches accounting as a cost savings protocol, or pitches big credentials, hasn’t been in business for the long-term game. Or if they have, they haven’t climbed financially. Normally, they have never gone through a financial crash with sustainability either. Such businesses and accounting firms, even if small and affordable, enter financial complacency. Because they treat their business alike the way they treat their money. With fear and with a month-end or year-end dollar sign in mind. And of course, “cut costs” – they said. Why not save on Accounting? That’s a cost. Right? Wrong. 

We’ve seen 2000’s Tech Bubble, 2008’s Financial Crisis, and the latest 2020 Global Pandemic. And we have seen many clients who chose to work with the “folklore” of accountants, crushed in these instances. Their businesses closed. Their mortgages defaulted. Their dreams destroyed. You see them all over social media. “Company of 40 years closes its doors.”

This doesn’t happen to AccNet clients. How are we so invincible? 

Well – that’s the irony. We know that we aren’t invincible. The irony with that is we end up having a complete and 100% regard for the term, complacency. In specifics, financial complacency. 

See, you may think you’re getting the best accounting firm to do your books/year-end, simply because they have a shiny title to their name, or because they’re affordable. If you think like this, we truly wish you the best.

Our clients, on the other hand, work with us because they know we become an integral investment engine in their company, and work with them to navigate the good times in such a way to align them for sustainability in the bad times. Anyone can appear a genius when “times are good.” It’s the ones who know how to navigate the bad times that are the true business geniuses. Even the small businesses, which make up 42% of Canada’s GDP according to RBC, can be sustainable when things tank.

You should ask us how we saved one of our clients from spending a gazillion in taxes by suggesting, why don’t they buy a corporate jet? An expense that both brings their travel expenses in house wipes out their profits, improves their time-efficiency, and grows their worldwide client relationships. While you may not be anywhere near buying a business jet, you should want to work with someone who understands how to think like this, so that together, we can continually reinvest into growing your company for the long term – by being short to medium sighted. 

So if you come into our offices and ask us for cheap rates, fancy titles, and compare us to the firm down the street, we will politely smile at you and recommend you to backtrack to the folklore of the middle class. There exist a plethora of firms servicing this type of mindset. We gladly aren’t one of those.

At AccNet we move with confidence, and our consumers love us after they get implored to look at Accounting as an investment vehicle, as opposed to a cost. See their reviews here.

You don’t have to be a millionaire to work with us. We love the middle class. And we love when the middle class learns to look at financial education and taxation with a fresh set of eyes. Hopefully, our 25+ years of being in the accounting business, worldwide, can assist you in being a tax-efficient company and person.

What to Look For When Choosing an Accountant

For business owners, it’s important to work with someone who can provide them with expert accounting advice through all stages of their venture. Choosing the right accountant to fit a businesses’ unique needs can be a challenging task. It is important to find someone who communicates well, doesn’t take uncalculated risks, and charges reasonable rates for their services. An accountant with high qualities will not only help you with the technical aspects of managing your finances but helps strategize on how to maximize your company’s profit margins and manage financial statements.

Below is a list of five key qualities to look for when choosing an accountant:

Clarity

Beyond all else, it is very important to understand what your bookkeeper is talking about. Steer clear of accountants that use accounting jargon and complicated speech. Find someone who can explain tax laws in a language that any non-expert can comprehend. A visit with your accountant shouldn’t be something you dread!

Competence

Your accountant should be able to answer basic accounting questions without hesitation or having to search for the answer. This includes being up to date on current industry trends. Ideally, this should extend beyond the ability to simply answer and asking the right questions—your accountant should be able to discuss your business and thoughtfully counsel you. One way to get an idea of your accountant’s competency and reputation is assessing the success of their own accounting firm, and searching online reviews by past clients.

Experience

When choosing an accountant, it is helpful to get a sense of their past client list. If you are a small business, you ideally want an accountant who has experience working with small businesses. This is important because you need someone with experience preparing tax returns and other financial documents for companies that are a similar size to yours. It’s an added bonus if they have worked with clients in a similar sector to yours.

Availability

You need to be able to get ahold of your account in the event of an emergency. As such, it is important to get a good sense of your accountant’s availability before hiring them, especially if your company has more than a few employees. In fact, one of the most common reasons people move away from their current accounting firm is because they can’t get ahold of them. A good indicator of your future interactions with your bookkeeper is how long it took them to get back to your original enquiry. Find out if there is a team member you can connect with when your accountant is ill, on holidays, or busy.

Team-oriented

You want to work with an accountant who delegates the more technical aspects of your accounting needs, such as data input and tax return services, to their team. This way, your accountant has more time to help you strategize on the best ways to maximize your profits. When visiting an accounting firm, be sure to take note of how the team interacts with each other and with you—you may be spending more time with them than your accountant, so you want to make sure the whole staff is friendly and knowledgable. With online accounting software solutions that are readily available, it’s vital to hire a personable accountant that no system can replace.

We pride ourselves on having those 5 qualities in our accountants, as well as they, are all approved by CPABC. (Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia)

Reach out today to get a consultation to see how we can help you.

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