Choosing the Right Accounting Firm
Are you a new business owner? What troubles you the most regarding your new-found journey? Is it choosing the right type of business entity, or are you getting lost in a sea of worry as it relates to navigating all the rules, regulations and tax requirements of both the Federal and State Government?
Let me advise you right now - stop worrying about “what if.” Dr. Travis Bradberry, an award-winning coauthor of Emotional Intelligence 2.0, and the cofounder of TalentSmart; a consultancy agency that serves more than 75% of Fortune 500 companies said it best: “What if?” Statements throw fuel on the fire of stress and worry. Things can go in a million different directions and the more time you spend worrying about the possibilities, the less time you’ll spend focusing on taking action;” the adage, time is money couldn’t be truer!
According to recent market analysis conducted by Metro Denver Economic Development, in January of 2017, Colorado’s economy is expected to report positive trends throughout this year, as Colorado offers many unique advantages; especially relating to the ever-expanding entrepreneurial community, such as the quality of life, high ranking workforce, business friendliness, and access to capital. Never mind that Colorado ranks third on CNBC’s list of the nation’s best states for business, and fifth best state for business by Forbes!
With that said, as a small business owner, you have more important things to do than keeping your own books, worrying about tax deadlines and or form filing. Selecting the right accountancy firm is the key to helping you navigate around the common pitfalls that new business owners often fall into, and we’re not just saying this because we are in fact, a full-service accounting firm.
There have been many instances where we have spoken with potential clients whom were hesitant at first to employ an accountancy firm simply because they felt that they could do it all, only to realize that there is a lot more to running a business than they initially anticipated; it’s not all fun and marketing!
We have also encountered new business owners who desperately needed help, but were afraid to ask how much it would cost to employ a full-service accounting firm. Those who had concerns about revenue, and business size coupled with the common misconception that hiring a full-service accounting firm will break your bank, were pleasantly surprised, as a good firm will work with you on price. The size and type of your business, revenue, and the number of accounts you have should be taken into consideration for a tailored estimate to fit your budget.
If you think it is all about numbers in and numbers out, you’ve got it all wrong! You are more than a number, and so is your accountant! So, what should you be looking for when selecting a firm?
• Availability – Is the firm you are looking to employ going to be there for you when you need them? Or is the firm too busy to squeeze you in when that last-minute concern pops up? Are there tons of people in the waiting room with sullen faces? Would you feel comfortable and confident in your ability to drop by the accountant’s office for day to day issues?
• Location – Being able to visit your accountant when you need to have a face to face is important. A locally owned and operated firm may be able to relate to you more, and will have a stronger grasp on local rules, regulations and the goings-on of the community; who knows, your accountant might be able to assist you with making new and important business connections! Also, as silly as it may sound, and I am sure many who reside in the Denver area can relate, is the need for adequate parking! Who wants to park a mile away, or have to stalk the lot for a parking spot to see their accountant?
• Level of Service – A full-service accounting firm employs bookkeepers who handle day-to-day transactions. An accounting firm that does not employ bookkeepers will charge more if only the CPA handles the bookkeeping; it’s important to ensure that you are getting the most out of your hard-earned money!
• Price – Does the firm you are looking to employ charge you by the hour, or ala cart for services rendered? You may want to explore residual monthly service fees for a set of agreed upon services, as this will prevent surprise fees, and sets a level of expectation. Also, did you know that some firms offer a money back guarantee? Talk about confidence!
• Certifications, Experience and Reputation – There are many firms who are fast to offer advice, but is that advice coming from a qualified individual? What kind of advice will they deliver, and should you trust it?
Needless to say, that when it comes to your personal or business finances, you want to talk to an authority on the matter – this also relates back to availability; it is very important to ensure that the firm you are seeking to employ is not only certified, but is also on the level with continuing their education. The world of accounting might not seem very exciting at first glance, but various rules, and regulations often change throughout the year, make for a wild ride, and not only is continuing education required for a CPA to keep their licensure in good standing, but you want your CPA equipped with the most up-to-date information to service your accounting needs.
With keeping that in mind, there are also firms that will only do the bare minimum without getting to know you or your business which can be a detriment, as there is a good chance that you and your business will become just a number! On a related note, bear in mind that the quality of advice you receive will not only depend on making sure you’re speaking to a qualified individual, but on the level of experience and the type of background that your CPA brings to the table, as that may have an impact on the type of counsel you will receive if any at all.
So how would you know what type of firm you’re about to hire? See what their clients have to say, as a good firm’s reputation will precede them. There are many outlets for consumers to voice their opinion for all to see – be sure to do your homework before employing an accounting firm, and for those of you who are still reading; thank you! Please do stay tuned to our blog, because we will be providing professional advice on varied topics as they relate to the world of accounting, as well as special guest blogs featuring our clients!