Now that we’re gearing up for tax season, it’s time to choose your accountant. Whether you decide to continue the relationship with your current tax preparer or you’re looking for one that offers a little more, there are certain things you should keep in mind. Having the right accountant to guide you through this process each year can make a big difference. When it comes to your business, your personal life, your finances, and your freedom.
Pick the Proper Certifications
Although this may go without saying, you definitely want to ensure your accountant has the proper credentials. Do they have a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) on staff? Is that who you’ll be working with? Do you know where they obtained their education? How many years of experience do they have? While the answers to these questions shouldn’t be the basis for your entire decision, they are important considerations. After all, your accountant acts as the official liaison between you and the IRS. You want to make sure they know what they’re doing.
It doesn’t hurt to check out other certifications he/she may have picked up along the way. Do they have other licensures or qualifications that can make them a more valuable advisor? For example, at ENSO Accounting, we have accountants with additional health and life insurance licenses, as well as the training to be a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor. This doesn’t necessarily change our tax preparation process, but it allows us to work with you throughout the year to streamline your accounting procedures and ensure you have the right financial plan in place.
Look for Cooperative Personalities
Not just within the accounting firm, but also with you. Long gone are the days where you only speak to your accountant once or twice a year through email. Now, the right accountant will work alongside you throughout the year to act as a trusted advisor. To have a well-developed working relationship, you want to know that you can actually get along with them. To this end, we recommend interviewing a couple of different accountants before making a decision. By meeting with them in person, you’re able to ask questions about how they work, their flexibility, their response time, and their background. It’s one of the best ways to find the right accountant for you.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to your social network and contacts to help narrow down the options. We know there are many accountants in your area. Ask people whose opinions you value to recommend a few! If you see one or two names pop up repeatedly, that could be a good sign—provided what they have to say about him/her is positive. Most accountants will also provide testimonials and references upon request. While you may not have access to their full book of business (for privacy reasons), being able to talk to some of their current clients and view honest feedback can help you reach a decision. On our website, we incorporated a “Testimonials” section for transparency’s sake. We’re also happy to put you in touch with some of our existing clients if you’d like. At ENSO Accounting, we want you to feel comfortable with your decision to work with us.
Hopefully, we’ve provided some useful information today to help you locate the right accountant for you! Be cautious about offices who aren’t willing to go above and beyond during the preliminary process. That could set the tone for your entire working relationship. If you want more specific information about our accounting firm and how we work, please don’t hesitate to contact us!