Choosing the right accounting firm can make or break an organization. For small businesses, using accounting software like QuickBooks or Quicken may seem like the logical solution. However, as public and private companies expand, the need for the right accountant or accounting firm becomes indispensable. While every company’s needs are different, far too many organizations underestimate the role that an accounting firm plays in overall business growth. As such, it is critical to recognize the value of hiring the right accounting firm for your business.
A common misconception is that accounting firms’ sole purpose is to help with tax returns. While that is certainly an important aspect, accounting firms often assist in long-term tax planning, facilitate networking opportunities, guide business planning, and, in some cases, help with personal tax planning. Consider the following factors when choosing an accounting firm for your business:
- Complexity: Does your business only need help with tax returns preparations and year-end fiscal statements? Would your organization also benefit from financial planning guidance, business structure reorganization, or general business planning?
- Industry Expertise & Qualifications: Many auditing firms are filled with CPAs, but how many of them have the experience and expertise to keep up with the rapidly changing accounting world? What type of continuing education requirements does the firm have? Potential auditors should have their finger on the pulse of accounting changes.
- Reputation: Auditing firms may look great on paper, but digging deeper may reveal a much different picture. Is your accounting firm involved in the community? Have you asked for references? Have they received any awards? Spend time to ensure that the audit firm will meet your expectations.
- Communication & Transparency: A successful audit is often hinged on the relationship between the auditor and the auditee. Communication plays a major role in ensuring that this relationship is open, honest, and productive. From quality-control procedures to auditing processes, an accounting firm should be totally transparent in its operations.
- Compatibility & Specialization: At the end of the day, accounting firms are made up of people and these people need to be compatible with you and your organization. Is the firm large enough to handle your company’s audit needs? Will they be able to offer the personal attention that you deserve? Is their specific expertise relevant to your company and its business goals? These questions are essential to finding an accounting firm that is a good fit.
Positioning your organization to grow strategically is largely dependent on making the right financial choices. Of those choices, selecting the right accounting firm is imperative to overall success. A carefully chosen auditing firm lays the foundation for a company with managed expectations, industry prowess, and the opportunity to thrive. As such, making the final decision on which accounting firm to employ should be met with careful consideration and research. For more information, please feel free to contact our Palm Beach Gardens or Miami offices today.
Photo: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Handshake_duisenberg_school_of_finance.jpg, Author: Duisenberg