[by Judy Herrmann]
- Shopping around for the right accountant shouldn’t cost you money.
Finding new clients is a cost of doing business. That holds as true for accountants as it does for you. Interview at least 3 accountants and confirm that the initial interview is free before you show up for the appointment.
- The best way to find an accountant is through referrals.
Ask people who have businesses that are a similar size as yours and use the same kind of business entity. The first accountant we ever interviewed had lots of experience with corporations but within the first 10 minutes it was clear that I understood more about partnership returns than he did. We quickly moved on to the next one on our list.
- The best book-keeping software is whatever your accountant uses.
Twenty years ago as Mac users living in a PC world, we discovered just how hard reconciling your books can be when your accountant doesn’t know how to use your book-keeping software. Being able to swap data back & forth will save you a world of pain.
- If your accountant just does tax preparation, find another accountant.
Look for an accountant who is entrepreneurial and will help you understand financial projections, manage cash flow, forecast trends and tell good business opportunities from bad ones. The tax preparation side will keep the government happy but the rest will keep you in business.
- Run all of your key business decisions by your accountant.
Before making any big decisions like diversifying your services, investing in equipment or new skills, adding staff or reconfiguring our business in any way, schedule a meeting with your accountant. If you can convince your accountant it’s the right way to go, you’ve just increased your chances of success exponentially.
Judy Herrmann’s accountant has saved her and her partner, Mike Starke, from being victims of their own enthusiasm more times than she can count. A self-described bean-counter, he could probably tell her exactly how many to the 12th decimal.
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