Hiring an Accountant: Ask These Questions First

No matter how large or small your company is, it’s important that you have an accountant monitoring your financial activities. Having an accountant work for you will help you to not only keep track of your financial records but also figure out which expenses are necessary and which ones you can do without.

But, if you’re new to hiring an accountant, there are a few things you should consider first before you ask someone to come on board. Here are some questions you should ask.

Are they familiar with your industry?

If you’re an oil or gas company, for example, you need an accountant who is knowledgable about the industry, just like the accounting professionals from copas.org. Any accountant can work for you, but it would be much better if the one you hire has experience working with oil companies so that they won’t have to familiarize themselves with this kind of business.

What services can they offer you?

Don’t be too eager to hire an accountant without first knowing what services they will provide and what services they won’t be able to give to you. Most accountants are qualified to provide you with tax services, which means that you can get the standard package of an accountant’s services.

But, if you think that your company is going to be audited, which a lot of oil and gas businesses are, then you’ll need a certified public accountant (CPA) to represent you. A CPA is qualified to represent your firm when the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) audits you.

Do you agree on the rates?

Before you decide on whom to hire, make sure that you’re both in agreement on how payment will commence. Most accountants prefer to be paid on an hourly basis since that’s the standard method for them.

But, if most of your financial records are in disarray, it would be better if you ask for an alternative way of settling the expenses. If you haven’t been meticulous about keeping tabs on your receipts and other expenses, it might take a while to collect and organize them all. This means paying an accountant hourly might not be a suitable option for you.

What do other clients say about them?

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You should also ask around about your accountant and see how well they work with other clients. Websites like LinkedIn can provide you with a lot of information about the people you hire. So, go online and see if the accountant you’re planning to hire has built a good reputation.

For obvious reasons, it’s important to do some background checks because this person will be in charge of monitoring and even handling your financial records, which leaves you vulnerable to a certain point. Make sure your accountant is above board.

An accountant can help you organize your financial records and even strengthen your company’s financial structure. But, a shady accountant can easily take advantage of your business if you don’t keep both eyes open, so be careful with hiring an accountant.

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