Picking the Best Accountant for You and Your Business – Business.com

An accountant manages your finances and can have an impact on the trajectory of your business. Before hiring an accountant, you should conduct a thorough search, ask thoughtful questions of potential candidates and be sure to screen those you think could be the right choice. Here are some factors to consider before choosing an accountant.

What is an accountant? 

An accountant can serve as your business’s financial guide by overseeing a large portion of your company’s financial planning and recordkeeping. An accountant can handle your bookkeeping, as well as help with tax planning and preparation of your financial documents, like tax returns. You can also use an accountant to find flaws in your money management, such as financial inconsistencies, overpayments and cash flow shortages.

During your search for an accountant, you may also come across a certified public accountant (CPA). A CPA is different from a typical accountant because a CPA can write audited financial statements, like balance sheets or income statements. Although accountants and CPAs both hold accounting degrees, CPAs are state-certified, meaning they must pass an exam to get their license and take an annual course to keep it. CPAs have unlimited representation rights before the IRS, which allows them to represent you on matters such as audits, payment-or-collection issues and appeals.

Where can you find a good accountant?

A good accountant is hard to find if you don’t know where to look. Before exploring outside resources, use your own connections. Ask your colleagues or other business owners for

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