An accountant is a trusted service provider who will serve as an advisor to your business; hiring a knowledgeable and trustworthy accountant is essential. Generally, the services and expertise of accountants and attorneys tend to overlap. Therefore, having good synergies between these two service providers is crucial.
An accountant can assist you with many of the tasks required in starting up your business such as:
Setting up the right structure for your business (such as a sole proprietorship, corporation, partnership, etc.)
Setting up your accounting systems so that you have access to all relevant financial information to make informed business decisions.
Making sure you are compliant will all government obligations (such as filing all requisite forms and paying the required taxes on a timely basis)
Providing you with tax planning strategies (such as maximizing business deductions, setting up a retirement plan, etc.) and determining how tax law changes will impact you and your business
Guiding you on general financial and business consulting (some example include advising on your inventory management, cash flow management, etc.)
Obtaining bank financing (an experienced accountant usually has multiple contacts for business financing)
Here are some of the items you should consider when choosing an accountant:
The size of the accounting firm you choose is also important. A larger firm, while their resources and reach may be extensive, may give you less personalized attention than a smaller firm.
The CPA you choose should have experience in your industry. When it comes to accounting and tax, every industry has nuances, which your accountant should help you navigate.
A CPA has an undergraduate degree and has also met the exam and experience requirements for a particular state. Therefore, if you are looking for an accountant, you should look for someone with a CPA designation.