Is it time to consider switching accountants? (It’s easier than you think!)

Summary of all the Keys!

The 5 Keys to Selecting the Right Accountant to Ensure Success for Your Business

The right accountant doesn’t just file your taxes. The right accountant can save you money and help you expand your business. Finding an accountant that can also serve as a trusted financial advisor can mean increased revenues, better cash flow and greater success for you and your business. The wrong accountant can be costly. Mistakes in tax filings, lack of tax planning and inability to offer sound business advice can cost your business both time and money.

So, what are the keys to consider when you are looking to select an accountant?

KEY #1 – TRUSTED ADVISOR. Don’t just look for an accountant, look for a trusted advisor.

Consider an accountant that is adapting changes and offers you not only updated recommendations to maximize all the new tax laws but also has a team in place that is available to provide you with valuable business advice. Your accountant should be focused on helping your business grow and succeed. An effective accountant will serve as your business consultant, identifying problem areas and offering solutions on every aspect of your business from pricing decisions, to staffing, to internal controls, to strategy and marketing. A good accountant will also understand that personal and business finances are inextricably linked, and be able to offer guidance to strengthen your financial position both professionally and personally.

KEY #2 – VALUABLE CONNECTIONS. Don’t just focus on what your accountant knows, look at who they know.

Your accountant should not only be committed to being a long term advisor to you and to your business, but should also lead by example and show that they have a commitment to their own business, community and industry. By staying involved and active in their community and industry, your accountant should become a good source of referrals for any of your business needs. Once your accountant knows you and your business inside and out, they should be able to recommend an appropriate banker, lawyer, etc. that is the right match for your specific needs. In addition, if your accountant is active in networking in the local business community, then you can ask for introductions to prospective customers, investors, suppliers, etc.

KEY #3 – OPEN AVAILABILITY – Don’t allow poor time management or a lack of resources to let your questions go unanswered, a good accountant has time for each client throughout the entire year.

An accountant must be able to manage their schedule in order to be available to you not only during the critical planning times of the year that are from summer to fall, but also during their busy tax preparation season. Look for an accountant that is willing to commit the time to meet your needs when they arise. Be sure to understand just how available an accountant will be with their time, and whether or not they have the staff and resources to adequately support you.

KEY #4 – TECH SAVVY. Don’t get stuck in the old way of doing things, free up time and resources by choosing an accountant that maximizes available technologies to meet your business needs.

Your accountant should be proficient in strategically using available technologies to help your business. In addition to being familiar with the small business management software programs, your accountant needs to be able to use information technology to help turn your business information into useful business intelligence. There are powerful accounting tools available that help save you time and money, refine your resources and grow you bottom line. Find out which of these tools your accountant offers, how they integrate them into your business and what role the internet will play in your communication and financial exchanges.

KEY #5 – INTERVIEW , RESEARCH and INFORM. Don’t just employ these 3 key items during your selection period, but consistently evaluate your accountant to be sure that they are continuing to understand and meet your business goals.

Be a proactive client. Ask questions, request consultations, bring important business decisions to your accountant first, to understand their impact on your business from a tax and overall financial perspective. Once you have found the right accountant and a solution that works for your business, dedicate yourself to working on your business goals.

Bonus KEY #6 – DEMAND EXCELLENCE & EXERCISE CHOICE. Don’t just stay with a mediocre accountant because switching seems difficult; find an accountant that is right for you and your business.

If your current accountant isn’t adding considerable value to your business, consider switching. Now that you know the 5 key things to look for when choosing an accountant, finding the right fit will be easy and could mean significant improvements to your bottom line, your cash flow and your future. Switching to an accountant who demonstrates creative and useful business acumen, and shares compatible interests and outlooks will save you time and money and help you build your business. Interview new candidates, make a choice, and then inform your old accountant of your decision to switch. Your new accountant should then be able help make the process quick and easy. Your commitment to a good decision will allow you to focus on time for yourself, time for your business and opportunities for your success.

Deeply rooted in our community for over 35 years, the accounting firm of Manning & Company is committed to supporting you with expert advice and sound reporting, to a full spectrum of professional services designed to create a solid financial base upon which you can build and grow your business.

For your added convenience, we deliver our services electronically…saving you time and money. You can easily and securely exchange data in real-time, and you have access to your records around-the-clock from anywhere via the internet. Just another way we support your continued success.