7 things to know before getting an accountant

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Whether you need one for help filling out your taxes or to provide financial guidance in running a business, choosing the right accountant can make all the difference in these and other matters. Since tax laws at the state and federal levels are changed almost every year, the average individual or business owner can be left reeling trying to figure out the options before them. Thus, it becomes even more important to know what is involved in selecting the best accountant for their situation. If you are in search of the perfect accountant, here are seven things you should always keep in mind during your search process.

What are Their Fees?

Before you hire an accountant to help with your individual or business needs, make sure you have a clear understanding as to the fees they charge. While some will simply charge a flat rate for various services, others charge by the hour or for each time you meet with them. Thus, if you find yourself making one phone call after another to your accountant, you could find yourself facing quite a bill.

Do They Specialize?

If you have very complex financial dealings or issues, it may be best to work with an accountant who specializes in your particular area. For example, if you are having issues with the government about owing taxes, work with an accountant who is experienced handling these situations. However, if you own a farm or other business, try to find an accountant who understands the particular financial issues you deal with on a regular basis.

Are They Certified?

To get the best results for your taxes and other accounting needs, it is always best to work with an accountant who is a Certified Public Accountant, better known as CPA. By doing so, you will be working with a financial professional who has had many years of training and education to handle the most complex financial issues. For many people and businesses, one of the biggest mistakes they make is entrusting their financial details to firms and individuals who are not qualified to handle such complex matters. As a result, they are often given poor advice or information, which usually results in making a bad situation worse.

Regular Availability

While some clients of accountants only need to meet with their financial expert once a year to get their taxes prepared, others may need to schedule regular meetings to go over various financial matters. Because of this, always make sure the accountant you choose to work with has regular availability to meet with you. Whether it is being able to pick up the phone and call them or meet with them face-to-face to discuss various issues, working with an accountant who is willing to speak to you when needed will give you peace of mind. Otherwise, you may find yourself making very poor financial decisions, most of which could have a serious impact on your personal and professional lives for many years to come.

Personal Comfort Level

Since you will be relying on your accountant for advice on very important and sensitive financial matters, is will be critical you work with a person you feel comfortable with and can trust with the most personal financial details that will likely determine your future success as it pertains to money. Therefore, if you are in the process of getting an accountant, visit several before you make a final decision. Even if you hire an accountant who is high-priced and is known for working with many large businesses or prominent people, this may not be the best fit for you. If you feel uncomfortable with a person, believe they are not giving your situation their absolute best, or feel they are not able to explain various details in ways that make it easy for you to understand, it is always best to look elsewhere for your accounting services.

Audit Support

Unfortunately, the time may come when the government decides your taxes need to be audited. In these situations, it will be crucial to have an accountant on your side who is not only experienced in handling audits, but is also someone whose advice you can trust throughout the process. While in many cases an audit may reveal little in the way of new details, there are other times when auditors will state you owe additional taxes or that you have committed illegal acts in your financial dealings. When this happens, never try to handle these situations on your own. By having a professional and certified accountant working with you, they will be able to discuss your situation with auditors, analyze the auditor's results, and provide sound advice on how to proceed. In addition, if you are required to be present at hearings concerning your audit, your accountant can also be present to help guide you through the process.

Monitoring Financial Progress

If you are just starting out as a business owner, it may be to your advantage to hire an accountant who offers detailed monitoring of your finances. While they may charge a bit more for this specialized service, it is often money well spent. By having a CPA look over your finances on a regular basis, it is likely that your business will stay on a positive track, and that you will be less likely to make poor and uninformed decisions. With many accountants, they will offer to sit down with clients, analyze their business plan, and help with goal setting, which can be beneficial in terms of keeping spending and expenses under control.

By knowing these seven important tips, it will be far easier for you to select an accountant such as TW Accounting Gold Coast to help you with even the most complex financial matters. Whether you are a new business owner who needs guidance in regards to keeping expenses under control, an individual who needs help filing taxes, or any number of other matters, working with an accountant who is knowledgeable will ensure everything goes as planned.