Factors To Consider When Choosing Accounting Services

Posted on: 6 May 2021


Many newbie entrepreneurs struggle with tracking their finances and doing their own taxes. While there are software applications that ease the burden of accounting, some financial tasks are best handled by a professional accountant. Here are some considerations that will help you choose the appropriate accounting service for your business.

What Are Your Specific Needs?

Many people rush to find accounting services before getting their expectations right. A 2017 Small Business Taxation Survey found that 61% of small entrepreneurs hire an external tax accountant. According to the same survey, one out of three small businesses admitted they took over 80 hours each year to handle federal taxes.

Therefore, if your accounting needs are such that you only require hiring a specialist once or twice a month, then you should look for a part-time accountant. However, if you need an accountant to deal with payroll and other tasks that need to be handled daily or frequently, you should consider full-time accounting services.

Where Should You Look?

It's normal for you to resort to the internet to help you find an accountant. However, it's risky to pick someone you find on an online directory or from a Google search. Remember you want someone to handle your finances; therefore, you should thoroughly vet your candidates through face-to-face meetings for security purposes.

A good place to begin your search for accountants is the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. You are likely to find licensed CPAs in the institute's directory. Another alternative is to solicit recommendations from small business owners working in your industry. 

What Is Your Budget?

Hire an accountant with your budget in mind. For a small business, it's not financially feasible to have an in-house accounting team. Startups do not have the volume of financial transactions that require a full-time accounting service. In such situations, hiring a part-time accountant for specific tasks at the end of the month or after a couple of months would save you a lot of money.

Even if you are not a startup, you need to compare the quotes of different services to find an accountant who is within your budget range. The prices of accounting services vary by region as well as qualifications. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary of a staff accountant is $73,500. Some accounting firms charge on an hourly basis. To save money, it is best to find an accountant who will accept a flat fee.