How to find a good accountant

How To Find a Good Accountant For Startup, SME, Big Companies | Top criteria for selecting them

How to find a good accountant

How To Find a Good Accountant For Startup, SME, Big Companies | Top criteria for selecting them

How To Find a Good Accountant?

Are you looking for an accountant? How to find a good accountant? Finding a good accountant can be crucial for any business, as it can help ensure that the financial statements are accurate and compliant with regulations, provide insights into financial performance, and help make informed business decisions.

You can employ an accountant or finding the right accounting firm (ion this article).

Here are some points to consider when looking for a good accountant, as well as an Excel table to help evaluate potential candidates:

How to find a good accountant in general

Qualifications and Experience:

The first step in finding a good accountant is to look for candidates with the necessary qualifications and experience. Some qualifications to look for include:

  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
  • Chartered Accountant (CA)
  • Certified Management Accountant (CMA)
  • Accredited Business Valuation (ABV)

Experience is also important, as an accountant with experience in your industry or business type may be better equipped to handle your financial needs. Look for candidates with experience in areas such as tax preparation, financial statement preparation, and bookkeeping.

Professionalism and Communication:

It’s important to find an accountant who is professional and communicates effectively. Look for candidates who are prompt and responsive to your inquiries, and who are able to explain complex financial concepts in a clear and understandable manner.

Fees and Billing:

The cost of accounting services can vary greatly, so it’s important to find a candidate who is transparent about their fees and billing practices. Look for candidates who offer clear and detailed invoices, and who are willing to work within your budget.

Technology and Software:

Technology plays an increasingly important role in accounting, so it’s important to find a candidate who is comfortable using accounting software and technology tools. Look for candidates who are familiar with popular accounting software, such as QuickBooks or Xero, and who are willing to adopt new technologies as needed.

Industry Specialization:

Depending on your industry, it may be beneficial to find an accountant who specializes in your particular field. Look for candidates who have experience working with businesses similar to yours, and who are familiar with the specific regulations and financial requirements of your industry.

Here is an Excel table to help evaluate potential candidates:

Criteria Candidate A Candidate B Candidate C
Qualifications CPA, CMA CA CPA, ABV
Experience 10 years in manufacturing 5 years in healthcare 15 years in real estate
Professionalism Prompt and courteous communication Slow to respond to inquiries Communicates effectively but is occasionally unresponsive
Fees and Billing Transparent and offers flexible payment plans Offers clear invoices but is inflexible on fees Vague about billing practices
Technology and Software Comfortable using QuickBooks and Excel Familiar with Xero but hesitant to adopt new technologies Resistant to using accounting software
Industry Specialization Extensive experience in manufacturing Limited experience in manufacturing Familiar with real estate industry

In this example, Candidate A appears to be the best fit, as they have the necessary qualifications and experience, are professional and communicative, offer flexible billing, are comfortable with accounting software, and have extensive experience in the manufacturing industry. However, it’s important to evaluate candidates based on your specific needs and preferences, as what works for one business may not work for another.

Comprehensive Business Startup Checklist: From Idea to Launch + Excel and Word Free Download

Essential points to consider when looking for a good accountant for startups, SMEs, large companies, and public listed companies

Here are some points to consider when looking for a good accountant, as well as an Excel table to help evaluate potential candidates based on the specific needs of your business:

For Startup

  1. Broad Accounting Expertise: SMEs have a wide range of accounting needs, from bookkeeping to tax preparation, so it’s important to find an accountant who has a broad range of accounting expertise. Look for candidates who are knowledgeable in areas such as tax planning, financial statement preparation, and cash flow management.
  2. Personalized Services: SMEs often have unique financial needs, so finding an accountant who offers personalized services is important. Look for candidates who are willing to work closely with you to understand your business and tailor their services to meet your specific needs.
  3. Industry-Specific Knowledge: Depending on your industry, it may be beneficial to find an accountant who has industry-specific knowledge. Look for candidates who have experience working with businesses similar to yours and who are familiar with the specific regulations and financial requirements of your industry.

For SME

  1. Broad Accounting Expertise: SMEs have a wide range of accounting needs, from bookkeeping to tax preparation, so it’s important to find an accountant who has a broad range of accounting expertise. Look for candidates who are knowledgeable in areas such as tax planning, financial statement preparation, and cash flow management.
  2. Personalized Services: SMEs often have unique financial needs, so finding an accountant who offers personalized services is important. Look for candidates who are willing to work closely with you to understand your business and tailor their services to meet your specific needs.
  3. Industry-Specific Knowledge: Depending on your industry, it may be beneficial to find an accountant who has industry-specific knowledge. Look for candidates who have experience working with businesses similar to yours and who are familiar with the specific regulations and financial requirements of your industry.

For Large Companies

  1. Experience with Complex Accounting: Large companies often have complex accounting needs, such as managing multiple subsidiaries, international tax compliance, and financial reporting for investors. Look for candidates who have experience handling complex accounting for large companies.
  2. Technology and Software: Large companies often use advanced accounting software and tools, so finding an accountant who is comfortable with technology is important. Look for candidates who are familiar with popular accounting software, such as SAP or Oracle, and who are willing to adopt new technologies as needed.
  3. Team and Infrastructure: Large companies often require a team of accountants and a robust accounting infrastructure to handle their financial needs. Look for candidates who have experience managing teams of accountants and who have the infrastructure and resources to handle your company’s accounting needs.

For Public Listed Companies

  1. Regulatory Compliance: Public listed companies are subject to various regulatory requirements, so finding an accountant who is familiar with these requirements is crucial. Look for candidates who have experience with SEC reporting, SOX compliance, and other regulations relevant to your industry.
  2. Auditing Experience: Public listed companies are required to undergo regular audits, so finding an accountant who has experience with auditing is important. Look for candidates who have experience working with auditing firms and who have a strong track record of successful audits.
  3. Investor Relations: Public listed companies often have a large number of investors, so finding an accountant who can help manage investor relations is important. Look for candidates who have experience with investor relations and who can provide valuable insights and analysis to help your company communicate effectively with investors.

Here is an Excel table to help evaluate potential candidates

Criteria Startup SME Large Company Public Listed Company
Accounting expertise Knowledge of startup accounting Broad accounting expertise Experience with complex accounting Regulatory compliance
Cost-effective services Essential Essential Helpful Helpful
Industry connections Essential Helpful Not required Not required
Personalized services Essential Essential Helpful Helpful
Industry-specific knowledge Helpful Essential Essential Essential
Technology and software Helpful Helpful Essential Essential
Team and infrastructure Not required Not required Helpful Essential
Auditing experience Not required Not required Helpful Essential
Investor relations Not required Not required Helpful Essential

In this example, you can see that for startups, knowledge of startup accounting, cost-effective services, and industry connections are essential, while for SMEs, broad accounting expertise, personalized services, and industry-specific knowledge are important. For large companies, experience with complex accounting, technology and software, and a robust team and infrastructure are essential. Use this Excel table to evaluate potential candidates.

Now you know how to find a good accountant, it’s important to consider the specific financial needs of your business and find a candidate who can meet those needs. Whether you’re a startup, SME, large company, or public listed company, there are certain criteria to consider that will help you find the right accountant for your business.

Photo credit: stevepb via Pixabay

Finding the Right Accounting Firm for Your Business (Using firm VS accountant employee)


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