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Choosing the Right Accountant for Your Small Business In order to find a good accountant, you should understand what the accountant can do for you and what they should know. In just a few words, the accountant is the financial monitoring system.

Duties of an Accountant To be more specific, they watch over all things finances for you and report to you your current financial standing. Your accountant works to understand every aspect of your company’s finances. They keep track of everything come in and take into account every expenditure the company has made. They use this info to determine the current financial standing—i.e. are you turning a profit or should you be worried about keeping the lights on in the coming months. There isn’t an expenditure that you should hide from him or her, nor should you hide an income, no matter how small. All financial documents are carefully examined and understood by the accountant. When you give them all of the information, they can help you prepare a budget of expenditures that you can afford in the future. They also help figure out the payroll.

Complications of Counting This is a lot more than just counting up your hours and multiplying them by your pay rate. It also requires they calculate however much is to be taken out for retirement, sick wages, holiday, and insurance plans. They have to know how much money to withhold and how much to give. Then they have to know how to distribute the withheld money properly. Their job allows them to give professional advice as to what you should or should not do in the months to come. They have a responsibility to be 100% all the time and to give sound advice. They can cause a lot of grief if they fail to communicate the correct information. They could put you out of business.


That being said, you should look for key characteristics in an accountant. Look for someone that has a reputation for integrity.

Honesty and integrity First and foremost, you want to make sure they have the integrity to do what they’re job calls for. This means they’re honest with their work and do the job to the best of their ability. If there was ever a job that needed honest workers, it’s the financial sector of your company. Dishonest salesmen can be dealt with, usually without huge ramifications. Dishonest accountants could bring your entire company down. Second, look for someone who is logical and a good communicator. You want someone who can work the numbers and critically problems solve before they come to you with anything. They should have a thorough understanding of accounting processes and know how to think outside the box when hiccups come up. Both will ensure you get the work done efficiently, and correctly. They also need to be able to communicate to you. They need to speak your lingo—meaning they speak in such a way that you can understand them. They shouldn’t avoid approaching you about issues and keep an open chain of communication at all times.

Organization is Key Lastly, look to see if they’re organized. If they can keep track of everything on their desk, then you can assume that they can keep track of everything in your books. You want someone that can get it done right the first time. When you find an accountant that can do all these things, you’ve found someone that can be a great asset to your company financially. Look for someone that has the integrity, knowledge, communication skills and organization to take care of your books. Stevens Henager teaches its accounting students the skills they need to be successful in the real world. Come to Stevens Henager if you’re interested in finding or becoming a high quality accounting professional. Graduates are experienced workers that often returned to school to get the degree they care about.

Photo Credit: Missi, Dave Dugdale

Choosing the Right Accountant for Your Small Business  

In order to find a good accountant, you should understand what the accountant can do for you and what they should know. In just a few words,...

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