Choosing a new accountant can be difficult. Knowing what to ask is key to finding the right accountant for you. Here are the top three questions we think you should ask your new accountant.
What Type of Planning and Consulting Do You Offer?
Everyone needs something a little different from their accountant. There are standard services you may expect, like tax preparation or accounting for your business. Asking what services they provide will help you figure out if their services align with your needs and potential future needs as your business grows.
You also want to avoid engaging with an accountant who doesn’t provide the type of service you need. For example, if you’re interested in scaling your business or updating the current technology you use, you need to find an accountant who provides the appropriate consulting services to meet those needs.
How Does Your Firm Provide Services to Your Clients?
The structure of your accountant’s office can vary from firm-to-firm. Find out what you should expect from their firm. Are they a one-man show or do they have a team? What is the onboarding process like? How do you initiate services with them? Do they set up tax payments for you or are you expected to handle them yourself? Do they offer compliance filings beyond your yearly return? Will they collaborate directly with your financial advisor so you don’t have to act as the middle man?
Understanding how a firm provides services helps set your expectations. If the way they provide services doesn’t work for you for any reason, you’ll know to move on to another firm. If you settle for a firm that doesn’t provide the customer service, support, or technical knowledge you need, that means a headache for you later.
What Are Your Expectations of Your Clients?
Ask your new accountant what they expect from YOU. Knowing their expectations is just as important as making sure they meet your expectations.
Do they expect you to be able to interact using an online portal or other software? Do they send you reminders or expect you to remember what they need from you? Is urgent, last minute work something they can accommodate or do they need a certain amount of advance notice from you?
Knowing what your new accountant expects from their clients tells you about their company values. It also clues you in to the level of work they expect you to put in. If you aren’t comfortable being an active participant and would rather your accountant handle everything on your behalf, you need to find an accountant willing to do the leg work for you.
Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Your New Accountant Questions
The relationship you have with your accountant is one of the most important relationships you have in your financial life. Making sure that the relationship is going to work for you is essential. Don’t settle for a team that doesn’t meet your needs.
If you’re interested in learning more about how our firm works, check out our blog on the 8 Ways to Know Whether We’re the Right Accountant for You. If we look like a good fit, set a meeting with us to learn more.