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Hiring Financial Experts

Hiring Financial Experts

You alone are accountable for your success, no matter how large or small your business is. This does not mean you shouldn't get some good professional advice however. If you have access to skilled professionals who can advise you, make full use of them. They have skills and knowledge that can help you tremendously. If you don't, then find someone who can.

You don't need to have all of the answers yourself, but you must have access to them. It's important to be as fully informed as possible. Only then can you make good decisions. Think of your accountant as a financial advisor who can help you get the most from your money.

Good financial people contribute to your income through cost savings, investments, and growth planning. They offer the kinds of efficiencies that can give a business a competitive advantage, so get the best financial people you can afford. A good accountant, for example, will save you considerably more than he charges you.

Every time you add others to your financial department, keep in mind that their salary is basically a fixed cost that comes straight off the bottom line. It doesn't matter how inexpensive they are if they don't pay for themselves. Of course, inexpensive doesn't necessarily mean bad, but you often get what you pay for. The moral is, always be aware of the value you are getting for your money.

If you are unable to find an adequate referral source, interview several accountants and ask them for references. If you already have an accountant, answer these questions yourself to rate your own level of satisfaction.

The best way to find a good accountant (or bookkeeper for that matter) is through a referral, especially from a source with similar needs to your own. Following are some questions to ask your referral source about their accountant. The accountant may answer some of these questions as well.

Accountant Questionnaire

  1. How long has your accountant been in business?
  2. How large is your accountant's practice? (Bigger isn't always better, but no one person can know everything, so they should have access to a network of professionals.)
  3. How much does your accountant charge?
  4. Does your accountant charge for telephone consultations?
  5. How long have you been using your accountant?
  6. Will you continue to use your accountant in the future?
  7. How aggressive is your accountant?
  8. If you have been audited, did your accountant represent you?
  9. If so, how satisfied have you been with your accountant's performance?
  10. How organized is your accountant?
  11. How thorough is your accountant?
  12. How accessible is your accountant?
  13. Does your accountant offer clear and adequate advice?
  14. What credentials does your accountant hold?