Are you looking for a good small business accountant in Calgary? Watch this video to get 5 tips for choosing the best accountant for your company.
And if you prefer reading, you can find the transcription below the video.
how to choose the right accountant
Good afternoon. It’s Irfanali here with RMI once again. I hope everyone had a fantastic week.
As we head closer to the end of June and into a nice summer, a lot of us accountants are looking forward to the summer where we can finally relax a little bit.
There is one question I get asked sometimes which is, how do I know that you’re the right accountant or how do I choose the right accountant for my small business?
So, I came up with a few tips or things to consider as you’re searching for a good accountant for your small business in Calgary or anywhere else.
1. aim for a designated accountant
The first one to consider is – do the accountants have a designation? In the accounting industry recently, there’s a merger of the three designations. They used to be CGA, CMA, CA and they all merged into the CPA format.
In this day and age, it is important that you ask whether your accountant has a designation. Do they have that skill set?
Designated accountants come with a lot of education and a lot of experience and as things go forward, a lot of banks and institutions are looking for financials that are signed off by a designated accountant. That’s why I think it’s really important that you consider this when you’re looking for an accountant.
2. look for an accounting experience
The next factor to really consider is what’s the experience level of the accountant that you’re gonna be working with. Typically, in our industry, if you’re a designated individual you start by doing your articling, you may work for a bigger firm, maybe a smaller firm, but what’s your actual experience working with small businesses in particular?
And it’s really important to have that experience. A lot of times people might have audit experience but when you’re a small business, you don’t need somebody who has that. You need somebody who can do more on the attack side and do some planning around your business and your structure.
3. What's the accountant's reputation?
I think the third important point to examine when you’re considering who to hire as an accountant for your small business is reputation.
Did you get their contact from a referral source? Can they provide you some referrals of people they’ve worked with? I think this is really key. You want to make sure you can work with somebody who gets along with you, and who’s really friendly to work with.
I’ve heard stories of accountants that don’t communicate very well back to their clients. I’ve also heard stories about accountants who’ve disappeared on clients so it’s really important you make sure that they have a really good reputation.
If they’re not coming from a referral partner make sure you ask them for some good referral sources and talk to some of their current clients about your goals and make sure that the accountant can help you achieve them.
4. Availability of the accountant
The next big one and this is a really important one actually, is the availability of the accountant.
As a professional service, accounting is very high in demand and the biggest complaint I get from a lot of our clients that switch over to us is “I just can’t get a hold of my other accountant”.
One of the biggest reasons for this is that with many small business accountants there are one or two practitioners working in their office and they get so overwhelmed with the amount of work they have to do, especially from January till June, that they just don’t have the time and the availability to take on new clients but a lot of times they still try to and so they don’t communicate back.
They’re not answering questions. They don’t have the team around them to be able to service that need so it’s really important you make sure that when you’re working with a good accountant that they have the availability so that they can answer your questions even if it is at the end of the month or in the last week or last 2 weeks of April.
5. Is your accountant able to grow with your business?
The last key point that I have for you today is do they have the ability and the skill set to grow with your business?
Do they understand tax planning? Do they understand corporate structure? Are they aware of simple things such as holding companies we’ve talked about in the past? Do they understand what those are?
And it’s really important when you find an accountant that you can work with somebody who has those types of skill sets because you don’t really want to be switching your accountant every two years.
You want somebody who has that ability to grow with your business so that you guys can work together long term.
Thank you very much and have a great week.