We recently spoke with a client who needs to hire a new business accountant. An accountant is an important member of your team–they offload the daily work of managing your business’s books. Accounting insights also help your overall financial strategy.
A great hire can make it easier for you to focus on your goal of serving patients. On the other hand, a difficult accountant can be a roadblock. They may not give you the data you need or perform all the important functions.
So how do you find the accountant that’s right for your company? We advised our client to start by asking candidates these three questions:
- Do you do bookkeeping?
- What is your accounting process?
- How much will it cost?
1. Do you do bookkeeping?
Accountants and bookkeepers are not always the same–but you want to hire someone who can do both. Accountants look at financials and offer insight. They “turn data into information”.
On the other hand, bookkeepers manage the everyday financial transactions. From receipts to sales to payments, they record every dollar that flows in and out of your business. It’s a busy job that requires a talented hand.
So ask your prospects if they can perform both bookkeeping and accounting. Otherwise, you’ll have to hire another person or firm to fill in the gaps.
Finally, ask if they can file taxes. This is another costly service that will ideally be performed by your new hire.
2. What is your accounting process?
A simple way to prevent future headaches is to ask potential accountants about their processes. How do they manage the books? What data do they record? How do they create reports?
There may be several means to achieve the same goal, but it’s best to be on the same page. If you’ve ever tried to load the dishwasher with someone who does it differently than you–you’ll understand. Rather than adjusting the accountant’s work after they’re done or constantly asking for revisions, set the standard in the beginning.
3. How much will it cost?
Finally, ask how much the accountant charges and share what your budget is. Maven’s clients typically pay between $500 and $1,000 monthly for accounting services. Filing taxes will be an additional cost, often around $2,000 to $3,000 per tax return.
Individual accountants and firms vary in terms of pricing. Don’t skimp on services that matter–but also make sure the new hire aligns with your budget.
When it’s time to hire…
As you begin the search for an accountant, it might help to use a hiring plan. Similar to hiring a new employee, hiring a new contractor or firm can benefit from a search process. Different approaches include working with a recruiter, asking your network, and creating job listings online and in industry groups.
Maven can help your small business with onboarding a new accountant. Our clients depend on their accountant for the financial information that helps them–and us–measure progress. Would you like our input on hiring a new accountant for your business? Contact Maven today!