August 21, 2016
Specialised industries or individuals, such as attorneys, dentists, physicians and medical practice owners, restaurants and rental and real estate owners and realtors - to name but a few - typically require a unique set of services and specific knowledge to help them with their accounting needs.
There are many accountancy firms in existence today with years of experience in dealing with those working in specific industries, and they will have in depth knowledge of the many and varied accountancy needs that each industry requires, but how do you know which one you should choose? Here are several factors you may wish to take into consideration when making your choice:
What certifications do they have:
A certified public accountant (CPA) will have met the requirements necessary for state certification and has an undergraduate degree. They will have passed exams, have some relevant business experience and are required to obtain continuing education credits, much like a certified management accountant (CMA). CMA’showever, have received the training necessary to meet modern accounting requirements, and have the capacity and ability to be a part of a company’s management team.
For new and fast growing companies, they will usually want an accountant who is able to assist them with managing the financial side of their business performance, and who will also maintain the responsibility for internal control functions. In these cases, CMA’s are a popular choice.
What industry centred expertise do they have:
If you are involved in a specialised industry - such as those mentioned in the introduction – you will want to search for an accountancy firm who has experience and wide knowledge in this field.
Having said that, if somebody has recommended a particular firm to you and they themselves don’t specialise in your industry, it may be worth finding out if they partner with networks of other firms and are able to turn to them for industry specific advice and guidance, should you need them to.
What size are they?
There are so many accountants and accountancy firms to choose from, that selecting the right one for you and your business can seem overwhelming. It can be difficult to know whether to hire a sole practitioner or a large, multi-national firm, and perhaps the size of your own business will help you choose.
Smaller businesses may find themselves overlooked by the bigger, well known firms on offer today, despite their appeal due to their experience and success with clients, state wide. Larger businesses may be suited to the expertise these firms can offer, but smaller ones might be better suited to a smaller practice, with a more focused client base.
What services do you want an accountant to perform for your business?
Checking the qualifications of an accountant or accountancy firm, is only as relevant as the services you will want them to perform for you. If you only require an accountant to prepare your tax returns, then that may make choosing one far simpler; if you want them to provide you with advice on taxes, financial planning, or retirement planning on the other hand, you may well need to choose an individual or firm with different qualifications or experience.
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