Is it time for your business to outsource your accounting needs? All businesses can benefit from seeking accounting help, especially in light of the fact that 82% of businesses fail due to cash flow problems.
An accountant can assist you with bookkeeping, budget development, tax preparation, and more. These services will allow your business to stay compliant and will enable you to make more sound financial decisions.
However, not every two accountants are the same. You need to ensure that when you embark on your search for an accountant, you choose someone reliable, with the proper experience and certifications.
If you’re struggling to find quality accounting firms in Irvine, here are the seven best qualities that make for an ideal accountant.
The best accountants have certifications that allow them to meet all state requirements. First, you’ll want to look to ensure that your accountant has a degree. This degree program requires field experience and qualifying examinations.
In California, CPAs must meet specific requirements to achieve their degree:
- Completion of undergraduate education, equaling one hundred and fifty academic credits
- Twenty-four academic credits in accounting and business topics
- Successful completion of the Uniform CPA Examination
- Successful completion of the Professional Ethics Examination for CPAs
- One year of experience in accounting that is supervised by a licensed accountant
Some CPAs will have additional certifications if they have chosen to specialize in a particular field. For example, the Certified Management Accountant, or CMA, handles a business’ internal financial demands.
Other common certifications you might see could include the Certified Valuation Analyst, or CVA, Accredited in Business Valuation, or ABV, and the Personal Financial Specialist, or PFS.
There are many different firm sizes. They can range from an independent practice firm to a major national brand hosting multiple CPAs. While this shouldn’t impact the quality of your service, you will want to decide what size of the firm will be best suited to your needs.
Many businesses trust the reputation that comes with hiring a major firm. You’ll receive high-quality work and larger companies are reliable. Because they are able to host many CPAs with a variety of specialties, you can ensure that all of your needs will be competently addressed.
Not all industries are alike, and none of them have identical accounting needs. Your accountant should have experience handling the finances for businesses in your niche. They may also hold specific certifications that demonstrate their dedication to learning more about your unique industry.
Reputable accountants provide a list of industries in which they have experience. Some may even offer information regarding the specific services they offer for each industry.
Some accountants work exclusively in one industry while others work across the spectrum of businesses. Decide if your needs call for a specialist or a generalist.
Referrals and Reviews
The best accounting firms have devoted clients who use their services frequently. If you’re struggling to find a good accountant, reach out to colleagues in your industry for recommendations. If that doesn’t yield the results you are looking for, research reviews.
Experienced accountants have honest reviews from past and current clients. Some even make this information available on their website.
If you’re reading reviews on a third-party source, make sure you read both positive and negative reviews to get a holistic understanding of the accountant you intend to hire.
The Services You Need
There are different accounting services, from tax preparation to budget development. Before choosing an accountant, think about what your business needs.
If you need an accountant for basic needs, such as bookkeeping and preparing your financial statements, find an accountant who works primarily with these services. On the other hand, if you need an accountant with intricate knowledge of payroll processing, take a look at their website to ensure they offer these services.
Every accounting firm will have different fees and payment structures.
For example, some accounting firms charge a set pay rate. This usually only occurs when you need a particular, fixed service, such as tax preparation or creating financial statements.
If you need more services or will use accounting services regularly, other firms may develop pay structures, such as a monthly rate. These structures are not only easier for you to manage, but they may help your business save money longterm.
Fees aren’t the only indicator of quality. You’ll want to take timeframes, consistency, communication, and honesty into consideration when weighing out different fees and prices.
Availability and Flexibility
Your accountant should be flexible and willing to communicate with you. This can include answering simple questions or more detailed calls for advice. With this in mind, how often you plan to see your accountant can be an important factor to consider.
Do you only plan on meeting with your accountant periodically to handle taxes and financial statements? Or do you want an accountant who is available any time you call? Make sure you know what you expect from your accountant and you communicate your needs accordingly.
Reliability is also a major factor. If you make an appointment with your accountant, they should be available. If they must reschedule, it should be with proper notice and professionalism. If an accountant is inconsistent or unreliable, you’ll want to hire another one.
We Are One of the Best Accounting Firms in Irvine
There are many accounting firms in Irvine, but not all accountants are the right fit for your business. Whether you need help with settling and maintaining a budget, or you need accounting for a specific niche, we have an accountant to fit your needs.
If your business is based in Irvine, you don’t have to look farther to find a great accountant. Contact us to see how we can help.