Computing your taxes and ensuring you remit the right amount to the government is a complicated process, especially for businesses. That’s why it’s beneficial for businesses, no matter the size, to enlist the help of accountants or accounting firms for tax-related tasks. More than that, these specialists offer other valuable services like bookkeeping, payroll, and auditing to help you grow your company. If you’re thinking about hiring accounting firms in Rochester, NY, here are some questions to ask:
(1) What are Your Services?
Some accounting firms specialize in certain aspects of the field. Others, on the other hand, serve as generalists like Davie Kaplan CPAs. The company offers accounting, auditing, tax, and specialty services, including business valuations, fraud investigation, and business advisory. Determine the accounting-related tasks you need and which services you can do without. These are the essential services that most accounting companies offer:
- Tax Planning and Preparation – Businesses have a lot of tax obligations. Income tax, property matters, and sales each involve a specific process. It can be overwhelming if you manage all these files by yourself, especially if you didn’t spend years studying this field. Fortunately, you can delegate these painstaking tasks to your accountants.
- Bookkeeping – This process is essential in identifying the cash flow by filtering it through costs and revenue streams. The primary role of this service is to track expenses and income by keeping receipts and other business-related documents.
- Business Development and Valuation – When your company practices proper bookkeeping tactics, you won’t have any difficulty in pulling up the information you need when seeking a loan. Lenders require assurance that your business is profitable and that it’s a lucrative investment. Valuation reports and the like serve as proof for your organization’s sustainability.
(2) Have You Worked with Businesses in My Industry?
Some accounting firms also cater to a particular industry. Make sure that the agency you’ll be working with has sufficient experience in handling accounting-related projects in your niche. This way, they’ll be ready to face typical issues that arise in your field. Some crucial considerations for your accounting may include:
- Industry-Specific Factors – If you’re in a highly technical or heavily regulated industry, find an accountant who knows the ins and outs of your field. Health care, energy, and manufacturing companies ought to be meticulous about working with the right firm.
- Corporate Customers – For small B2B business owners working with large corporations, an accountant can help you, particularly with the accounts receivable process. This type of client has a rigid ordering and receiving system, so you should find someone who has experience in this work setup.
- Government Contracts – Similar to corporate customers, government contracts have special procedures in place. An accounting firm with enough experience and knowledge of this setup can assist you in the details of this complicated process.
- Virtual Teams – Tracking payroll and revenue streams can be tiresome, especially if you have employees in different countries. Look for an accountant who knows the financial legalities of this type of setup.
(3) Do You Offer Services All Year?
Some accounting firms stop operations after tax season and only resume on the next one. This may work for large corporations that have an in-house team of accountants while outsourcing a few tax preparation processes. However, if you run a small business, you may want to find a company that’s available for you all-year-round. This way, you’ll be sure they can address your issue in real-time rather than having you wait until the next tax season to resolve your accounting-related problems.
(4) Will I be Working with the Same Accountant?
For larger accounting firms, you’ll want to know whether the representative you’re speaking with will be the one to handle your account. Ask them who will manage your project and get their email address as well as a mobile number so you can contact them if you have inquiries.
(5) What are the Tools You Use to Communicate with Clients?
Knowing that you’ll be getting regular updates and reports from your accountant is crucial when outsourcing your accounting-related tasks. Even when you’ve delegated the process to these trusted professionals, it’s still essential that you stay on top of what’s happening to your cash flow and payroll. Here are the standard tools that accounting firms must have:
- Project Management Software – This cloud-based software helps accounting firms stay organized with their client accounts. They can access the system at any time and update the status of their projects. Some programs even send out a notification automatically to clients for significant changes in their profile.
- Document Management System – The accounting firm you work with must have a paperless system for managing documents. It boosts efficiency and productivity by allowing accountants to organize their files. Plus, when clients call them about an issue, they can pull up the customer’s records with ease and resolve the problem right away.
- Web Platform – Most companies have a website where they post organization-wide updates like improvements to their system or welcoming a newly hired CPA. Clients can benefit from this type of announcement because changes in the firm can affect their account.
- Email Service – Email is still the most-used communication method for most businesses. Your accountant should be able to reach you without issue by having a reliable email service provider.
- File-Sharing System – Accounting involves a lot of paperwork. Having a file-sharing system makes it more convenient for accountants and their clients to send, receive, and even edit documents in real-time.
Accounting firms offer valuable help to businesses, whether big or small. They help you manage your books, taxes, and payroll correctly. Ask potential accountants about their services and experience in handling accounts from your industry. You should have regular communication with the accountant who’ll be working on your account and they ought to be available all-year-round. Plus, they must have the right tools to ensure that you get updates and reports to help you stay on top of things.