So you’re in the market for a new accountant? Well it’s time to think about the issues important to you and see how the candidates stack up. Choosing the right accountant is important. Besides operational needs, often times they become a trusted advisor you look to during critical times. Consider these five qualities as a basis for your decision.
Communication – Responsiveness is an important quality in an accountant. If you are working on a time sensitive transaction, will you need to consult your accountant immediately? Is there just a single individual assisting you or a cohesive team? When you work with a dedicated team, there are more individuals at your disposal to assist you.
Industry experience – Ask what industries they are both currently serving and have served in the past. Do they specialize in any particular areas? Do they have the knowledge and expertise that you are looking for? Just as every business has its own unique properties, accountants can have niches they are experts in as well.
Licensing – What is the end product that you are looking to get out of your accountant? Some types of reporting require accountants to have specific certifications or undergo specific peer review.
Cost/Benefit – Is lesser (cost) really more (benefit)? As with many other products on the market, the lowest priced provider is not always the best path to take. An accountant is an important business partner. Consider the cost/benefit of each provider and find the right balance for you.
Location – Does location matter to you? In today’s technology-driven world, your accountant doesn’t have to be right down the street from you. But you need to consider your company’s needs. For example, if you prefer face-to-face interactions, their location relative to yours may be more important to you.
When looking at the field of accountants in front of you, these are not the only criteria to consider, but can serve as a good starting point. Choosing an accountant is an important business decision. Ensure you put the thought into it that it deserves.
Article submitted by: Jennifer Barrett, MKS&H Audit Senior
About MKS&H: McLean, Koehler, Sparks & Hammond (MKS&H) is a professional service firm with offices in Hunt Valley and Frederick. MKS&H helps owners and organizational leaders become more successful by advising them regarding their financial, technology and human capital management needs.