How to Find the Perfect Accounting Professional
If you’re looking to hire an accounting professional for your small business, you need to find someone whose skills go beyond simple bean counting and maximizing your tax refund this year.
Bean counting (controlling expenses and budgeting) and receiving a large tax refund are important, but a tax professional who specialize in your industry can provide a whole lot more.
There is increased demand for accounting professionals to provide integrated tax services on a year-round basis.
In addition to helping prepare and file your taxes, an accounting professional should look below the surface to see what help you need specifically for your small business.
Today’s tax professionals should also be able to provide financial planning, tax consultation, help you with risk management, workers’ compensation and assist with loan applications and government audits.
So, how do you go about finding a great tax professional for your individual and business needs?
1. Look for Relevant Experience
Your small business accounting needs are as unique as your business. That’s why it’s important to hire a tax preparation service with years of experience in your industry.
Make sure the accounting agency is experienced in handling all tax matters and up-to-date on Canada’s ever-changing tax laws.
Small business owners should also look for a tax professional with experience preparing tax returns and providing integrated tax services for companies of a similar size and revenue to yours.
It also helps to find an accounting professional who works with companies in a similar market to yours.
For example, if you’re a self-employed tradesperson (roofer, plumber, contractor, etc.), you want to make sure you find someone who knows all the nuances and intricacies that are unique to the trades/construction industry.
2. Find Someone Proactive About Saving You Money
Some accountants do little more than basic bookkeeping and completing your tax forms. But the best accounting professionals are much more proactive. Before you settle on anyone, ask what they can do to help your business save money.
For example, what deductions can you make or government grants can you possibly take advantage of?
They should also warn you of any pitfalls. After all, there’s a big difference between taking advantage of legal tax loopholes and tax evasion. And you, the self-employed small business owner, are the one who is responsible, and who will have to pay a penalty if the law is broken.
3. Make Sure They Have a Year-Round Office
Temporary tax preparation service signs pop up all over the place the closer we get to tax season.
That might seem like a great option, but what happens a few months down the road when the sign and business is gone and Canada Revenue Agency is knocking on your door looking for clarification?
Make sure the accounting professionals you go with have offices that are open all year round.
4. Ensure They Keep You in the Loop
Some tax professionals have newsletters or blogs that keep their small business clients informed.
Look for an accounting agency that will provide you with information when they come across an article, concept, article, or piece of Canadian tax law that changes and will be of interest or benefit to you.
5. Ask What They Charge for Their Services
Some tax professionals charge by the hour (anywhere from $150 to $400, and up). Others will charge a flat fee for filing your taxes and then have a menu of fees for additional services they provide. Often you don’t know what the fee is until after the work is done.
In rare instances, you can find a tax professional who offers integrated tax services for a flat fee. Ask if they can tell you the price up front and what’s included in the price.
FBC, Helping Self-Employed Contractors with More Than Just Filing a Tax Return
As a self-employed contractor or business owner, you want to use a tax preparation service that understands your unique tax and business needs. FBC has worked exclusively with Canadian farmers and small business owners since 1952.
Over the last 65 years, FBC has helped tens of thousands of clients from across the country minimize their tax obligation and maximize their assets.
We also understand that your life can be busy and tax needs are unique. That’s why our tax specialist will come to your office or home. We’re also the only firm in Canada that offers integrated tax services on a year-round Membership basis.
For a fixed fee, Members get access to our tax planning, tax preparation, consultation, bookkeeping, and financial planning services. FBC also provides all new Members with a review of their previous 3 years’ tax returns.
For more information on FBC and the services we offer, call us today at 1-800-265-1002 or submit and online form and an FBC tax specialist will contact you at your earliest convenience.