The Best Accounting Firms – How To Spot Them

The best accounting firms are those that have been in business for many years, have depth of experience in their personnel and whose credibility and high level of attention to client servicing is second to none. The best firms are trustworthy, attentive, professional and respected. The professionals at these firms take a vested interest in your business and your finances; they become a trusted advisor on all types of business and tax matters you may encounter.

What benefits can be derived by using an outside accounting firm? What decisions can they help me make?

  1. Company profitability and stability – Over time, your accountant will get to know the finances of your business as well, if not better, than you. They are experienced business advisors and they are extremely knowledgeable at analyzing the ongoing financial health of your business.  The best firms will gather the information needed quickly and efficiently to give you an accurate, timely assessment.
  2. Proper recording of all your business financial transactions; monitoring adherence with tax regulations and generally accepted accounting principles. The best accounting firms are detail oriented and will insure accurate accounting for all of your business transactions. This is done by systematically compiling all transactions in the books and records so that as the company continues to grow, all that transpires financially inside the company is properly documented.
  3. The capability of the company to expand – A good accounting firm provides comprehensive reports and information that empowers the business owner.  The accounting analysis can determine the chances of branching out or expanding the business by analyzing the financial affairs on a comparative basis. Also, the accountant can aid in the study of strategic locations and marketing plans to help the owner solidify the proper decision.
  4. Fraud, embezzlement and errors committed by employees or customers – Unfortunately, this is a very consistent theme in the business world today. You can hope it’s not happening in your business, but your accounting firm can bring absolute clarity to this issue, through the auditing of specific transactions.  Forensic accounting can help track fraudulent transactions that could be hurting your business without your knowledge.

Why is there a need for an accounting firm?  Many business owners, new as well as established companies, want to insure they have the best chance for success, and they employ the philosophy of “sticking to what they know”.

They bring in the expertise of a good accounting firm, in matters of accounting, banking, financial reporting, cash flow, and of course, taxes.

Usually a small business or a new business employs the services of an accounting firm to help them establish an accounting system right from the start; that way, the business owner can focus on running and growing the business, and allow the seasoned accountants to oversee the financial reporting and posting of the business transactions.

Sometimes accounting firms are also hired to file reports with governmental authorities, help establish a corporate identity, assist with the raise of capital, or for many other business matters.

Responsive, Timely, Expert Advice

With the complicated nature of a multitude of financial aspects associated with your business, it is wise to work with the best accounting firm you can find, one that is responsive, cares about and listens to you, and provides timely, attentive service when you need it most.

What are the characteristics one must look for when they need to employ the services of an accounting firm?  Here are some pointers to consider:

  1. Integrity – integrity must be imbedded in the character of an accountant. Your accountant should be a trusted member of your team, someone you can depend on for honest guidance.  Without integrity, records can be manipulated, reports can be window dressed and company resources can be wasted.
  2. Competence – of course, fees will be incurred for good accountants/advisors, but the cost can be commensurate with the additional money saved by your business because of their competency.  Accounting knowledge is gained through experience, working with accountants who have years of experience in the field of business directly benefits your results.
  3. Character – hiring principled people should be of foremost importance.  As a member of your financial team, an accountant can often be called upon to give tough advice; those who can stand for what is right and true and those who have the strength to expose anomalies or provide hard answers will benefit your business.  As a successful business owner, you know that the investment made hiring the best professionals for your team will pay off in the long run.
  4. High Technology – the best accounting firms are adaptable to a shifting business landscape.  An accounting firm must be flexible to adapt to innovations and will be knowledgeable about developments in technology that can benefit your business.

Accounting firms vary in size.  There are big accounting firms with hundreds of partners and staff.  These firms have encountered all kinds of accounting transactions because of their broad array of corporate clients who have different accounting needs.

There are also small accounting firms, often more flexible, with bookkeepers and certified accountants to help provide the best, most attentive service possible to clients.  When deciding the route that is best for your business, let your needs dictate the right choice.

But remember, an accountant is only effective if their services are used on a regular basis. You are limiting your potential for success and growth if you only use your accounting firm once a year.

Small and large businesses have different accounting needs that require different handling.  Large accounting firms by their nature must service their larger corporate clients first as a priority, and your needs as a smaller business can possibly be neglected.

The best accounting firms are those firms that can deliver extraordinary, timely professional services to their clients and accommodate all of their clients’ needs.  The best firms offer you an accurate insight into the financial operations of your business and empower you to make the tough decisions to grow your business into the future.  They are a valued resource for many decision making scenarios and a trusted member of your financial team.

The accounting firm that is best for you will help grow your business into a success and allow you to gain financial prosperity.

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