How did you all go about it? What questions besides their fee did you ask?
Is it better to go with a large group or a small local person?
Thanks for any help.
If you know other business owners, you could ask for a referral of who they use, or who to stay away from that they perhaps didn't like.
Actually .... their fee is not the most important question. That's what I discovered when I interviewed accounting firms. Yes, you DO need to interview accounting firms to find the one that fits your busienss, fits your style, and fits your budget.
Some I interviewed were the "give me your receipts and I'll post them" type of places. The cost was higher because they were doing it on a per-transaction pricing basis.
The one I went with (and thanks to a good referral from a fellow Indpls caker AND cake central member!) had a system in place that reduced the amount of transactions his office would have to handle which reduced my cost. It was great!
large or small firm .... to me it didnt' matter. What mattered was HOW they handled my books.
Ask if the fee includes any tax preparation and does it include handling any IRS audits that might come up (mine told me if I got audited, I didn't even have to be there ... they'd handle the whole thing.)
If they DO do the taxes, ask if the taxes are filed electronically or manually. I didn't ask this and had to mail mine in manually (which I didn't like doing but oh well). So if you have a preference, ask.
Thanks cwr and indy... I moved to NC and don't know any of the businesses yet and my last accountant was in AZ. I couldn't think of a single thing to ask except their price I drew a complete blank!! Tomorrow I'll be calling around with these questions.
So debi how did they reduce your transactions?
I had one credit card that I bought everything on and then paid the balance in full at the end of the month. If I had used my debit card, the accountant would have had to post 30-40 of my transactions. By me paying the credit card in full, he only had to post one transaction and then allocate it to the appropriate ledgers ($300 for vehicle expense; $450 for supplies; $250 Insurance, etc). I'd add all of these up for him and post it on the special form he'd created.
The form was AWESOME! I posted sales to it at the end of each day and by the end of the week, all the info he needed was recorded and I mailed it to him (in the postage paid envelopes he provided!).
By having this handy dandy form, he decreased his workload because instead of handing him a shoebox of receipts every week, I handed him an organized list of information that he could post boom boom boom and he's done.
If it saved him time, then it saved me money!
That's excellent.. I hope that I find someone like that here! One other question do you think if I called the chamber of commerce they could give Me the names of accountants here? I haven't joined them yet want to wait till I had all my paperwork done but they're on my to do list.
Your chamber probably has a listing of accountant members on their website. I'd also ask those in the bakery/food industry or perhaps other wedding vendors. As we say on here all the time, word of mouth is the best advertising.
(Some accountants give finder's fees for referrals. I know one that does and it's pretty hefty!)
There's not another baker in my area for about 40 miles! LOL But I'll see what I come up with. There is a dress and tux shop that I can give a call to.
Once again thanks!
I don't know if it's legal or not; but if it is, I would ask what grades they got in their accounting classes.
It may sound silly or nit-picky, but I've taken 3 accounting classes so far and have one more to go. One student has been in 2 of these classes with me. She barely passes and she gets help from her accountant mother. This student is an accounting major. This past quarter I met another student who is also an accounting major and he barely passes the classes, too.
Every time I speak with them, I think, "I would not want an accountant who barely passes." I'm not saying they should get all A's, but barely passing says to me that they do not know nearly enough to handle my money. Math is not my strong suit and I still manage to get an A in accounting, my accountant should at least get a B, in my opinion.
Especially since you're new to the area, I'd talk to all of the small businesses that you frequent or run errands to like supply stores, the florist, farms, greenhouses, produce stands, the beauty shop/hair stylist... everywhere! You might learn that they all use the same accountant which would make it easy to chose if so highly recommended.