Download 2019 T1 Checklist from Ernst & Company CPAs
Download 2019 T1 Checklist from Ernst & Company CPAs

Finding an Accountant

January 18, 2017

Look for experience. Ask around; word of mouth is your best bet. Make sure they’re reputable; a CPA designation is a must.

If you need advice on finding an accountant, whether from friend or colleague, you’ll probably get answers like those above.

And they’re valid suggestions. Great suggestions. But they’re the essentials, the bare-bones minimum. It’s like someone telling you, if you’re car shopping, to make sure it’s got four wheels and a motor.

So yes, do keep those tips in mind. And here’s something else to think about, something important. Something you may not have heard: your relationship. They all know numbers and generally, the rules. What sets them apart?

Consider the relationship you’ll have with your accountant. Relationship includes communication, and trust, and being on the same wavelength. At the end of the day, you want an accountant that talks with you, not at you. You want an accountant that you understand, one that doesn’t baffle you with acronyms and jargon. And you also want your accountant to understand you, that identifies with your needs, and helps you meet them. And lastly, it’s important to have an accountant that makes you feel comfortable.

Because, let’s face it. You’re probably an entrepreneur, or a professional or a small business owner. Your skill set probably doesn’t include a deep knowledge of tax and accounting—all that financial mumbo-jumbo.

And, believe it or not, that’s a good thing. If there was a rule that said all entrepreneurs need to be accountants, there wouldn’t be many entrepreneurs around. And those that did exist would all be running accounting offices.

So no, you don’t need to be a professional number-cruncher to be in business. But you do need an accountant—a strong one—on your team. You want one who is in sync with your goals and objectives. You want someone you can bounce ideas off of. You want an expert that understands the financial implications of every decision you’re considering.

And you want someone who can communicate all of that, and who is on your wavelength Someone who’s qualified, someone you trust, someone you’re comfortable with, and someone you understand.

Pretty simple, actually. To find your accountant, look for one that speaks your language.

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