What you need in an accounting partner

What you need in an accounting partner

What you need in an accounting partner

by Shane Adair, Marketing Manager

Although it's not the first thing on most business owners' minds when they start developing their companies, every organization eventually needs the services of an accountant. While many of the tasks these professionals provide can be handled by the owner or another employee, the skills and experience accountants bring to the table can lead to a variety of benefits. From finding ways to reduce tax liability to identifying a variety of potential improvements to financial security, accountants are an especially valuable partner for small businesses.

Finding the right accounting partner can be a long, time-consuming proposition for small-business owners. Use this advice to make the process easier and reap the benefits sooner.

Look for a partner who...

1. Understands small-business accounting and your industry

Accounting is a field of great specialization. Some accountants work exclusively with individuals, helping with tax preparation, estate planning and many other tasks. Others focus solely on working for large companies or conducting audits. An accountant with small-business experience will be in a better position to help your organization succeed. Small Business Trends said it's important that a potential accountant have a good understanding of your industry and your specific needs, as well. Knowledge of and past interactions with things like industry-specific taxes and financial opportunities go a long way toward creating value for your business.

2. Can offer relevant financial analysis

A great accountant does a lot more than prepare tax returns. Many of these highly trained professionals develop a deep understanding of the many financial processes that are tied to the audit, taxation and other forms of work they engage in. AccountingWeb said a great small-business accountant will help you dive into the details of your business and offer valuable insight that leads to positive change. Additional information that helps you make efficient, productive decisions is just one of the many advantages a strong accounting partner can offer.

3. Helps you work with financial institutions and other partners

Business News Daily pointed out the value of an accountant who can capably assemble financial reporting and similar documentation that's needed when your company wants to request a loan or take any number of other financial actions. While this is a task a business owner or staff member could potentially take on themselves, it's often not the best course of action. The chances for inaccuracies, missing information and other problems increase when someone without a strong background in such efforts is in charge.

4. Has the right certifications

Accountants learn their craft through education and on the job experience, but they are also professionally licensed by many countries around the world. In the U.S., individual states offer exams to those working in the accounting field to earn the designation Certified Public Accountant. In essence, this credential allows accountants to work with the general public. There are positions where the CPA title isn't needed, but working with your small business isn't one of them. When you work with a CPA, you know the person is a fully vested professional who has passed a rigorous exam that proves his or her qualifications.

Accountants offer a valuable service to all of their clients, and they can also provide insight into the financial workings of your business as well as suggestions on how to make positive changes. That means finding a strong accounting partner is a vital need for a small business. As you begin to look for an accounting partner, don't rush - take the time you need and make sure your choice meets these four important criteria.

About the Author

Shane Adair

Shane Adair grew up in Cedar City, Utah. Shane earned a Sterling Scholar Award in Visual Arts along with a football scholarship from Southern Utah University. He earned his Bachelors of Science Degree in Business Administration with a Marketing Minor at SUU. <br><br>After college he and his wife, Kimberlie Adair, moved to Phoenix, AZ, where he began his career in sales. Shortly thereafter he earned an MBA in International Management from the University of Phoenix. He has managed successful sales teams for over 18 years in a variety of fields. <br><br>Shane spent 7 years in the newspaper industry and had the opportunity to oversee two dailies and two weeklies along with various other publications for Clovis Media Inc. in Clovis, NM. This success led him to Flagstaff, AZ, where he not only directed the efforts of the advertising sales staff, but he successfully launched the monthly publication - Northern Arizona Business Journal. In 2014 Shane was recognized for his success and was sought out to lead the sales efforts for the Standard-Examiner in Ogden, Utah. Most recently he has transitioned out of the newspaper advertising world and into marketing with TAB Bank, a leader in commercial lending, more specifically asset based lending and AR Financing. <br><br>Shane stumbles his way through broken Korean, speaks English fluently, is an avid reader, loves to think he still has artistic ability, is the old guy still playing rec league sports – without a knee brace, is the father of 6 amazing children, and the lucky husband of one smoking hot wife. <br><br>Specialties: Marketing management, SEO, SEM/PPC, digital advertising, MarTech stack development, vendor management, marketing automation, WordPress management, project management, sales management, contract negotiations, product training, sales training

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