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How to choose the right accountant

Posted by Todd Gibbs

Choosing an accountant is like choosing a new business partner. The right accountant will become a trusted colleague you can depend on, who offers advice and guidance as your small business grows. So what are the top things you need to look out for?

It’s important to take the time to do this carefully, and make a list of considerations. You'll need to think about issues such as the accountant's location, the division of workload and the type of accounting software you'll use. Consider how much you'll have to pay the accountant, and whether they can help to reduce your business taxes.

It's in your company’s best interests to have an experienced, capable person handling one of the most important areas of your business – your finances. The right person will save you time and money year after year.

It used to be important to have your company's accountant located nearby. But today, more companies are collaborating online, using cloud-based technology to manage their business. This means that location is less of an issue. With cloud accounting, you and your accountant can view identical real-time data at the same time – no matter where you are.

The decision about where to find your accountant really comes down to what suits your company best. Depending on how you want to handle the finances, your accountant could really be based anywhere. If you’re happy to collaborate via email, phone calls, video-conferences, or secure accounting software, then you could be in Dunedin and they could be in Whakatane. If your accountant can be anywhere in the world, you don’t need to make compromises based on their location. You can find someone who really understands the specifics of your business or industry.

On the other hand, you may prefer face-to-face contact and find it useful to have someone who's able to go to business meetings with you. If this is the case, then you’ll need to limit your search to accountants who work nearby or are willing to travel to your premises from time to time.

Wherever they happen to be based, make sure they’re an expert in the tax laws that apply to your business.



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